Freaky Friday (1976)

  • Review Date: March 13, 2007
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1976
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Endearing '76 original may feel outdated to kids.
  • Review Date: March 13, 2007
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1976
  • Running Time: 95 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

Positive messages

Annabel drives a car as a 13-year-old. She's also ostracized by her friends for being smart in class. But the overall message is understanding and family love. Annabel is mean to her older brother until she spends time with him in her mom's body.

Violence & scariness

Some comic car chases and car crashes, but no one gets hurt. Annabel drives on the sidewalk and scares pedestrians off a footbridge. Rival field hockey team members attack Annabel, hitting her with their sticks and tripping her.

Sexy stuff

Annabel has a crush on her neighbor, Boris and, as her mom, invites him over for the afternoon.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Ben eats Ritz crackers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Mrs. Schmauss is an alcoholic. She doesn't drink on-screen, but characters allude to her drinking on the job and she goes to buy alcohol in the middle of the day.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Annabel and her mom share mutual animosity at the beginning of the film, but grow to respect each other as they live a day in the other's life. There's some comic car chases and car crashes, but nothing scary or dangerous.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

There's been a lot written lately about the supergirl dilemma -- that is, girls feel like they have to be all things to all people at all times. Not surprisingly, supergirls grow up to be super women -- and both are exhausted. In the original FREAKY FRIDAY, a super girl and a super mom switch bodies for one important day to see if things really are better on the other side. Annabel Andrews (played by a delightfully young and awkward Jodi Foster) is 13, a daddy's girl juggling field hockey finals, term papers, a crush on her neighbor, and her developing body, all while trying to stay out of her demanding mom's way. When both decide they'd rather have the sweet life the other enjoys, something funny happens: their wish is granted, to comical effect. Suddenly the water-phobic mom (played wonderfully by Barbara Harris) has to water ski. The organizationally challenged Annabel has to handle the curtain-hangers, the carpet cleaners, her dad's ironing, an alcoholic house cleaner, and her dad's growing demands.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

We all know what happens, and the movie's heartwarming message still resonates. However, that may be all that appeals to the modern tween and teen. Especially those who've seen the Lindsay Lohan version that boasts the star power and more special effects. Kids may be bored by the constant inner monologues and the old-fashioned tasks on Annabel's to-do list.

Still, the film is important not just because of the message, but also because it shows how much the image of the teen girl has changed over the past three decades. Foster plays a regular teen, jersey t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers included. But compared to the sexed-up image of Lohan in the recent remake, she looks positively childish. Best to aim this story at younger kids, who will appreciate it more and adore the old-school cartoon introduction.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how different this film adaptation of Mary Rodgers' book is from the 2003 remake starring Lindsay Lohan. How different are the two Annabels, both in terms of dress and what people expect of them? Do you think girls today are under more pressure to be sexy and grown up than they were in the 1970s?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 13, 1976
DVD release date:June 1, 2004
Cast:Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster, John Astin
Director:Gary Nelson
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, High school
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:general audiences

This review of Freaky Friday (1976) 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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What parents and kids say

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Educator Written bycaffinegirl85 February 23, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

i prefer this one!

I to prefer this one over the new version. cause this one is way funnier the clothes are cooler . this is a way better one than the 2003 one way better!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byLindsayphoto January 18, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Freaky Friday

I LOVE this movie! I like it better then the newer one.( with Lindsay Lohan in it) But all of my sisters and brothers thinks that this IS kind of boring and that the newer old is the best. This older Freaky Friday is way cleaner then the newer one but both Freaky Friday have VERY good actors in it. If you (or your kids like the older Disney movies and like the Freaky Friday, then you must watch this! Jodie Foster ROCKS! :D:D:D
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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