Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues Movie Poster Image
Thrilling French sequel has tense scenes but a warm heart.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 97 minutes

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

Positive Messages

Themes of family and friendship are prominent; never stop fighting for those you love. Loyalty, trust, and honesty are important lessons.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cesar shows strength and a moral core in his mission to rescue Angelina and Sebastian. Sebastian is brave and compassionate, putting himself at risk to save Angelina, yet his behavior is also stubborn and foolhardy, which puts others in danger. Though selfish at first, Pierre becomes more caring and heroic. One of the few female characters is a capable woodcutter adept at holding her own in a male environment. Friendship is developed between a group of French and Italians, despite the recent politics of World War II.

Violence

There are many instances of peril and some characters suffer mild injuries -- cuts to the hand and face. A serious plane crash occurs offscreen and a less serious one onscreen. Characters become trapped in a forest fire and in a cave. A bear behaves in a threatening manner. A dog bites someone. There is an explosion caused by dynamite. A hunting rifle is carried by a character, though it's never used. Some references to people dying in WWII and the loss of a child's mother.

Sex

Some flirting. Characters talk about "love at first sight."

Language

Language includes "dammit" and "bastard." A character says to another, "you're worse than the plague."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character drinks an alcoholic shot after receiving bad news.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues is a heartfelt French (with English subtitles) family adventure with moments of peril. It is a sequel to the 2013 movie, Belle & Sebastian -- both movies are based on Cecile Aubry's novel Belle et Sébastien, which was previously adapted into a French TV show in the 1960s. There are a number of instances where characters are in direct danger -- a plane crash, a forest fire, and being trapped in a cave. Though characters are never seriously harmed, some -- including children -- receive cuts to the hands and face. The movie is set in France at the end of World War II and there are some references to killing Germans during the war. A character escapes a prison camp by stealing a plane. In one scene, a bear threatens the group and in another Belle (the dog) bites Pierre (Thierry Neuvic). Sebastian (Felix Bossuet) has experienced the death of his mother and has never met his father at the beginning of the film. There is minimal bad language -- "dammit" and "bastard" -- and a characters drinks a shot after receiving some bad news. The overall sentiment is warm and positive with messages of selflessness and protecting those you love.

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What's the story?

In BELLE & SEBASTIAN: THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES, Sebastian (Felix Bossuet) and his guardian Cesar (Tcheky Karyo) receive news that their close friend Angelina (Margaux Chatelier) has died in a plane crash. But the pair are not convinced and ask a grumpy local man, Pierre (Thierry Neuvic), to use his plane to search for her. Along with his canine companion, Belle, Sebastian stows away aboard the plane and sets off on an adventure to rescue Angelina.

Is it any good?

The second installment in this live-action trilogy maintains the charm and warmth of the first movie, and continues to do the original story by Cecile Aubry justice. Spectacular landscapes -- the camera capturing the beauty of the French Alps at every given opportunity -- and heartfelt performances in Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues bring the iconic characters to life for a new generation. Bossuet, in particular, is excellent as Sebastian, showing great courage in the face of danger, while also a sympathetic side as he learns that families come in all shapes and sizes.

The traditional feel and innocent core are reminiscent of a Disney film. The music, landscape, and numerous animals create a magical feel, while the scenes of danger and the backdrop of the aftermath of World War II maintain a more somber realism. Parents looking for an exciting family adventure with positive messages and role models will love this well-rounded movie that's full of spirit and heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the tenser moments in Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues. How did they make you feel? Why are these kind of scenes necessary to storytelling?

  • Sebastian shows great courage throughout the movie but also puts himself and others in danger. Can you give three examples? How might he have approached each situation more safely and responsibly?

  • Which character changed the most during the movie and what lessons do you think they learned?

  • Many characters in the movie put others before themselves. When have you put someone else first or stood up for someone in need?

  • The movie is based at the end of World War II. What do you know about this period? Discuss the history of the war in an age-appropriate way with your children.

Movie details

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