By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sugary sweet father-daughter comedy is fine for families.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Putting your family first is really the plot of this film.
Positive Role Models
Evan, a workaholic dad, finally bonds with his daughter and decides to make her the top priority in his life. On the other hand, for most of the movie, he uses her special blanket's magical skills to further his career, even resorting to stealing security blankets to attempt to make his own connection with the princesses.Native American culture is referenced, in many cases for a laugh. The character who acts like a Native American is exposed to be a fraud.
Violence & Scariness
Several comic pratfalls.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Olivia says her mom is "friends" with a coworker who looks like "Prince Charming." The mom and her date are shown together at an event. Evan acts jealous.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Mild insults like "stupid," "poop," and exclamations like "loads of crap," "cut the crap," "oh my God," "shut up," and "what the hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Featured brands include Dell computers, Mercedes, the TV show Blue's Clues, the children's book Olivia, the Denver Nuggets, and Red Bull energy drink.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Eddie Murphy father-daughter comedy is aimed squarely at families, so expect your kids to be interested. The good news is that it's mostly tame and family-friendly, except for a few exclamations like "crap" and "hell" and some possibly off-putting, over-the-top references/jokes regarding Native Americans and their culture. While Murphy's character starts out primarily interested in furthering his career, he ultimately learns an important lesson about putting his daughter first.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 13 parent reviews
Great Movie for families!
Report this review
Great Family Flick
Report this review
What's the Story?
Evan (Eddie Murphy) is a successful investment manager who's up for a huge promotion. But the same week that he has to outperform his scene-stealing competitor Johnny Whitefeather (Thomas Haden Church) in client meetings, his ex-wife sends their daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi) to stay with him. As the week progresses, it becomes clear that Olivia's special security blanket, "Goo Ga," and her imaginary princess friends are prescient about business deals. When Evan loosens up and starts believing in Olivia's unseen pals, it looks like he'll be a shoo-in for the big job.
Is It Any Good?
Murphy's live-action family films are hit (Dr. Dolittle) or miss (Meet Dave) -- IMAGINE THAT seems a bit more like the former than the latter. The premise is simple, the story is like a younger-skewing Bedtime Stories-meets-Bridge to Terabithia (minus all the special effects, since we never actually see Olivia's magical kingdom), and the manic Murphy quotient (how often his comedy goes way over the top) is kept to an amusing but not annoying level. Compared to some of Murphy's recent stinkers, this charming little father-daughter tale is perfect family matinee fare.
The main reason for the movie's appeal is the adorable chemistry between Murphy and Shahidi. The kid isn't just cute, but believably enchanting. Haden Church's Native American poser is funny half the time and borderline offensive the other, depending on the scene. His funniest bit (and perhaps the only laugh-out-loud moment in the movie) is when Whitefeather plies his son with Red Bull, covers him with a ceremonial Navajo blanket, and tries to extract financial prophecies. Silly and a bit stereotypical? Sure. Funny? Definitely.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages about work-family balance.
What does Evan learn by the time the movie is over?
Was Olivia's fantasy world important because it helped Evan get ahead or because it helped them bond?
Families can also discuss the movie's Native American jokes/references. Are they funny? Is humor based on stereotypes OK?
- In theaters: June 12, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: October 6, 2009
- Cast: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahidi
- Director: Karey Kirkpatrick
- Inclusion Information: Black actors, Middle Eastern/North African actors
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild language and brief questionable behavior
- Last updated: March 2, 2023
Inclusion information powered by
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Best Magical Movies
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.See how we rate