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Parents' Guide to

Born Free

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Compelling classic nature story with some animal violence.

Movie PG 1966 95 minutes
Born Free Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 3+


I LOVE THE LIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! age 2 off. ages 3-4 iffy. ages 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10,11, 12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17, and 18 on.
age 7+
My six year old says, "I liked the part with the warthog smashing the lion and the lion not doing anything about it."

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Joy Adamson's bestselling book, Born Free, spawned several films and a TV series; this one is the first, and best, of the bunch. Adamson's relationship with Elsa the lioness is captivating from start to finish, and the question of whether a domesticated animal can be returned to the wild is compelling. When the Adamsons first meet young Elsa and her siblings, they're irresistibly big-eyed bundles of fluff. But the adult Elsa is a different kind of beast -- headstrong and stubborn. Growing up underfoot in the Adamson household, Elsa is treated like an overgrown house-pet, and she's often quite funny.

BORN FREE feels authentic; the relationship between Joy and Elsa is developed so well that the film often feels like a documentary. Other scenes of animals in their habitats are thrilling. Although the elephant stampede is a little scary, it's followed by a lighthearted sequence featuring Elsa herding an adorable baby elephant. A 9-year-old viewer was initially reluctant to watch, claiming he didn't like "old" movies, but after one glimpse of the cubs he was hooked. It's hard to watch Joy return Elsa to the wild -- as viewers, we grow as almost attached to the lion as Joy is.

Movie Details

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