Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow Movie Poster Image
Family-friendly monster film has warm fuzzies, some scares.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate. 

Positive Messages

The story is rich in positive themes about strong family relationships and the benefits of being open-minded to new ideas. It deals thoughtfully with the aftermath of divorce and explores family members' emotions over such a big change. A frightening experience has surprisingly wonderful effects on those involved, bringing them closer together and clarifying their priorities. Good and bad are easily identified, and in the end, truth triumphs over dishonesty. Some body humor (burping, something resembling farting, boogers, etc.).

Positive Role Models & Representations

Aunt Cly is an island in the storm for the Emmersons, and without even trying, she helps them heal from the emotional turmoil of divorce. Ron struggles with his new role, but his priorities become clear when his kids are in danger. Annie's attitude changes for the better when outside influences are taken away and she's able to work through her emotions.  

Violence & Scariness

Some scary moments. In one case, a shadowy, growling figure confronts kids in the woods; in another, men kidnap two kids and lock them in a shed, which leads to a life-threatening allergy attack for one of them. Some verbal threats of harm. Two men are electrocuted by cattle prods. 

Sexy Stuff

Nothing physical, but some Freudian slips on the part of a man who has the hots for a woman. In one case, she talks about being in hot water and he replies, "I'd be right there in that bath with you." In another, he says to tell him "if there's anything else I can do to you." Most will go over the heads of kids, though.

Language

"Damn," "hell," "fugly," and substitute phrases like "what the fuzzy?" and "what the fridge?"

Consumerism

Mention of Twitter, Instagram, and hashtags. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One very brief allusion to drugs when a man references his dispensary. Adults drink wine with dinner. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow is a movie inspired by some of the famed creator's unfinished work. It introduces a new collection of monsters in the context of a story that's rich in positive themes about families and coping with adversity. It's meant for whole-family viewing, but there are some scary moments involving a mythical forest monster and some bad guys' nefarious plans for a young brother and sister who happen upon their secret, and Annie's life hangs in the balance at one point. Expect to also hear some language ("hell," "damn," "fugly," and "what the fuzzy?") and some allusions to sexual attraction that likely will escape little ones' notice. The story takes care to explore the fallout from divorce in a realistic way, which also creates some tension among family members. Ultimately, though, it underscores the importance of strengthening family bonds and engaging in open discourse to resolve tough issues.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11, 12, and 16 year old Written byCharlie B. December 24, 2017

Pretty Lame

I went in with an open mind and fond memories of Jim Henson's past treasures, like The Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, but was severely disappointed. The chara... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byShelley A. November 3, 2017

Not scary

My family (kids aged 10 and 8) loved this movie and we enjoyed it too. It was nice to watch a family friendly film that didn't have any bad language or se... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

JIM HENSON'S TURKEY HOLLOW opens with the Emmerson family -- dad, Ron (Jay Harrington), and kids Annie (Genevieve Buechner) and Timmy (Graham Verchere) -- on the road to the quaint little burg of Turkey Hollow for what Ron promises to be an old-fashioned Thanksgiving holiday with his Aunt Cly (Mary Steenburgen). Much to Annie's dismay, though, Cly's farm is decidedly off the grid, lacking essentials like internet, cell coverage, and even television. But the experience appeals to Timmy's adventurous side, and he starts poking around the place and the surrounding woods, which lands him in trouble with a scheming neighbor (Linden Banks) and threatens the family's claim on Cly's farm. Desperate to set things right, Timmy and Annie set out to catch a glimpse of the town's legendary forest creature, the Howling Hoodoo, but what they find instead is even more surprising. 

Is it any good?

This adventurous romp inspired by the characters of one of Jim Henson's unproduced stories works hard to appeal to family members of every age, which is certainly no easy task. There's something here for everyone, from a curious new collection of Henson monsters to affecting themes about the struggles and triumphs of parenthood. It even mixes things up by casting Ludacris as the intermittent onscreen narrator (perhaps an appeal to hard-sell teens?), who provides the mostly serious story with a number of lighter moments. A conniving bad guy who's hampered by his bumbling lackeys is on par with many of Henson's previous productions, but monsters who are more Fraggle Rock than they are Muppets is a pleasant detour from the norm.

Even so, it's the human side of the story that really steals the Turkey Hollow show. Ron's divorce plays a prominent role in the tale, but even if that's not relatable to your family, other issues that face the Emmersons likely will be. Busy schedules, moody teens, unresolved emotions, and difficulty connecting are just some of the baggage Ron, Annie, and Timmy bring with them, and it's only through love, loyalty, determination, and openness to new ideas that they emerge stronger at the story's end. True, the Turkey Hollow monsters promise to be more of a hit with kids than these kinds of themes will be, but they're hard to miss nonetheless. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how these new Henson creations stack up against some of his legendary ones. Are they cute, or are they so ugly you can't help but like them? Why do you think the story's writers didn't have them talk? What do they help teach Ron, Annie, and Timmy? 

  • To what degree can your family relate to the Emmersons' troubles? Do you ever feel like you need to unplug? How can doing so help you get back to life's basics? On the other hand, what are the benefits of having the kind of access that the internet gives you? 

  • In broad terms, this story is about being open to new ideas. How does such a willingness help you get through difficult times? When have you experienced positive results from an unwelcome change? 

Movie details

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