Frances: Bedtime for Frances Movie Poster Image

Frances: Bedtime for Frances

Great lessons and cute stories for preschoolers.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 46 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The title character's struggles and triumphs with issues like a whiny younger sibling, telling right from wrong, and postponing bedtime will ring true for parents and preschoolers.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Based on the books by Russell Hoban and a bundling of episodes of the animated children's series based on the books, it may prompt an interest in the book and/or TV show.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this DVD contains three short stories featuring Frances the Badger, a lovable and well-meaning preschooler who tries to do right but falls short sometimes. Lots of great reinforcement not only for parents trying to teach children about selflessness, honesty, and going to bed by themselves, but also for children who will see that Frances is someone who makes mistakes and learns from them.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Based on characters from the books by Lillian and Russell Hoban, FRANCES: BEDTIME FOR FRANCES bundles up three episodes from the animated children's series created by Jim Henson Productions. All center on a lovable girl badger named Frances who has a younger sister named Gloria and a best friend named Albert. In the first story, Frances' excitement about a Family Day at Lizardland is dashed when Gloria gets sick. The second story sees Frances helping her mom get ready for a piano recital by decorating cupcakes for her fellow students, and struggling with jealousy and self control in the process. The final tale is one all parents will recognize, as Frances delays bedtime by using her very rich imagination.

Is it any good?


This gentle and funny collection is sure to entertain and educate its target audience of preschoolers. Frances is not perfect, but with her non-stop singing, dancing, and genuinely warm heart she's a heroine that kids will root for. The dilemmas she faces in this DVD are wisely chosen; they're lessons that all kids struggle with during the preschool years. Frances' technique of sneaking off to have some "Me Myself" time when faced with a problem is one that parents may try to emulate for children learning to control their impulses and emotions.

The animation is lovely, utilizing state-of-the-art digital puppetry courtesy of the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a groundbreaking technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real time. Frances' ongoing sing-song as she works out her problems and choices is nicely set to classical music pieces, reinforcing a little musical education along the way.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Family Day is a big deal for Frances and how she's disappointed when plans go awry. What is your favorite thing to do on a Family Day? When Frances needs some time to think about the right decision to make, she takes "Me Myself" time under the dining room table or her covers. How do you find that quiet time so you can listen to yourself think?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:March 31, 2009
Director:Brian Henson
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:46 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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I cant recommend it.

My kids (2,4) learned bad behaviors from watching this movie. They started stalling before bed and claiming that there were scary things in their room when they hadnt previously thought of that. Also, Frances is demanding and rude sometimes and this goes uncorrected by her parents. I don;t let my kids get away with stuff like that. Yes, I agree that some of the movie possibly helps little ones learn how to deal with common childhood problems, but for us, it just caused more problems. The music and graphics are cute and colorful and my kids really like to watch it.
Parent of a 4 year old Written byyip95 March 25, 2011
Parent of a 5 year old Written byElizamamma September 3, 2009

Kids will love it (and parents might not) for the music

Good stories, slightly saccharine but my kids love these stories. Heads up, music lovers - classical pieces are freely used and given Frances inspired lyrics. However, my son now can play Beethoven and Chopsticks on the piano because he loved the music in this video so much. Mixed blessing, I suppose. Only con, it gave my son great ideas for stalling tactics at bedtime.
What other families should know
Great messages