Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Movie Poster Image

Felicity: An American Girl Adventure

(i)

 

Feisty Felicity learns about loyalty in 1775.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: August 2, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A character sneaks out of her house against her parents' wishes but suffers no repercussions beyond a mild reprimand. An alcoholic character is scary but softens when other characters show concern and care. Loving relationship between Felicity and her doting grandfather. Characters have political disagreements but maintain loving friendships. African-American characters are only shown in roles of silent servitude (reflecting the 1700s setting).

Violence & scariness

A horse is repeatedly threatened by its drunken owner, but the only violence shown onscreen is the owner being dragged through a mud puddle by the horse. The same man threatens Felicity verbally and, in one scary moment, nearly catches her on his property.

Sexy stuff

The frisson of interest between Felicity and Ben is chaste and sweet.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Because this movie is a spin-off of the popular American Girl doll collection, there are many product tie-ins -- though none are overt. You can buy the movie's outfits and accessories for the Felicity and Elizabeth dolls.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcoholism is cited as the reason for an unlikable character's fall from civility.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is part of the hugely popular American Girls doll/book/entertainment juggernaut. While the content is quite tame overall, a child does sneak out of her house each morning even though her parents have forbidden it. She first steals -- then eventually sets free -- a mistreated horse without significant repercussions. Another character runs away from a contractual agreement to follow his political beliefs but eventually returns and works out a compromise. A beloved grandfather dies, and his passing is treated with dignity and love. A father is jailed for his political beliefs, and a mother nearly dies in childbirth. Reflecting the Revolutionary War era, African Americans are shown only in roles of silent servitude.

What's the story?

Bringing another American Girl doll to life, FELICITY: AN AMERICAN GIRL ADVENTURE provides a hefty dose of American history as its story unfolds. Felicity (Shailene Woodley) is celebrating her 10th birthday in 1775 Williamsburg. With that milestone come new expectations that sit uncomfortably on the independent, horse-loving girl: She must now learn to be a lady. Meanwhile, Felicity discovers a beautiful thoroughbred horse -- whom she names Penny -- being mistreated by drunken neighbor Jiggy Nye (Geza Kovacs). With the complicity of her store-owning father's apprentice, Ben Davidson (Kevin Zegers), she tames the horse. But she herself isn't so easily tamed, chafing under the limitations of her schooling with Miss Manderly (Janine Theriault). Felicity commiserates with Ben, who wants to escape his apprenticeship to fight with the patriots who are arming for the Revolutionary War.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

As Felicity, Woodley is energetic, though some of her dialogue sounds like it belongs on a cross-stitch sampler. This movie will appeal to girls who love horses and/or the American Girls. And with its talented cast and period-appropriate settings, it's a movie that parents can appreciate as well. Its Christmas Day climax makes it perfect for enjoying over the holidays as well.

The movie's attention to historical detail -- and its clear explanations of the tensions between loyalists and patriots during this era -- give it educational value that complements the suspenseful tale of Felicity's efforts to save Penny. Particularly thoughtful are the acknowledged tensions that arise between friends and family with different political views.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how expectations for girls have changed since Felicity's time. Do you think Felicity's actions are typical for Revolutionary War-era girls? What did you learn about life during this era? There are both British loyalists and American patriots in the movie, and they find ways to remain friends. Do you think those friendships lasted through the whole war? Families can also discuss Felicity's decision to spend time with Penny. It worked out well for her, but what risks did she take? What other, safer ways could she have found to be with the horse?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 29, 2005
DVD release date:November 29, 2005
Cast:Kevin Zegers, Marcia Gay Harden, Shailene Woodley
Director:Nadia Tass
Studio:Revolution Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Felicity: An American Girl Adventure was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySamlovesz July 12, 2013

Sad

When i was younger i loved american girl but i remember this American girl movie being really sad. It was boring at some times. Watch the Kit and Samantha Movie over this one.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of an infant, 2, 5, and 10 year old Written byAG Fan Parent January 29, 2013

Rough for the little ones, but overall rather sweet.

Like all the AG movies, Felicity has been watched many times by our family. Even as an adult, I love most of these movies. Felicity, while not exactly an exception, was probably, I think I'm safe to say, my least favourite. My 10-year-old daughter watches the AG movies all the time, but this is definitely the least-watched. While the plot is, like the books, sweet and well-created, the movie makes things harder to understand and increases the fright potential. I'm not even kidding on that one. Not only is Penny abused by a terrifying drunk man, but Felicity's grandfather dies. Literally, he starts coughing a bunch and he can't stop and the scene fades into a funeral, like he died right there. It's pretty scary, and when my daughter was smaller she hid her eyes at that part. Like everything AG, it all has a happy ending, but I'm not sure how well it came about. After everything in the movie (Jiggy Nye, Penny's abuse, Elisabeth's dad going to prison, Grandfather's death, Ben running away and being rescued with a considerable amount of blood, etc) that happy ending wasn't much to lighten the mood. I do, however, think it's adorable that Felicity and Ben were considered slightly romantic in this review. My daughter finds them particularly charming together, and the movie definitely reflects that in a very sweet manner. It really is the little things like that that make this good. So if you're an AG watcher, watch this one too. It might not be for the toddlers, but it's really all right. That's why I gave it four stars. I know it seems weird that I basically ripped it and am now praising it, but I just think you should understand it's not all harmless. But it is very good, and is a big achievement for AG to make something of this deep quality.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written byNarwhalLover13 June 16, 2013

I love American Girls

A super good movie ;p
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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