A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Joy is a spoiled brat and the Smythes take care of Uncle Ned just to get his money. But Shirley's sweet view of the world and unconditional love of those around her win over everyone.
Positive Role Models
Shirley is a sweet girl but she also hitchhikes and runs around by herself in adult places, like airports and down streets.
Violence & Scariness
Joy bullies Shirley, threatening to run her over playing "railroad," and tears up a doll she threw away so Shirley can't have it. Joy's mother slaps Joy's face. Shirley's mother gets hit by a car. Loop and Shirley jump out of a plane in foul weather and nearly fly off a cliff.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Loop and Adele kiss once.
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Products & Purchases
Pilots fly for American Airlines and they wear American Airlines flight gear.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Loop smokes cigarettes and cigars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shirley's mother dies in a car accident halfway through the film. Plus, Joy and her parents are mean and manipulative toward her. Shirley remains happy despite losing both parents, which may be confusing to kids. Shirley also hitchhikes and runs around by herself in adult places, like airports and down streets. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Like the song at the center of the film, "On the Good Ship Lollipop," Bright Eyes is a sweet story with a candy coating. But there are some sad, bitter scenes in the center of this confection that may be too tough on younger viewers, and there are a lot of things that kids today probably won't relate to. This Depression-era film has a certain kind of class consciousness: the rich people are mean, nasty, and manipulative, prone to throwing fits, lying, and cheating to get what they want.
The class divide is most obvious between out-of-control Joy (Jane Withers) and Shirley. If the difference between Shirley and Joy is that Joy is cruel and Shirley is always kind and sweet, that leaves no room for Shirley to be sad about her mother's death. Shirley cries once but then is happy ever after. For kids who often feel like they have to make others around them happy, this isn't the right message.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.