Parents' Guide to

The Shepherd

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Live-action Disney Christmas short has mild peril.

Movie PG 2023 38 minutes
The Shepherd movie poster: The silhouette of a young fighter pilot walking toward his fighter jet while another plane flies in the nighttime sky.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 6+

Atmospheric and compelling short

Short, moving, well done fable that's very atmospheric. The peril is indeed mild because the tone is quiet. Our WWII buff loved and it's quite beautifully shot.
age 2+

It is good for adults not for children because they is violence too

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Adapted from a novella by Fredrick Forsyth, this short fantasy drama released by Disney has been a long time coming. Travolta, who plays the titular The Shepherd, first came across the story over 30 years ago. He had originally hoped to play the role of rookie fighter pilot Hook, who finds himself perilously running out of fuel over the North Sea on Christmas Eve, 1957. Instead that part is filled by Radcliffe, who gives an admirable performance in a role that sees him in every scene. This includes him having to deliver some incredibly exposition-heavy lines just to himself, such as "How can I land, if I've got no one to talk me down?" and "Hopefully someone will pick me up on radar. It's my only hope." Despite this jarring dialogue, the film -- at only 38 minutes -- flies along and Travolta reads the tone of the movie by giving a restrained but capturing performance. While it might not hit the heights of other classic Christmas shorts such as The Snowman, there's enough heart and intrigue here for a family viewing.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate