Parents' Guide to

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Imaginative steampunk musical is too dark for little kids.

Movie PG 2014 89 minutes
Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 10+

age 10+

Great Movie

I highly recommend this movie! It includes great lessons for all ages.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (36 ):

Enjoyment of this unique period love story will depend on how you feel about animated fare that's more Coraline and Corpse Bride than Pixar and pixie dust. And, yes, if you're a fan of musicals, that will help, too. It's not a perfect film; schoolyard bully Joe is a bit overdone, and there's not enough relationship building between Madeleine and her close friends, but you've got to admire the ambition of such a far-reaching love story that crams in historical figures (Jack the Ripper, Georges Melies), humor, and a lot of romance.

This movie is based on author/composer Mathias Malzieu's (frontman of the French rock band Dionysos) 2007 book The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, which later became a concept album for Dionysos before being adapted into this translated French musical. The animation, like the story, is imaginative -- if really dark at times -- and the characters are reminiscent of Tim Burton's and Henry Selick's creations. The darkness is cut by the colorful character of Miss Acacia, Jack's object of affection in flamenco red. Barks, who played Eponine in Les Miserables, does a beautiful job with Acacia's songs, which are mostly in Spanish (Jack crosses Europe to find her). Jack himself is alternately melancholy and hopeful, a young Hamlet of indecision and longing obsessed with his future and his one true love.

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