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Parents' Guide to

Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After

By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Fun fairy tale "sequel" has intense villain and potty humor.

Movie NR 2020 44 minutes
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Actor and children's book author David Walliams delivers Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After -- a kind of re-imagined sequel to the classic fairy tale -- with cheeky energy and enthusiasm. Walliams wrote the story and stars as narrator and the Giant, so gets to revel in the slapstick, dark touches, and potty humor that makes this story a joy for kids who lean toward both fart jokes and menacing villains. Though in this story, rather than the villain of the piece being the Giant, it is a giant-killer called the Woman With No Name (Sheridan Smith), who has an uncompromising edge.

The movie successfully tackles some big themes in its short run time, too. Jack's complex dilemma of keeping his lie from the Giant when he becomes his true friend looms large over the action. Our sympathies are instantly with the Giant when the Woman With No Name turns up too, creating a nice shift from the original tale. The film's underlying message is one of inclusiveness, and how we should all try to get along, no matter our differences or backgrounds. It's a message it delivers triumphantly. Clearly a 2020 production, the topical mention of a "lockdown" and a socially-distanced cast might date it. But as a bolt-on to a timeless story, it's a fun, spiky, and cheeky "what if?" tale with its heart in the right place.

Movie Details

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