An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars

2012 NR 1h 31m DVD

An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars

2012 NR 1h 31m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
An up-and-coming gymnast is on track to make the regional competitive gymnastics team but off track in school, where she's struggling to keep up. When her teacher suggests a tutor, she's embarrassed and desperate to keep it a secret from her friends.
Jade Pettyjohn, Kerris Dorsey, Nia Vardalos, Ian Ziering, Ysa Penarejo, Cathy Rigby, Kally Berard, Talia Pura, Paula Rivera, George Chiang
Vince Marcello
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 7+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 7+
age 7+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this American Girl movie, McKenna Shoots for the Stars, is based on the doll company's Girl of the Year and offers girls (and boys) several positive messages about family, friendship, and the importance of getting help when you need it. Throughout her story, McKenna learns valuable lessons about what it takes to overcome unexpected hurdles, whether they're physical like a broken limb or emotional, like the embarrassment of needing a tutor to improve in language arts.

Sexual Content

Not applicable.


In one scene, a horse becomes agitated and begins to buck, which makes a nearby horse holding a wheelchair-bound girl start to move, making it seem like the horse is going to throw her off.


The girls say "kick your butt" a couple of times, and McKenna is told to "have fun watching from the sidelines" in a hurtful manner.

Social Behavior

Lots of positive messages about reaching for your dreams, communicating with your parents, being honest with your friends, and asking for help when you need it. Through hard work and perseverance, McKenna overcomes several physical, emotional, and academic obstacles in the movie. The fact that Josie is in a wheelchair teaches McKenna (and hopefully the audience) not to prejudge or pity those who are different. McKenna's friendship issues shine a light on the notion of unconditional friendship and not being ashamed of needing assistance sometimes.


The movie is part of the American Girl empire, which includes dolls and merchandise, as well as lots of books and DVDs.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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