A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the action scenes are kept cartoonish. The male Hendersons are avid hunters -- Grandpa Henderson owns a gun store and his son works there. Also, Mr. Henderson holds up a rabbit he's just killed as his son cheers; citizens arm themselves and go on hunting parties to kill Bigfoot. There's no blood and no one gets shot, but lots of guns and ammunition are shown. There are a few scuffles and minor fights. Some adults and one child swear, using many versions of "s--t."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The Henderson household turns upside down with the arrival of humungous houseguest Harry family comedy. After accidentally mowing down a real live, really smelly Sasquatch, the Henderson family believes the strange creature is dead. In complete shock, they tie it to the top of their station wagon and head home. Tucked away in the Henderson's suburban home, the Sasquatch revives and goes on a mad hunt for anything that fits his vegetarian diet. When dad George Henderson (John Lithgow) comes face-to-face with the enormous, wild creature, his instincts kick in and at first he considers shooting the Bigfoot to save his family. But Harry, as the Hendersons end up naming him, proves to be an intelligent, gentle being. And once the family comes to love him, they realize they must save him from those who would do him harm.
Is it any good?
A comedy at heart, HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS offers some touching scenes and powerful messages in between rollicking action scenes, slapstick gags, and sharp one-liners. Harry bonds with each member of the Henderson family -- especially precocious (and occasionally foul-mouthed) 8-year-old Ernie (Joshua Rudroy) -- and the Hendersons unite in their mission to save their newfound friend.
Most of the action is cartoonish, but there is definitely some suspense when the hunters go after Harry. And for those against hunting, the story loses some of its enjoyment. Otherwise, this movie is pure family comedy wrapped up in a wild adventure story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the legend of Bigfoot, and the variations of Bigfoot from around the world. Do you think it's possible that such a remarkable creature could remain undiscovered? If Do you think what the Hendersons experienced could really happen?
undisputable proof of Bigfoot's existence was finally uncovered, what are some of the things we might learn?
Some of the characters schemed to make money by capturing and exhibiting Harry the Bigfoot. How do you feel about that, and how does it compare to zoos? The circus?
- In theaters: April 26, 1987
- On DVD or streaming: April 24, 2007
- Cast: John Lithgow, Joshua Rudroy, Melinda Dillon
- Director: William Dear
- Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: January 12, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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