Frog and Wombat

  • Review Date: July 17, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Dated '90s tween mystery has bad acting, iffy content.
  • Review Date: July 17, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 94 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

As a movie about two precocious sixth graders who suspect that their new principal might be a murderer, there isn't much in the way of positive messages.

Positive role models

Sixth grade girls make jokes about menstruating, talk about farting in church, dip their toes in jars of peanut butter and then lick the peanut butter off their toes while making a joke about "toe jam."

Violence

An adult character kidnaps a child and ties her up. The child is shown screaming and crying horribly throughout the ordeal. An adult character is hit on the back of the head with a bottle as he is driving. He is knocked out, crashes the car into a tree, and is shown with blood dripping down his face.

Sex

After a boy leaves a restaurant table, a sixth grade girl informs her friends that she wants him to be "the father of my children." Sixth grade girls, observing a mother flirting, say that the mother "wants him." At the end of the movie, two girls observe one of their mothers flirting with a police officer. The girls make remarks on the order of the officer having "the biggest one I have ever seen." A boy makes reference to the school's "horny principal." After some insinuations like this, the officer is shown to have a giant walkie talkie clasped to his belt in front of his pants.

Language

No profanity, but references to menstruation, and penis insinuations at the end of the movie.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In a fantasy sequence, an adult character is shown drinking from a beer bottle.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Frog and Wombat is a late-'90s movie that is too dated and too precocious for its own good. The sixth grade characters make frequent jokes about menstruation, a girl tells her friends that she wants a boy to be "the father of my children," and at the end of the movie, two girls make insinuations about how a police officer has "the biggest one I have ever seen" before we see the officer and the walkie talkie he is wearing in the front of his pants. In one scene, a group of girls takes turns dipping their toes in a jar of peanut butter, makes a joke about "toe jam," then proceeds to lick the peanut butter off their toes. There's also violence in the form of kidnapping and a bloody crash. The iffy content, coupled with the bad acting of almost all of the kids, ruins what could have been an otherwise engaging mystery story.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Allie Parker (Katie Stuart), a.k.a. "Frog," and Jane Walker, a.k.a. "Wombat," are two precocious girls who spend their time running around their neighborhood with walkie talkies as they wait for the first day of sixth grade. But when they meet their new neighbor -- who turns out to be their new principal -- and his "cool" twenty-something niece, their nosiness gets the better of them. When the niece mysteriously vanishes, and the girls notice a syringe sticking out of the principal's sport coat pocket -- as well as boxes filled with mysterious pills -- Frog and Wombat suspect foul play. They enlist their other friends to help them find out the truth about their new principal, and even as Wombat starts to tire of the pursuit, Frog stops at nothing, determined to chase down any lead and any clue until they find out just who their new principal actually is, and whether or not he's a murderer.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Had the child acting been better, had the director relied less on '90s fashions and attitudes, had the movie been less concerned with including iffy humor about, for example, menstruation, perhaps FROG AND WOMBAT would have held up better. This is unfortunate, because, at the end of the day, the mystery itself could have held up just fine without the gross jokes and weird behaviors (dipping their toes in jars of peanut butter and licking it off, for instance) of the kids.

But, alas, the child overacting (with the exception of Katie Stuart) quite often borders on excruciating, and overwhelms the core of the story. Unless you're a big fan of '90s kids' movies and are curious to see how tweens lived before the age of unlimited data on cell phones, you'll be turned off by the content, and kids will be turned off by the dated clothing and attitudes.

 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about mysteries. How was this movie similar and different to other mysteries?

  •  

  • What are some of the elements of this movie that firmly date it in the 1990s?

  • If this movie were remade and set in contemporary times, what do you think would be different, in terms of fashion, technology, and overall attitude? What about the movie would remain the same?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 1, 1999
Cast:Emily Lipoma, Katie Stuart, Lindsay Wagner
Director:Laurie Agard
Studio:Westchester Corpor
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Frog and Wombat was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byKMM5 September 6, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Spoiler Alert: Let your kids watch this if you don't want them sleeping tonight!

They talk casually about mensturation, so make sure your kids know about it before watching this! Otherwise very good.... until the end! You think this is a silly "kids think they know everything" kind of movie and that eventually there will be a logical explanation.... wrong! Turns out not only is the bad guy a total creep, he is also a kidnapper and a murderer. So, the whole movie you're watching thinking it's a Disney-style sleuth movie and in the last 5 minutes you watch horrified as your child realizes every danger there is in the world..... and learns not to trust adult figures.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byMargert-jerry September 25, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
This movie was absolutely awful! The acting was terrible. but some of the many really bad parts, were the times the obsessive, borderline insane 12 year old breaks in to people's homes, offices, and a country club. All on the crazy assumption that her new neighbor and principle is a murder and to make it worse, in the end HE IS!! He ends up breaking in to her house and kidnapping her, that part was way too intense for kids! (it's also one of the only times the acting is half decent.) there also a bunch of "wow I can't believe they just said that." moments such as the multiple times the young girls talked about being on their period, (I watched this with a male friend!) and "gag me with a 7th grader" I can't be the only one that thinks that is implying something... That's just the first one that I can think of, there's plenty of stuff like that. the movies actually pretty disturbing on many different levels. I'm just glad we watched this movie with just the two of us before letting his little brother watch it!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass