We are back to a Disney Channel Original Movie that I’ve never even heard about before, a DCOM titled ‘Invisible Sister’. Judging by the title, there will be conflict between two siblings, with one of them dealing with their sister becoming invisible, and that’s about what the premise of the film is.
Elaborating and putting some backstory to the premise, a teenage girl named Cleo who must challenge herself for a science assignment, counting towards half her grade. Cleo is basically invisible at school, living in the shadow of her more popular and visible sister Molly, as Cleo is cynical and a bit of an outsider, while Molly is outspoken and is recognized by her entire school. One night, when Cleo creates her science assignment, she spills chemicals, suddenly making a moth disappearing and turning invisible. So when her sister Molly drinks a glass of water, she swallows the dead moth and makes herself turn invisible, leaving to the title of the movie and the film’s central dilemma.
On the surface, you’d think this premise is “tried it, done it before” type of vibe, but while it starts off that way at the start of the conflict, it actually grows beyond its invisible plot device, and grows its characters relationship towards the two sisters, both effectively, by the acting performances, and technically, the whole invisible scenario.
The visual effects are pretty good for a TV movie budget, and the acting on screen is for the most part serviceable, and get the job done in their respective roles. Although, I would like to mention that Rowan Blanchard (‘Girl Meets World’) is admirable in her role, bringing a powerful performance in certain scenes, and while yes, her acting gets downgraded during some scenes that is your typical Disney fare, like the truth rabbit scene with Molly’s friends, however when Blanchard’s character needs to bring emotion and heart, she brings a powerful acting performance that makes you care and believe about the conflict at hand. Also, while not as powerful as Blanchard’s acting, Paris Bereic (‘Mighty Med’) also brings a good performance to her character Molly, and when the sisters are on screen together, they have great chemistry that makes you believe in their complex sibling relationship.
The film’s message is also surprisingly strong, as each character lives in each other’s shoes for a day that perfectly bring out their flaws, while also showing to them what’s been missing in their lives, as Molly now feels invisible and an outsider (like Cleo was feeling at the start of the film), and Cleo now being in the public spotlight and being visible (which is what Molly’s school life was).
There are a few problems, some subplots are only there just to serve a characters personality, but on the most part ‘Invisible Sister’ is a well-made television movie that has likeable and developed characters (a rarity these days from films aimed at kids), that brings heart and emotion, and messages that kids can easily relate too.