Dear Dracula

  • Review Date: October 16, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sweet, funny story of friendship is a treat for the family.
  • Review Date: October 16, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids are exposed to aspects of Dracula lore. Positive messages about friendship and self-identity.

Positive messages

Kids see Sam and Dracula bond over their common insecurities and pledge to help each other work through them, which illustrates themes of friendship and reminds kids that you're never too little to help someone in need. Sam feels like a social outsider because of his unique interests, but when he opens himself to the possibility of friendship, he discovers that he's not as different as he thought.

Positive role models

Sam's grandma cares a lot about him and encourages his interaction with kids. Even though legends cast him as a fearful predator, Dracula is funny, kind, and immediately engaged with Sam, whose well-being is his top priority. It's through the guidance of these two adults in his life that Sam is able to step out of his shell and seek out friendship with his peers.

Violence & scariness

A few surprises when Dracula appears out of nowhere or transforms from his bat form into his full-size one. A friendly spider clicks his pincers in the face of a girl and scares her away.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The movie is based on a graphic novel of the same name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dear Dracula is a family-friendly movie based on a graphic novel of the same name. It centers on a friendship between a shy boy and kindly Count Dracula, who fears he's lost his touch when it comes to being scary and needs someone to remind him how it's done. For a Halloween movie about such an iconic monster, there's no scariness to fear; in fact, the story is more funny and heartwarming than it is frightful. Themes of self-confidence and kindness are strong throughout, and there are brief instances of bullying and teasing you can use to start conversations with your kids about those and other social issues.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

DEAR DRACULA tells the story of Sam (voiced by Nathan Gamble), an introverted boy with an affinity for monsters who decides to write to Count Dracula (Ray Liotta) to ask for a vampire action figure he wants. His request is granted (sort of) when the Count himself shows up on his doorstep, accompanied by his sidekick, Myro (Emilio Estevez), just in time for the Halloween festivities on Sam's street. But try as he might, the Count just can't seem to scare up any fright in neighborhood trick-or-treaters, leading him to question his abilities. Meanwhile, Sam is pining for a friendship beyond that he shares with his pet spider, Webber, but can't seem to get up the nerve to talk to his neighbor, Emma (Ariel Winter). When these two unlikely pals pledge to solve each other's problems, it's anybody's guess as to how things will turn out.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Halloween specials tend to be as fleeting as are the buckets of Halloween candy that disappear in a matter of days, but Dear Dracula is a delightful addition to TV's holiday repertoire that deserves a place in your family's viewing traditions. Based on a graphic novel by Joshua Williamson and Vincente Navarrate, the story is light on fright and heavy on comedy, cleverness, and fantastic messages about the value of friendship and the satisfaction of self-esteem. Sam and the Count discover that they may not be able to solve their own problems alone, but that each one has some expertise to offer the other in his quest for happiness.

What starts as a cute premise for a story quickly blossoms into a full-blown treat for the whole family, thanks to visually pleasing animation and exceptional voice artists who capture the essence of the characters. From Marion Ross as Sam's spunky grandma to Liotta as the curmudgeonly Count, there's a delightful surprise around every corner of this funny, sweet Halloween story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about self-confidence. How do the Count and Sam regain their confidence? What causes them to lose confidence? How does having a good friend change their outlook?

  • Kids: What kinds of things scare you? How does familiarity with them help you conquer that fear? How does Sam deal with his fear of being around other kids?

  • If you had the chance to meet a book or movie character, who would it be? What would you like to know about him or her? Do you think you'd be friends? What do you have in common? 

Movie details

This review of Dear Dracula was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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Teen, 13 years old Written byderpcakes45 December 29, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Really cute halloween special!

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