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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.
Dogs pick their people. You can buy a dog, but you can't buy its love.
Positive Role Models
Bobby enjoys his friends and acquaintances, but nothing gets in the way of his continuing devotion to his dead master.
Violence & Scariness
An old man dies of pneumonia. Poverty of 19th century Scotland is crushing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Greyfriars Bobby is a 1961 Disney film about an independent-minded dog who models all the qualities that humans might aspire to -- loyalty, friendship, and steadfastness -- after the death of his master. The movie was inspired by a true story about a dog who stubbornly guarded the Edinburgh, Scotland grave of his master until he died himself at age 16 and was buried in the same churchyard. His devotion to his master inspired the city to endow the dog with a special dispensation, giving him "freedom of the city," and thus protection from police and dogcatchers who would otherwise have required he have an owner and a license. An old man dies of pneumonia. Poverty of 19th century Scotland is crushing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is the kind of animal love story that brings all viewers together, no matter what age or political persuasion. That the dog demonstrates behavior elevated above the petty human doings around him is the ultimate message of the movie. The unwavering loyalty to the memory of his master eventually teaches something about love and friendship to the people he touches. Because of him, it seems, kindness and generosity increase all around him. Greyfriars Bobby mixes the behaviors of calculating adults, whose actions are guided by envy and jealousies, along with the simpler and purer motives of the street children who adopt Bobby without thoughts of controlling or owning the dog. In the end, it's the poor children's collective selflessness that saves the day.
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.