Secret Society of Second-Born Royals

Content Caution

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Five super-powered teens line up in blue uniforms.

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Reviewer

Kristin Smith

Movie Review

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of the second-born royals? You know, not the first-born heirs to royal kingdoms, but the second-born progeny. What’s their purpose? Why are they seemingly in the shadow of their “superior” older siblings?

Sam has no clue. But she’s over it.

As a member of the royal family that rules Illyria, the smallest city in Europe, Sam has been destined since birth to walk along an unwanted regal pathway. See, her older sister, Princess Eleanor, is about to become queen of Illyria in a few days, following her coronation ceremony. It’s a pretty big deal.

But instead of being happy for sister and helping to hold up the family name, Sam would rather rock out, miss school and hang with her best friend, Mike. I mean, who even cares about royalty anyway? As Sam has always said, Down with the monarchy!

Unfortunately, Sam doesn’t really have any power to bring about change. Or does she?

When Sam gets sent to summer school to make up for her failing grades, she’s greeted instead by a huge secret: She actually has superpowers and has just joined the Secret Society of Second Born Royals.

Turns out, all second-born royals have superpowers. Sam has supersonic hearing ability; Matteo can control nature; Tuma can get people to do whatever he wants; Princess Roxana has invisibility, and January can take other people’s powers for a short time.

Pretty cool. And this band of misfits is about to discover just what their powers can do. And, perhaps, they’ll even band together to rescue the kingdom of Illyria from evil forces.  

Positive Elements

Sam learns how to love others well and how to respect people for who they are. In fact, all of the second-born royal superheroes have lessons to learn about loving others … and themselves, too. Additionally, each of the royals learns to wield his or her powers for good, to look beyond themselves and to practice loving people through action.

Sam makes amends with her mother and sister. Other characters heal their broken relationships, take responsibility for their actions and find their own self-worth.

Viewers are taught the importance of friendship, self-love, sacrifice and teamwork. They are also taught, “The key to mastering powers is mastering yourself.”

Spiritual Elements

Each of the second-born royals have their own form of magic powers that they learn to wield for the good of others—unless, of course, they’re hijacked by enemy forces.

Sexual Content

Sam’s male teacher briefly mentions that he has a boyfriend.

The young women here sometimes wear crop tops, bikinis, and cleavage-baring tops and dresses. Two second-born royals flirt with each another.

Violent Content

The second-born royals practice wielding their magical superpowers, and sometimes people get hurt. Other times, the royals use their powers to fight off the enemy. A few scenes include punching, kicking and objects being thrown in order to fight off villains.

A villain threatens and plans to kill an entire cathedral of royals so that he can overthrow the kingdom as his greatest act of revenge. This same villain hurts some of the royals and even helps one plot the death of her own brother.

Sam is told from a young age that her father was killed in a plane crash. Later, she learns that her evil uncle murdered her father for a chance at the throne.

Matteo jokes about getting malaria and dying.

Crude or Profane Language

The phrase “oh my god” is used twice, and the word “stupid” is heard once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The queen drinks champagne at a social gathering. Sam references cocktail parties. 

Other Negative Elements

Sam is often rude to her mother and sister, as well as other friends and classmates. She also lies to her mother, gets arrested and sneaks out and goes to see a band play in a club, against her mothers’ wishes. Additionally, she sings “down with the monarchy” without understanding the significance of the governmental structure.

Multiple characters are rude to one another. A young girl is obsessed with her self-image, to a negative degree, on social media. Mateo sadly confesses that he is ignored and overlooked in his daily life.

A few scenes show convicts and criminals locked away in a dungeon, a scene that could be a bit creepy for little viewers. Sam’s best friend betrays her. Many of the second-born royals feel that they are inferior to their first-born siblings.

Conclusion

Disney+ is at it again, dishing out another original movie mingling magic and monarchy, one that’s aimed at littles and tweens: Secret Society of Second-Born Royals. 

A stab at the familiar royal-family storyline, this movie is packed with cool tech, a fun storyline, and some mild peril and adventure. Think Spy Kids meets Princess Diaries. Kind of.

Magic does come into play here as the royals learn to harness their power and fight off the bad guys. No surprises there. What is a bit a surprising in a film aimed at such a young audience is that God’s name is misused a couple of times. And just as we’ve been seeing in other recent offerings from Disney (including the kids’ show Andi Mack, which also starred actress Peyton Elizabeth Lee), there’s also a brief verbal nod to a same-sex relationship. 

Mostly, this regal, action-packed flick teaches kids how to find their place, to work together and to love others for who they truly are. But parents should be aware of those content concerns that nevertheless creep into the story in a couple of spots. 

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).