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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Acknowledges fear: shows how it intensifies under pressure; encourages efforts to overcome fear. Values promoted: teamwork, friendship, resourcefulness.
Positive Role Models
Central characters are brave, warm-hearted, determined, and smart. Also very passionate about their mission. Parental figure is loving, reliable, and insightful. Big brother and big sister tease and comically intimidate, but learn important lessons. Ethnic diversity throughout.
Violence & Scariness
Comic cartoon spookiness and scares, with music to intensify. Ghostly events take place in a haunted mansion: objects fall, screams, slamming doors, wispy apparitions. "Phantasms" -- small, flying, multi-eyed, toothy villains -- attack kids.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ghost Patrol is a short movie about a pair of kids who are looking for ghosts in their suburban neighborhood. Intended for kids who are comfortable with pretend jeopardy, the movie features eerie music and sound effects, startling moments, and humorously scary visuals. In a "haunted mansion," objects fall, apparitions appear, kids are in danger, and some scary little creatures fly around to menace the humans who have dared to disturb their hiding place. The young hero and heroine are initially teased and made fun of by their teen siblings, who are redeemed by movie's end. Ethnic characters are part of the story, without comment. At the center of the film is a caution against fearfulness, and a message about holding fast to one's beliefs. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For kids who enjoy some well-executed comic scares, funny characters, and an engaging story, the film delivers, and the performances, animation, music, and sounds effects are solid as well. If things can "make sense" in a cartoon ghost story, they do in Ghost Patrol. The kids' relationships with both family members and a well-spoken apparition are grounded in reality, which keeps the movie accessible for young audiences. The movie is short enough (47 minutes) so that everything happens quickly and succinctly and resolves with ease. Underlying the spooky events are notions about fear and fearfulness which, though subtle, may have some impact. Originally made for the Disney Channel, it appears that this may be a pilot project. A pleasant viewing experience for kids who are comfortable with real versus pretend jeopardy.
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.