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.
The movies celebrate the carefree joys of being a kid, enjoying friendship, and experiencing new things. At the same time, though, they paint a pretty unrealistic picture of independence through the young stars' unfettered travels and adventures as they follow their big imaginations.
Positive Role Models
Mary-Kate and Ashley are engaging, expressive hostesses who get excited about experiencing new places and things. They have fun with their friends and enjoy each other's company. Even though they're twins, the stories underscore what makes each one unique.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Girls mention wanting to see cute boys, and there's some very mild flirting in a few scenes.
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Products & Purchases
Lego, Donna Karan, Northwest Airlines, Mall of America.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that You're Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's Party celebrates a differently themed party in each episode, from a costume event to a school dance. The recognizable twins play themselves and, surrounded by a cast of friends, sing, dance, and plan their way to ultimate party success. Often their efforts take them on location to different venues, and there are no adults to either guide or stand in their way, which accounts for their seemingly unlimited freedom. As such, it's worth noting to younger kids that the real world works differently (no impromptu air travel to see the Mall of America, for instance), but there's no cause for worry in the rest of the content, which focuses on friendship, adventure, and having fun.
Is It Any Good?
These direct-to-video productions from the late '90s feel very low-budget by today's standards, and their saccharine nature may wear thin on parents. As far as entertaining kids, though, they still manage to do the trick, thanks in large part to the delightful twin stars at the helm. For all the notoriety that would follow them in their older years, these movies are a testament to Mary-Kate and Ashley's exuberance and genuine talent in front of a camera, particularly in their younger years.
Even though there's no real point to any of the stories -- aside from celebrating the hostesses' unrestricted access to every whim, it would seem -- they're fun to watch and will appeal to kids' imaginations. These are no run-of-the-mill parties, after all; they usually involve some jet-setting, shopping trips, and lots of input from friends. Naturally it's tough to rein in the sense of excitement such productions may inspire, but these elaborate versions of simpler events such as slumber parties and campouts provide a good opportunity to point out to your kids the differences between real life and what we see on TV.
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.