Moondance Alexander Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Summer’s arrival can’t come soon enough for Moondance Alexander (Kay Panabaker). The high-spirited freshman just wants to fit in with her classmates. But with an unusual first name, distinct fashion choices and an over exuberance that often results in clumsy behavior, she is more of a target for teasing than anything else.
On the other hand, spending a summer at home with her eccentric, art-teaching mother (Lori Loughlin) has its drawbacks, too. Luckily, Moondance holds down a part time job as a delivery person for Mr. McClancy (James Best), the owner of a horse supply shop who keeps her busy dropping off supplements and other small items to the local ranchers.
It’s during one of her runs that she discovers a lost pinto pony on a country road and decides to take him home. Unfortunately her mom is firm about returning Checkers to its rightful owner, the moody and gruff Dante Longpre (Don Johnson). Not to be deterred by the loss, Moondance offers to help Dante care for his animals at the riding stable in exchange for a chance to ride the black and white horse.
Arriving early in the morning, the eager, young stable hand carefully completes all of her responsibilities and slowly begins to earn the respect of the hermit-like Dante. Finally relenting to the girl, he helps Moondance saddle up Checkers and begins teaching her the finer points of riding. Only then does Moondance discover Dante used to be a world-class horse trainer.
Begging him to help her and her new mount prepare for an upcoming jumping event, she wheedles her way into his good graces just far enough to convince him to give it a try. But entering the arena brings back a deluge of bad memories for the man who turns to the bottle to help him forget the past.
However, it soon becomes evident that Moondance and Dante both have something to offer the other. She gives him a reason to engage in life again while the quiet horse owner becomes a calming presence for the girl, teaching her the value of individuality and discipline. Working side by side in anticipation of the Bow River competition, they bring out the best in each other.
While the story line might be as common as horseflies in the barnyard, this film manages to combine stunning cinematography, strong characters and some simple twists to create a fresh, warm-hearted tale for the whole family.Starring Kay Panabaker, Don Johnson,. Theatrical release October 18, 2007. Updated March 9, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Moondance Alexander rated G? Moondance Alexander is rated G by the MPAA
Trying to fit in is a challenge for Moondance Alexander who often becomes the brunt of her classmates’ pranks. Instead she has to take comfort in sitting on the grave of her deceased father and talking to him. One character turns to drink to deal with his past memories, but later throws the flask away. Issues of bullies, a single mother’s boyfriend and wavering self-confidence are briefly addressed.
Page last updated March 9, 2009
More parents' guide for Moondance Alexander after the break...
Moondance Alexander Parents' Guide
Although we don’t know what they are, Dante admits to making some bad choices in his past that have soiled his reputation in the horse-jumping arena. What kind of decisions can be difficult to live down? How does one go about restoring his or her good name?
What does Moondance learn about individuality? How does her experience with Checkers improve her self-confidence? What part does hard work and perseverance play in a person’s self-esteem?
In what other ways does Moondance grow during the film? How does her relationship with her mother change?
The most recent home video release of Moondance Alexander movie is April 28, 2008. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
Corral Moondance Alexander on DVD, and you will also lasso Laura Wright’s music video of I Choose You, and behind-the-scenes featurettes including cast interviews and information about the film’s score. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital (English), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
A struggling student adopts a wild mustang and trains him to ride during her summer vacation in Flicka. The daughter of a once-exceptional horse trainer convinces her father to nurse an ailing racehorse back to health in Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story. A neglected horse, a broken-down trainer and an injured jockey all get a second chance at success in Seabiscuit.