Parents' Guide to

April and the Extraordinary World

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

French steampunk tale for kids mixes science, adventure.

Movie PG 2016 106 minutes
April and the Extraordinary World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 10+

Odd, artistic, violent

What surprised me the most about this movie was the amount of gun fire and pointing of weapons at each other. Matriarchal-led lizards in robotic suits choking each other was a close second. Overall, I appreciated the message about environmental destruction, but it’s not the kind of movie that would spark a deeper conversation with my kids. We got stuck in how weird the movie was. One other reviewer mentioned the girl putting on a pink dress. Without mentioning that to my son, he noted the strange absurdity of it to me during the movie. Overall, I didn’t hate the movie, but I didn’t like it either. My kids weren’t that excited either.
age 11+

Alas...an interested premise destroyed by tropes

The idea for this movie is interesting, and in some ways it breaks out of the mold of movies of its type. But there are some just downright troubling tropes that ruin it...and it's really not cinema in the end, either. At the climax there are children asked to choose sides between their mother and their father in a war, then start shooting their siblings. The science tries to be accurate, but it gets enough wrong that I wish they had not even tried. If you want a very thematically similar movie worth watching, I recommend the Incredibles franchise, big-market though it may be. My wife wanted to give up on this one 15 minutes in, but since my 11-year-old son was engaged, I voted we keep going...alas, we were all groaning at the end. Painful, really, my wife's instincts (as usual) were right.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Fabulously animated, this fascinating alternative history adventure may confound the youngest animation fans, but it's a mature and compelling story for older kids and teens. Once you buy into the premise, you'll root for April and Darwin no matter what obstacles they face. Tardi's work has been compared to that of Charles Dickens and Jules Verne, and the comparisons are obvious in the movie: April is the sort of melancholy but brilliant orphan worthy of a Dickens novel, and the story's adventure portion is reminiscent of Verne's famous tales.

The romance is slow and sweet (at first, Julius doesn't even think April is all that pretty, but as he gets to know her, he realizes how truly extraordinary she is), but it's obviously not the focus of the plot, which remains on April and her relatives. Darwin provides much-needed levity, as does the bumbling Pizoni, who pratfalls and injures himself comically throughout the film. There's a third-act twist that's a tad out there, but if you stick with it, you'll be satisfied with the future that April, Julius, Darwin, and the rest of their crew makes happen.

Movie Details

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