A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Jack and the Beanstalk espouses positive messages about deciding the course of your own life, keeping your word, and never giving up on your goals.
Positive Role Models
Many of the characters are well-intentioned, if not particularly well developed. Parents are a positive presence but fairly incidental, while the majority of other characters are simplistically good or evil. Still, some characters show greater depth when it turns out that they are not what they seem.
Violence & Scariness
The giant with his horned mask and his ogre guard could be frightening for younger children. What little violence is in the film is largely slapstick -- a guard getting bonked on the head, a clearly choreographed comedic ninja fight sequence.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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.