Exploring the theme of being who you are, rather than trying to shape yourself for others, Disney’s Princess Protection Program is a fun and enjoyable movie for the entire family. Starring Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) as Carter, the average ordinary tomgirl and Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) as Rosalinda “Rosie,” the beloved Princess of a small country who is sent uncover for protection, Princess Protection Program shows that true friendship can transcend all barriers.
The movie starts out as Carter’s father, Major Mason, who is one of many officers with the Princess Protection Program, is sent to the small country of Costa Lunan, where there is worry that that the soon to be crowned Queen, Princess Rosalinda, will encounter danger. That danger manifests quite quickly as General Kane quickly overpowers the Queen Mother and Princess Rosalinda’s staff, taking them as captives. Swiftly, the major whisks away Princess Rosalinda and delivers her to the secret chambers of the Princess Protection Program where she undergoes a transformation to become an “average” girl. Once Princess Rosalinda’s transformation is complete, she becomes known as Rosie and goes to live with Major Mason and his daughter, Carter. Rosie is met by Carter with anything but open arms and enthusiasm. After a few encounters and misunderstandings, however, Carter and Rosie work out their differences and become fast and loyal friends. This friendship grows in strength and determination as the girls come face to face with their high school’s most elite and popular clique who are out to belittle both girls and remain high on the totem pole of school royalty.
Princess Protection Program is excellently cast, written, and produced. It works perfectly for it’s target age range of tweens and teens. Yes, there are those who may say that the movie is a bit far-fetched and the storyline perhaps not very deep. However, those complaints ignore the fact that the film is geared towards a younger crowd. Additionally, the fairytale aspect adds enjoyment to the movie. Disney aims to produce good quality and entertaining programming for today’s youth and I think they managed that perfectly once again with Princess Protection Program. The lesson that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, as long as you look deep within yourself and be true to yourself, you are and always will be one of the best of the best is a solid one.
As for the main actresses, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, I feel that both girls did a great job portraying their characters and bringing them to life on the screen. Gomez plays the perfect tomboy and displays her talent for comedic acting throughout the movie. She is full of orneriness, spit, and fire, however she also shows a compassionate side that is hard to resist. Lovato does a good job in her role of prim and proper princess who struggles with the idea of being “average” — not because she feels herself above the others, but for the simple fact of the huge difference in cultures and everyday living with which she is forced to contend. Whether Lovato is getting covered in worms or ice cream, she is a good sport and performs well in her role. In all honesty, I feel that Gomez rises a bit above Lovato in the comedic aspects, her timing and actions seem a bit more natural. However, both girls do a great job and they display a wonderful friendship connection.
The "Royal B.F.F. Extended Edition" of Princess Protection Program also includes bonus features. There is “Royal & Loyal BFFs,“ where Gomez and Lovato reveal secrets about their real-life friendship and “A Royal Reality,” which is a very interesting peek into the life of a real-life princess, including her royal responsibilities, gowns, and castles. For the music lovers, there is also a great music video, "One and the Same," starring both Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. One can tell the girls had a ton of fun making this video and it is a very well done video both in its visual and vocal aspects.
All in all, Princess Protection Program is another success for Disney Channel originals. Girls will love this and it will also make for a great family movie night at home. Even those of the male variety are sure to get a few laughs throughout the film! For great wholesomeness, fun, and tight bonds of friendship and loyalty, I give Princess Protection Program four stars!