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The Swan Princess Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Classic story is less scary than most animated fairy tales.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that THE SWAN PRINCESS is less scary than most animated fairy tales, though it does contain some of the typical action scenes common to these films. In most instances, these sequences are brief and do not depict injury or death. There's an evil enchanter, a flying beast, some fiery backgrounds, sounds of thunder and lightning. A scene in which the royal family's carriage is attacked is cut short before the princess is taken and the king wounded. King William delivers an important message to the prince, who comes to his aid, then simply disappears from the film. The longest "battle" is a paintball practice exercise, played entirely for humor. The final conflict takes place between the prince and the enchanter, who has turned himself into the flying creature. Princess Odette is portrayed with modern sensibilities, and is greatly offended when she believes the Prince loves her only for her beauty.

  • Families can talk about what inspired this movie: the story of "Swan Lake," the ballet.  It might be fun to read the ballet story together and see what the two tales have in common.
  • Why did Odette refuse to marry Prince Derek when he first asked her? What was she hoping he would say?
  • The music here is more contemporary than in most animated fairy tales. How did the modern songs and dancing add an element of humor and energize this old-fashioned story?
  • Do you think the King's early leniency toward Lord Rothbart was a mistake? Other than destroying the villain, what could the king have done to ensure that the villain didn't cause any more trouble?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: This film might be used as an introduction to Swan Lake, the ballet. There are enough similarities here to provide kids with a basic understanding of the ballet's story.

  • message true4

    Messages: Loyalty, kindness, honesty, and cleverness are important and valuable traits. Good triumphs over evil. Finding someone beautiful is not reason enough for love; courage, brains, and goodness are more important.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The princess and the prince are courageous, loyal, and steadfast. The prince learns an important lesson about the shallowness of placing external beauty above all. The supporting characters exhibit great bravery as they risk their own lives to help a friend.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence and scariness: Limited cartoon violence: a beast is captured in a brief sequence with fire and lightning. An evil wizard with magical powers turns the princess into a swan and wreaks some havoc in this magical kingdom. There's a paintball battle for comic effect. An arrow pierces a lovable puffin's wing. A final battle between the wizard and the heroes is not very scary.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Several loving kisses between the prince and princess.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue