A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Franklin contends with everyday yet big-time questions for preschoolers, such as being generous and expecting a new sibling. He makes honest mistakes and he learns to do the right thing. Also, this is a great DVD for kids who have younger siblings or who have a brother or sister on the way.
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What's the story?
In FRANKLIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT, Franklin's family is expecting a baby come springtime, but winter refuses to release its grip on Woodland, their rural home. While at first Franklin looks forward to being an older brother, his friends inform him of the downside to older brotherhood, in particular the loss of parental attention. Franklin's mother reads him the story of the Green Knight, the tale of another seemingly endless winter that is sent packing by a frog's heroics. Franklin decides that if he can fetch spring, all eyes will be on him. He sails forth with his squire Snail (who has a few issues of his own regarding the potential loss of Franklin's attentions) and returns not just with spring, but the same lesson the Green Knight learned: Doing good isn't good enough if you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
Is it any good?
In his television show and his videos, Franklin and his lessons have come in bite-sized chunks; this movie impressively juggles more than one theme. It addresses sibling rivalry, altruism, and friendship without losing its young audience. It does so by not only providing a captivating story, but by also letting kids use their intuition to figure out how the characters feel. It didn't take a four-year-old viewer long before he had found the key to Snail's pregnant silences: "He thinks Franklin's going to go away." Ouch.
As ever, Franklin offers hope. Life may present some pretty hurtful riddles, but the balm that comes from solving them is always better than the ache of avoidance. After an encounter with Franklin, kids are always left with the feeling, by jiminy, that it's great to be alive.
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