Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that, like High School Musical before it, Teen Beach Movie is a marketing conglomerate designed to sell not just the movie, but also the extensive line of clothing, home decor, accessories, and, of course, a soundtrack associated with it. Tweens will flock to this highly promoted movie, thanks in part to their familiarity with stars like Ross Lynch, who hail from other Disney projects, and they won't be disappointed in the story's entertaining blend of nostalgia, comedy, and sweet teen romance. For their part, parents will be pleased with the movie's worry-free family friendly story that also sends wholesome messages about individuality, self-awareness, and positive relationships.
Brady and McKenzie are an item throughout the story, but their physical contact is limited to hugging and a couple of near-kisses. Other teen relationships develop as the story unfolds, all with similarly innocent expressions of affection.
The movie's villains are more comical than they are intimidating, but they do hold teens hostage and stun one with a ray gun at one point. There's some brief peril and a few moments during which a main character's safety is in question, all with predictably happy results.
Viewers see a teen wrestle with conflicting emotions about her future goals and the expectations placed on her by others. The process teaches her to listen to her heart and trust her instincts, which earns her the respect of those around her and gives her a stronger self-identity. Positive relationships with friends and family are a source of strength for many of the characters. Because the story exists in two different eras, there are some gender stereotypes that exist in scenes set in the past (girls make it their goal to land a boyfriend, guys assume the dominant role in relationships, etc.) that are then challenged by the modern-day characters, with positive messages about gender equality, tolerance, and individuality.
The Teen Beach Movie's marketing machine churns out products like apparel, accessories, and home decor; a soundtrack featuring the movie's 12 songs is available on iTunes and in stores; Radio Disney events around the country distribute promotional items bearing the movie's name and the stars' images; and other promotions are linked to One Direction and R5 (Ross Lynch's band) concerts.
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