Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Dadnapped Movie Poster Image
TV movie blends outrageous fun, positive messages for kids.
  • NR
  • 2009
  • 86 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 16 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byMominEurope May 1, 2021

Not good for 6-year-olds!

This went way over my 6-year-olds head. The main characters are old enough to drive and the plot was far beyond his maturity level. He didn't get the humor... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 7-year-old Written bydnpseattle May 20, 2012

Tame and a little lame, but OK

This is and feels like a made for TV movie...flat acting, simple plot and plenty 'fade to black' scenes for commercials to be inserted. Having said th... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 19, 2012


I watched this a few years ago... all I remember was that it was pretty boring.
Kid, 10 years old February 18, 2012


Dadnapped is an okay film that you have to pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to. The movie can lose you easily so then the movie would seem like a disaster but if you pa... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dads

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