Frogs and Toads: Max's Magical Journey
By Brian Costello,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sweet Dutch adventure story follows kids exploring nature.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie is not explicitly educational, but kids will see the main characters interacting with and exploring nature and animals.
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.
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A few farts, which are treated as natural, but a little funny.
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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.
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Where to Watch
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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. It's especially appealing 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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- On DVD or streaming: 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
- Last updated: September 19, 2019
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