A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that part of the premise for this otherwise very family-friendly take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale involves a father who is said to have abandoned his family, and a scene where a child learns that his father is likely dead. The giant and his guard might frighten smaller children. Elsewhere, it's an extremely low-key affair -- very little violence, no language issues, and lots of silliness.
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What's the story?
This live-action take on Jack and the Beanstalk begins when Jack (Colin Ford) discovers he won't pass fairy tale school without a better grade in heroism. When he sacrifices his computer for a few magic beans he tosses out the window, the adventure sprouts, and it's up the beanstalk with sidekick Grayson the Goose (Gilbert Gottfried) and friend Jillian (Chloe Moretz) to prove his heroism, battle a giant (James Earl Jones), and learn a few important lessons about perseverance.
Is it any good?
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK is not a home run, but it offers some decent fun for a slow afternoon. For younger kids, the silly antics and wisecracks of a golden-egg-laying goose, a gold-hoarding giant, and a mysteriously sky-bound beanstalk will be a big hit. Jack's desire to make a name for himself, prove his heroism, and make his daydreams come true are relatable.
Parents may find the effort a little underwhelming -- the acting doesn't always soar, the all-star cast isn't always put to good use, the plot is a little clunky -- but for a fun afternoon, there's enough family-friendly comedy here interspersed with winking jokes aimed at adults to enjoy in this old fairy tale with a new twist.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the notion of heroism discussed in the film. Jack wants to prove he's a hero by sacrificing something important, his beloved video game. Have you ever given up something for a greater good? What was it? What happened?
Learn more about the history of fairy tales and how they came to be.
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