Parents' Guide to

Animal Crackers (1930)

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Beloved but creaky Marx Brothers comedy hit.

Movie G 1930 98 minutes
Animal Crackers (1930) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+

Raising kids on the Marx Brothers

We raised our kids on Marx Brothers movies. Harpo delighted them when they were really little - then they laughed at Chico and finally as pre-teens got Groucho’s wordplay. They learned a fair amount of history too. These films are much less violent and disturbing than your average made for kids Disney/Pixar blockbuster and it’s fun to watch a movie with kids in which everyone is actually and authentically laughing their heads off.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

While movie historians and classic-comedy fans practically worship ANIMAL CRACKERS as a high point of the Marx Brothers career, it's a rickety, primitive talkie with an insubstantial plot. The Marx Brothers were famous vaudevillians, and this is pretty much a filmed version of a play they did. You get the impression the director just left the camera running and went for coffee while the comics did their verbal gymnastics and slapstick unattended.

While much of the antics are hilarious, some will fly right over the heads of modern viewers. For example: When Groucho goes into "strange interludes," talking to the camera in gloomy, poetic terms, he's mocking an avant-garde Eugene O'Neill drama that was a recent Broadway hit. There are a lot of spoofy touches and asides, and viewers who don't have a strong grasp on the time period -- or patience for a static lens POV -- might find Animal Crackers far from the king of the comedy jungle, despite its "classic" status.

Movie Details

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