A Fairy's Game

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A Fairy's Game Movie Poster Image
Low-budget, live-action fantasy; kids in peril throughout.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 111 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain and inspire rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Prominent declarations about facing fear, not letting fear impede goals. Promotes taking risks, recognizing one's strengths. "You don't have to be a big dude to be a warrior." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Central characters develop courage, determination, resilience, and resourcefulness. They learn that though "we might not win, we have to try." 

Violence & Scariness

Filled with fantasy violence and kids in peril. A little girl and her big brother battle against assorted monsters and special effects. They plummet, disappear in clouds of smoke, are knocked out, engage in extensive "wand" play (i.e., swordplay). Some scary creatures, including: a horned man/beast ("Fuzzy Butt"), a hooded, faceless knight (the powerful Warlock), and a slimy green reptile.

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Diarrhea," "pee," "butt." References to goat poop.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Fairy's Game finds two real-life kids in a magical forest filled with fairies, dangerous situations, and fearsome creatures. The kids are transported to both beautiful and scary places and engage in battle with all manner of beasts and threats. Their life at home with their devoted single mom, and in the care of a sometimes-cryptic grandfather, also has some tense moments. Both in the forest and at home, fear is a constant, and so are the tale's messages about facing those fears and conquering them. Because the physical conflicts are dominated by special effects (i.e., electrical charges, blasts, smoke and fire, explosions), the film isn't as frightening as it might be. Still, for kids who aren't yet comfortable with real versus imaginary violence, the movie isn't appropriate. Some mild potty humor.

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What's the story?

Jaq (Shiloh Nelson) and her big brother, Tyler (Elijah Nelson), are stuck for the afternoon at their grandfather's house in A FAIRY'S GAME. Desperate to find something fun to do, they discover a wooden chest in the house's basement. They open the box gingerly and then find themselves caught up in an enchanted adventure. Aeloo (Ava Kolker) suddenly appears. She's a young fairy who offers them a chance to come into the fairy world and play a game. If they win, their prize will be the granting of one wish -- the "most desperate desire of your heart." Their task: finding five precious gems and putting them back where they belong. Jaq and Tyler agree to Aeloo's terms, but afterward, the sprite laughs ominously: "Be careful of the deal you make with fairies." Whoosh, and they are transported to a forest where they meet fantastical creatures, both good and bad: fairies, beasts, talking animals, and demons, the most dangerous of which is Warlock, a powerful faceless knight who is after the gems as well. 

Is it any good?

A family endeavor from start to finish, this low-budget movie is high on messages and story, but it can't overcome the less-than-professional production values, special effects, and performances. Made in earnest, and presumably with lots of fun and heart from all involved, A Fairy's Game simply doesn't measure up in terms of child-friendly fantasy films so widely available. Still, kids who don't mind the artless production, and who are absolutely clear about real versus pretend violence, will probably enjoy seeing a little girl turn into a warrior before their very eyes, and watching villains receive their magical retribution. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how live-action kids' fantasy adventures like A Fairy's Game differ from animated ones. What does it take to create the magic in each of the two genres? Sometimes animated movies strive to be realistic; sometimes live-action movies strive to be magical. Think of some examples of each.

  • What is the meaning of the film term "special effects"? Find out the difference between "digital" special effects and "practical" special effects. 

  • Were you surprised when Jaq and Tyler changed their wish at the end of the game? When did you know that they would change that wish? 

  • Which character strengths and life skills did Tyler and Jaq need to accomplish their goal (e.g., perseverance)?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fairy tales

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