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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Tells the biography of Garrett Morgan, an African-American man who invented the traffic light.
Everyone has a gift; it takes time to find out what you're good at; giving back matters.
Positive Role Models
Garrett is a curious daydreamer who eventually finds his calling. His parents encourage him to use the gifts he has, insist on educating him in a way that's suited to his mind, and support his different style of thinking and problem-solving even though it doesn't fit in with the family's needs.
Violence & Scariness
Mild suspense when two cars almost crash; Garrett almost burns his hand on a hot tray of cookies.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Garrett's Gift is a thoughtful, inspirational look at the history of famous inventor Garrett Morgan and the origins of his idea for the traffic light. Kids will learn about his childhood, where the clumsy boy was often daydreaming, and how his offbeat way of looking at things led to a significant advancement in safety. There are a few moments of near accidents (car crash, a near burning of hands on a plate of cookies) that provide the backdrop for Morgan's ideas. Great educational value for young kids about significant achievements by African-Americans and a discussion of where ideas come from. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Narrated by Queen Latifah, this short movie is a great primer on the history of a famous African-American inventor and on the fascinating places where ideas originate. At only 20 minutes, it's the perfect length for young minds; even preschoolers will be engaged by the notion of daydreams leading to important discoveries and will appreciate the reassurance that even those of us who aren't sure what we're good at can find our own talents.
That would be enough to recommend this thoughtful, vividly animated foray into the genesis of ideas, but it goes one step further by looking at how important it is not only to find our gifts but to use them for good and to give back to the communities that nurture us. There's a lot packed into this information-filled short and plenty for discussion and inspiration afterward.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.