Frogs and Toads: Max's Magical Journey

Sweet Dutch adventure story follows kids exploring nature.
  • Review Date: February 15, 2012
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 70 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This movie is not explicitly educational, but kids will see the main characters interacting with and exploring nature and animals.

Positive messages

The children and adults in this film love nature, and they love taking care of the animals who inhabit the forests around them.

Positive role models

Max is a curious observer of nature and is quite the animal lover. For his ill older brother, he is willing to do whatever he asks him to do to help make him feel better. Max's grandmother is jolly and patient with Max's mischievous ways.

Violence & scariness

During the adventure, Max and Jesse fall into ponds and pig stys and also trip and fall quite a bit, resulting in torn clothes. Max falls from a tree, but comes out of it without injury.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

A few farts, which are treated as natural, but a little funny.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Dutch children's film is a sweet nature adventure story without any problematic elements. There are three silly moments where Max's grandmother passes gas, and a brief moment where Jesse rises from squatting in a field and pulls her pants up, obviously having finished just going to the bathroom. All in all though, for younger viewers keen on amphibians, and parents looking for a mild and pleasant family movie, this should be an enjoyable experience.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Before he leaves for the hospital for throat surgery, Jannus (Thijs Goedknegt) tells his younger brother Max (Nino den Brave) that he must retrieve frog spawn in a jar in order to ensure that Jannus can talk again. This leads Max on a wild adventure from the city hospital to the countryside, where he befriends a little girl named Jesse (Whitney Franker). Together, they see cows, pigs, foxes, frogs, toads, and bear tracks.

Is it any good?


In spite of the slight cultural differences and the English overdubbing of the children's voices, FROGS AND TOADS: MAX'S MAGICAL JOURNEY is a fun and nature-filled adventure, especially for young kids interested in amphibians and other creatures seen in the wild or on farms. The story is easy to understand, silly at times, and imparts important lessons about caring for animals, and also telling the truth to your friends and family.

Parents be aware: This film is way more comfortable with flatulence than most children's films you've seen. It doesn't happen much (once at the beginning and twice at the end), but if you're child is finding these kinds of things hysterically funny, they might get wrapped up in the humor of the moment rather than the story itself.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what happens when you don't tell the truth. Max's older brother Jannus tells him that he needs frog spawn so he can talk again. Max tells Jesse that he's an orphan. What happens to these two when they are caught not telling the truth?

  • How is this movie different from children's movies made in the United States, and elsewhere? How could you tell is was made outside the United States?

  • What do Max and Jesse learn about all the different animals they meet along the way? Do you learn anything from watching this movie?

Movie details

DVD release date:July 5, 2011
Cast:Nino den Brave, Thijs Goedknegt, Whitney Franker
Director:Simone van Dusseldorp
Studio:Phase 4 Films
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Wild animals
Run time:70 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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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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Parent Written byNeMovieGirl February 24, 2012
age 3+

Definitely worth the time

The story is quirky and the songs are... well, best enjoyed by kids, but my two (7 and 4) love this movie! We've streamed it several times and they sing along every time. It's a very gentle story but still compelling to little ones.


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