A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
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?
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