A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
A mixed bag. On one hand, viewers see friends team up to rescue a horse that's been stolen. On the other, they join forces with a local baddie and make some potentially dangerous choices to do so. Strong themes of friendship.
Positive Role Models
Lucky and her friends demonstrate courage and determination in their efforts to rescue Mystery. Some new characters surprise with their true intentions and prove to be more than what initial impressions suggest.
Violence & Scariness
The girls get into some sticky situations in their quest to rescue Mystery. They're kidnapped, blindfolded, and subjected to physical mistreatment like being pulled by an arm and pushed to the ground. One scene sees them fall through a floor into the basement of a house. Several scenes see them in peril at the hands of nefarious adults who also talk in menacing ways.
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No cursing, but name-calling like "brats," "lying sneak," and "little rat," plus "shut it" on a couple of occasions.
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Products & Purchases
This holiday special is part of the Spirit Riding Free franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure is an interactive episode from the Spirit Riding Free series franchise. Viewers can help determine the characters' choices at various points in the story by clicking on one of two or three options, and if the scene times out before a choice is made, a default one moves the story along. This story puts the young characters in some precarious situations where they're threatened by villainous adults or by potential physical harm from accidents, but everything works out in the end. There also are recurring references to past incidents like kidnappings involving the main characters and their family members. Expect to hear name-calling like "lying sneak," "brats," and "little rat," as well as several instances of an adult instructing a child to "shut it." Fans of the show will want to check out this interactive episode, but know that some of the choices offered to viewers take the characters on lengthy adventures, so it can be a fairly involved process to participate in this episode.
Is It Any Good?
Interactive episodes like this one are a fun way for fans to take part in the characters' adventures, but their success depends on how well the story balances offering multiple directions with avoiding an endless maze of wrong turns and no end in sight. This Ride Along Adventure trends toward the latter, with lengthy spans of time between turning points and options that take viewers on tangents that feel like full-length episodes unto themselves. What starts out as an exciting mission eventually becomes an exercise in guessing which choice might lead to the exit most quickly.
Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure also involves a fair amount of "realistic" (inasmuch as an animated show can) peril for the young characters. Anyone who knows Lucky and her friends understand they're independent spirits who have the run of their frontier town and its wild surroundings, and this story brings them face to face with horse thieves, their manipulative incarcerated "mob boss" type, and a gaggle of ruffian kids who mostly do the grown-ups' bidding out of fear for the repercussions if they don't. It's a fairly intense scenario that should factor into parents' decision about letting their young kids watch and play along, but likely is OK for the show's young tween fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.