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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Though you may want your child to imitate Beethoven's passion for music, you won't want him or her imitating the composer's bizarre, even at times destructive, behavior.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie captures Beethoven's complex personality and the brilliance of his music. It's a worthy introduction for older kids to the composer. Children ages 6 and up will enjoy the colorful drama of Beethoven's story and the humor in many scenes. Several scenes are geared toward pre-adolescents who will be intrigued by Beethoven's independent spirit and the troubles faced by his young neighbor. Reading one of the many fine books about Beethoven would be a good preliminary activity to this video. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Beethoven's music and eccentric personality hold almost universal appeal to youngsters, and this is a great way to introduce them to his works. Viewers get to witness several maniacal episodes from the perspective of a young boy and the soundtrack gives beautifully performed examples of Beethoven's genius. Beethoven hurls food at servants, demeans musicians, and keeps himself awake by pouring pitchers of cold water over his head. These tense segments hold the audience's attention long enough for them to see the more tender side of this genius.
The story persistently encourages empathy for Beethoven's worsening deafness late in the gifted man's life. Christophe's uncle explains that beautiful music is behind the alarming cacophony that comes from Beethoven's quarters. The boy eventually gains an admiration for the composer when he refuses the invitation to a royal dinner with his famous quote, "There are thousands of Princes, but there is only one Beethoven." As he befriends young Christophe, the composer reveals his unhappy childhood with a drunken father, and the story begins to show that Beethoven's genius, and the deafness that began to thwart it, were the cause for his isolation and bizarre behavior.
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Our Editors Recommend
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