Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch

(i)

 

CGI reimagining presents sexier heroine, darker themes.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The series aims to entertain rather than to educate. 

Positive messages

Realistic consequences for the characters' actions aren't stressed, and Sabrina is often OK just waiting out the troubles. With villains in close proximity to her –- including one who lives in her house –- there's always the fear of sabotage, but neither she nor her two aunts seem aware of the danger. On the upside, neither the magical characters nor the humans are flawless, reminding viewers that having powers doesn't make it any easier to cope with life's troubles.

Positive role models

Sabrina comes across as a little clueless, unaware that some around her are purposely trying to upend her. Villains are conniving and manipulative and include Sabrina's cat, whom she thinks is a friend. Teen girls sometimes seem boy-crazy, dressing and acting to attract guys' attention. Sabrina's aunts are flighty and oblivious to the forces working against their niece. Her human friends are the best of the bunch, demonstrating loyalty and kindness.

Violence & scariness

Some story lines have darker themes with scary characters like werewolves, and magic can take a dangerous turn that causes accidents. Visible injuries are rare, though.

Sexy stuff

A few of the characters harbor crushes on their classmates, but it doesn't evolve beyond the "like" stage. Occasionally girls flirt shamelessly with boys, practically begging for their attention.

Language

No cursing, but some slang like "OMG" and "My life blows chunks."

Consumerism

The show is a reimagined version of characters first seen in a live-action series and, later, two animated series.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch is the third animated series inspired by Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. This one finds Sabrina in high school, trying to keep secret her true identity as she balances the demands of being a half-witch. Rather than dealing only in innocent magical mayhem, this series sees villains actively plotting against Sabrina, which sometimes puts human bystanders in dangerous situations and gives the show a more mature feel than past ones. The female characters also look older and sexier, with developed breasts (and clothes that show them off), long and lanky physiques, and impossibly tiny waists.

What's the story?

At first glance, Sabrina Spellman (voiced by Ashley Tisdale) is a typical high schooler, but there's more to her than meets the eye; she's also a talented witch-in-training and future queen of the magical world. There she attends class taught by Enchantra (Kathleen Barr), the conniving Head Witch who's plotting the match of future magical queen Sabrina and her own son, Shinji (James Higuchi), to ensure her continued grip on the kingdom. But Shinji and Sabrina are far from cozy, and, in truth, she prefers the company of her human friends, particularly the sweet-natured Harvey (Matthew Erickson), his cute friend Jim (David A. Kaye), and her loyal best friend, Jessie. Being half-human and half-witch can get complicated, particularly when her two worlds collide in unpredictable ways and she must sort out the trouble without letting everyone in on her secret identity.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Contrary to two previous cartoons designed around this amicable character, SABRINA: SECRETS OF A TEENAGE WITCH takes plenty of liberties with the time-tested formula originally laid out in the long-running Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. She still lives with her two eccentric aunts, she still tries to stay incognito among her human friends, and she's still prone to magical mishaps, but the introduction of deliberate troublemakers adds a new and slightly darker element of uncertainty to the show. What's more, not only are Enchantra and Shinji working against Sabrina, they've also planted a spy and resident saboteur -– her cat, Salem (Ian James Corlett) –- in her midst.

Also new to this series is a surprising lack of consequences for Sabrina's actions, particularly when they draw her unsuspecting human friends into the magical fray. Here she spends less time working out solutions to predicaments that put her friends at risk and more time worrying about catching the eye of the boy she likes, and her lack of attention rarely seems to matter to the story's outcome. Add to this a noticeably sexier look to the female characters, and it's clear that this incarnation warrants some careful consideration for the kid crowd.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the consequences fit the actions in this series. Does Sabrina learn from the mistakes she makes? Do they ever get her or her friends into serious trouble? How might the outcome be different for similar actions in the real world? 

  • Tweens: Have you seen any of the other Sabrina series? What do you think inspired the need for another? How is this one different from the others? Does it appeal to a different crowd?

  • Tweens: What messages do you get from ads or TV characters about desirable body image? Do you feel pressure to look or dress a certain way? Where does that pressure come from? How can you combat it and embrace individuality?

This review of Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 13 and 13 year old Written byResponibleParentOf2 October 15, 2013

Not for kids

Quite shocked to see the producers of Sabrina let their wonderful talent on the original cartoon (available on Netflix and shows sometimes on Saturday mornings, don't know what happen) go to waste with this provocative cartoon.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byYWFjvr25 April 26, 2014
LEARNING

I love it

I think this is the best series from the other series. And trust me, I saw all the episode of the other series. (Sabrina the teenage witch, Sabrina the animated series, and Sabrina secret life) It's more mature than the other series. However, it's not that mature. (Like the maturity of Wizard of Waverly Place. It's funny, but also have that maturity in the show) It's way different from the others. I love the series! I'm 15 and it's the maturity, and childlike cartoon I like. Parents, not worry. If you have doubts, just watch the first episode. Sabrina is a typical teen, with double responsibility, and double the school. She shows kids to put their responsibilities first, before there wants. And the message is to do what is right, and to be kind. Some scene are not for all kids. Nothing bad, but some of the character design (werewolf) can be scary for little kids. The first episode (dances with werewolves) is good! Just watch the episode and you can see if this is for your child. Every child is different. You know your child(ren) the best. Your decision, but Sabrina: Serects of a Teenage Witch is a very good series!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old December 23, 2013

BAD!!

Not my kind of show. The animation is horrible and everything stinks.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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