Dadnapped Movie Poster Image




TV movie blends outrageous fun, positive messages for kids.
  • Review Date: February 16, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

No specific educational content, but kids will learn important lessons about believing in yourself and appreciating family.

Positive messages

The movie strongly emphasizes the importance of family bonds and self worth.

Positive role models

A man and his teenage daughter work out long-standing tensions and come to appreciate each other in a new way. Melissa wrestles with her inner demons and discovers a new level of self confidence.

Violence & scariness

Mild peril is exaggerated to the point of comedy. A man and his daughter are abducted and held captive; his potential death is alluded to, but the scenario is so over-the-top that it's more ridiculous than frightening. Weapons are limited to cheese-blasting plastic guns and water-balloon launchers.

Sexy stuff

An innocent boy/girl relationship develops, but there's no physical contact, and it culminates in him asking her out on a date.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adventure comedy centers on the abduction of a man and his teenage daughter, but the movie's over-the-top humor -- and the ineptitude of the goofy kidnappers -- keeps the tone light enough that it won't frighten kids. No realistic weapons are used, but kids do use plastic guns that shoot liquid cheese and sludge-filled water balloons on their enemies. The story offers positive messages about self worth and honest communication.

What's the story?

For Melissa (Emily Osment), being the daughter of a famous writer has its share of drawbacks. For years she's felt like she lives in the shadow of Tripp Zoome (Jonathan Keltz), the hero of her dad's best-selling books; Tripp seems to transcend his fictional existence to disrupt Melissa's life. Now that her long-awaited one-on-one time with her dad, Neal (George Newbern), has finally arrived, Melissa's determined that nothing will interrupt their plans. But when Neal is abducted by obsessive fans, it's up to her to save the day.

Is it any good?


Chock full of wacky characters, outrageous antics, and elaborate schemes, DADNAPPED practically oozes kid-pleasing content. Though the story centers on abduction and what's technically a hostage situation (the perpetrators force Neal to write his "last novel," implying that he'll meet an untimely end), there's no tangible danger and very little force from the bumbling bad guys -- which gives the movie a playful feel that even kids will be hard-pressed to miss. As for weapons, the kids' cheese-spewing plastic guns are hardly realistic (though they still manage to help save the day).

While zany improbability antics are the movie's foundation, the story also shows a lot of heart. Melissa's feelings about taking a back seat to her father's work -- and his popular character -- are very relatable for kids, and the strong messages about communication and self confidence stand out from the otherwise silly content. Parents may not enjoy the juvenile humor themselves, but they can rest assured that Dadnapped is a worry-free choice for their grade-schoolers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about communication. Kids: How well do you think you communicate your feelings to family and friends? How does talking about your feelings help you deal with them?

  • Are there times when it's difficult to talk about how you feel? What do you do then? What kinds of issues come up in your relationships at home and with friends that require communication?

  • Are there any techniques that you've learned that make talking about feelings a little easier? If so, what are they? How do they help?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 16, 2009
DVD release date:May 12, 2009
Cast:David Henrie, Emily Osment, George Newbern
Director:Paul Hoen
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Dadnapped was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bymelim February 22, 2009

Dadnapped: Gooey Fun

Although I'm above the average age that watches the Disney Channel (at 21), I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. Maybe because most of my favorite Disney actors are in it (and they usually don't get the attention they deserve), but otherwise, I thought the plot to be silly and fun to watch, which is exactly what a Disney movie is supposed to do. I watched both Spectacular! and Dadnapped and Dadnapped was by far the better movie (and of course, Disney has one of the best marketing teams right now, going against Nickelodeon on the same night to get better ratings). Kids of all ages can enjoy the silliness of this movie while enjoying the performances of their favorite actors from favored t.v. shows. And of course, the only thing that I was disappointed in was the missing kiss, but I can understand the producers cutting it out. Overall, I was amused, which is all I ask for from Disney.
Kid, 11 years old October 1, 2009

perfect for younger kids but boring for older

I watched this movie for a good movie but i was wrong it was a little too silly and I thought it was too unoiginal i see y younger kids would like it but it wasnt for me
Kid, 10 years old September 19, 2012


I watched this a few years ago... all I remember was that it was pretty boring.


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