Parents' Guide to

Bright Eyes

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

This "Good Ship Lollipop" is sweet, but sad, too.

Movie PG 1934 90 minutes
Bright Eyes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 9+

More violent than expected

Watched this tonight with my two girls who are 3 and 6. Shame on me for not watching it alone first or checking out this website like I do for every current movie! It was much too scary for my youngest who was concerned about the mother who is hit by a car and shown lying on the ground (I was able to divert their attention enough to minimize the situation). Shirley's father is already deceased in the film but that is handled very well and she is a very happy, gentle child. There is a lot of action with young kids versus adult dialogue which kept both of my children well entertained. We discussed the brattiness of the other girl in the film, but I basically turned off the movie soon after the mother died. My older daughter was able to follow what was happening but wasn't negatively affected. I think it's a great film to select scene by scene, as there are some great messages. One other possible concern - the bratty child questions whether there is a Santa but of course others are adamant that he exists.
age 9+

A True Classic

I love this movie. There is bullying, but nothing a kid can't relate to in some way. As long as your kids know this is not good behavior, which the movie clearly shows in the unlikeable bully. The mother does die, so that is a bit emotional, but having seen this as a kid myself (around 9), I found it to be touching but not damaging. There is no death scene. There is the sound of a car accident, but no visual of the death. Younger kids (8 and younger) might find this troubling. Know your kids! I think this movie is wonderful and uplifting, a true classic. Death is a part of life, but parents will have to make the call.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

Movie Details

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