Prince Charming is handsome and brave — but he doesn't actually get that much screen time in the Disney movies. Sure, he sweeps in and defeats Maleficent and conducts a kingdom-wide search to discover the woman behind the glass slipper, but who is he, really? That's what Charming seeks to show viewers. Prince Phillippe Charming (Wilmer Valderrama) is cursed at birth by Nemeny Neverwish (Nia Vardalos) to make every maiden who looks in his eyes believe they are in love with him.
He is destined to be a heartbreaker, which is how he ends up engaged to three VIPs (Very Important Princesses): Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), Snow White (Avril Lavigne), and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.) at the same time! The king warns the prince that if he doesn't pick one true love to kiss before his 21st birthday, the curse will be sealed and there will be no love left in the kingdom. No big deal, right? That is, until thief Lenore (Demi Lovato) reveals the women are all engaged to the same man. Anger erupts in the kingdom, and Lenore promises to help the Prince get to the Fire Mountain alive to reveal his one true bride — and uncover the secrets of his heart at the same time.
This Netflix original movie premiered on Jan. 8, but before you stream with your kids, read up on a few things to keep in mind in our parents' guide ahead.
- There's positive representation.
Prince Phillippe is the first Latino Prince and offers a realistic portrayal of a man with a crown. He's a little entitled but superfunny and has a good heart. I think he's a pretty good role model for kids, and one I'm excited to let my sons watch.
- It focuses on strong female characters.
I personally love Lenore. She may technically be a criminal (minor flaw), but she is independent and knows how to take care of herself. She also saves the prince countless times in the movie, and she can use a bow and arrow better than Katniss Everdeen.
- There's some brief nudity.
In the beginning of the animated film, a portrait of the prince completely naked is shown on the screen, with just one hand covering his private areas.
- As well as lots of physical affection.
Kissing happens frequently in this movie — and not always to the same girl. Multiple girls love the prince and kiss him.
- There is some violence in the movie, but it is mostly comical.
People get hit with magic, fight on horseback, the prince gets smashed into a boulder by a rock monster, and more. There are also few scenes that are more dramatic and can be scarier for younger kids, like when Nemeny Neverwish attacks Prince Phillippe at the end.
- However, there are a few problematic portrayals.
Lenore disguises herself as a man with a mustache to assist the prince on his journey. At one point, after they make it through the forest alive, she jokingly asks the prince if he wants to kiss her. Then, she says she was kidding because "I'm manly." This comes across slightly homophobic – two men can kiss, too, right? The prince laughs it off and then moves onto something else, but there's an opportunity to talk to your kids about why this isn't OK.
Additionally, the movie refers to its indigenous characters (many of whom have dark skin) as the "forest tribe of savage giants" and the "man-eaters." They're portrayed in ways that borrow from different indigenous cultures yet mystifies them to make them seem like magical monsters. It can be a little uncomfortable. This is an opportunity to talk to kids about harmful racial stereotypes.
- It gets a little dark.
At the end of the movie, Lenore is upset by Prince Phillippe and runs away right when he realises she is his true love. Since he can't have the one he wants, he decides to kill himself to stop the curse from affecting the kingdom. He writes letters to all the women who he hurt to try to make amends, but it is still a dark moment as he walks up to the gallows.
This movie was the classic fairy-tale format, woven with humour, true love, and endearing characters. Not to mention, the music in this film is amazing! That's what happens when you put five talented singers together — prepare yourself to bop to the beat and get these catchy tunes stuck in your head all night. Prince Phillippe also learns a lot in this film about caring for others and not being so selfish, and it is nice to see the prince being saved for once (or, more than once!), instead of the other way around. It's overall a cute kids' movie, but with a few problematic elements that you'll want to talk to your kids about after watching.