Lassie

 
Schmaltzy return for classic cinema canine.
  • Review Date: December 12, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lassie faces adversity bravely and helps many people during her adventures. On the other hand, dogs are beaten (and, in one scene, so is a person, who is simultaneously mocked), Joe's parents go back on their promise to him, and Joe is forced to turn against his beloved dog.

Violence & scariness

Lassie gets whipped (off-screen). Another dog dies at the hands of a person. The puppeteer is beaten up. Slapstick farce. Joe gets his hand whacked with a ruler at school.

Sexy stuff

Mild innuendo between characters.

Language

"Hell," "bugger," "bloody," and "bullocks," and other similar British epithets.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some smoking and drinking among adult characters.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is a tear-jerker and contains some intense scenes involving poverty and peril. In one scene, Joe is forced to tell Lassie that he doesn't love or want her anymore (a potential weepy moment for the youngest set). Also, Lassie gets whipped, and in another scene, a brave little dog dies at a human's hands. There's also slapstick farce at the expense of some dog wardens. In school, Joe suffers humiliation and physical abuse from a teacher. A dwarf puppeteer is beat up by two big guys using clubs. They make snide remarks about his size and try to rob him.

What's the story?

It's the eve of World War II, and miner Sam Carraclough (John Lynch) is out of a job. He and his wife, Sarah (Samantha Morton), must keep food on the table, so they make the painful decision to sell their beloved dog, Lassie, to the Duke of Rudling (Peter O'Toole), who will give the collie to his granddaughter, Priscilla (Hester Odgers). The Carracloughs' young son, Joe (Jonathan Mason), is heartbroken when he gets home and Lassie's gone. Lassie escapes from the duke's kennel several times, so he ships her off to his remote castle. But she's determined to return home, and, with Priscilla's help, Lassie manages to get through the gate, setting off on a cross-country adventure that has her seeing the Loch Ness monster, escaping from a dog pound, and falling in with a traveling puppeteer (Peter Dinklage).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With some iffy language, rough-talking coal miners, and scenes of death and peril, it's clear that this LASSIE is no scrubbed-up Disney flick. But by showing the harshness of life in 1930s Yorkshire, the movie brings a reality to the classic story that was never found in the TV series, or even in the early Lassie movies.

Lassie is a nostalgic story about a beloved character, and the dog's adventures are by turns amusing, thrilling, and gut-wrenching. That said, the movie is also a bit schmaltzy, with one too many scenes of Lassie running in slo-mo across the Yorkshire landscape, saving various souls along the way, and being brave in the face of adversity. Then again, it's Lassie -- and you can't mess with a classic.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about loyalty, honesty, perseverance, poverty, and respecting animals. What does it mean to be poor? Why are there some places in the world where kids have nothing? How would you feel about having to sell your pet to make ends meet? Why do some people abuse animals? Why is it important to respect other living creatures?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 1, 2006
DVD release date:November 14, 2006
Cast:Jonathan Mason, Peter O'Toole, Samantha Morton
Director:Charles Sturridge
Studio:Davis-Films
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild violent content and language.

This review of Lassie was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byhal & elaine April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Animal Peril is Poignant

The main review correctly says Lassie is lashed and another dog is beaten to death. The blows landing are not shown but every thing else is. These are very emotional scenes. Our 11 year old, who loves animals, just made it through OK. A younger sensitive child might not. If your child is mature enough the movie is worth it. Be aware that is a slow moving film with deep messages; it will not hold the attention of a young or hyper child.
Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written bybensmum March 15, 2010
age 10+
 

not for primary school age children or younger

Overall it has many good points, consistent with reviews you will find elsewhere but the violence makes it unsuitable for younger children and anybody who likes animals will not enjoy seeing a dog beaten to death. I wish that I had not shown it to my children (7 and 3), although fortunately the little one had wandered off by this point. Seeing Lassie getting a belting was also pretty awful. Not at all what I had hoped for, based on half remembered episodes of Lassie from my childhood. The supposed drug abuse and bad language highlighted as potential issues on this site, will probably not even register as you reel from the violence!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

i cried....

this movie was the best movie ive seen all year it was so cool though that Lassie traveled so far did so much just to see the boy again but its also very sad.... because when lassie dose get back she is almost dead................

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