Ice Princess (G, 2005)
In many coming-of-age stories, the writer gets rid of the parents to force the kid to grow up. But in real life, children must break away from the parental hold. That's what geeky science girl Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg) and competitive ice skater Gen Harwood (Hayden Panettiere) must do in this Disney adaptation of a Meg Cabot ("The Princess Diaries") novel. Both girls are raised by controlling, single-parent moms who are trying to make up for their youthful mistakes through their daughters. As high school seniors, the rivals-turned-friends stand up to their moms, asserting their wills and turning their efforts toward achieving their own goals. There's no quick resolution to the conflict: It's realistically hard, hurtful and bitter. Feeling betrayed, Casey's mom refuses to talk with her for months. Themes include working hard to achieve goals, building confidence to take your own path, and forgiving those who've hurt you.