A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
Stands out for positive role models.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Latte and the Magic Waterstone is a computer-animated adventure about a community of forest critters coping with a water shortage. There are a few instances of playground-type fights with shoving and slapping, and some verbal bullying about being different. The main characters are chased a few times by predator animals and fall down cliffs or out of trees. No one gets hurt and everything has a safe resolution. A few nighttime scenes have slightly scary music and sounds. Some mild gross-out humor from a couple of characters eating bugs. Latte is an orphan, and there are a couple of sad scenes where she talks to her unknown father while looking up at the night sky. "Butt" is used both as a body part and in calling names like "tattlebutt." Other taunts include "stupid," "weirdo," and "freak." Latte and Tjum eat berries given to them by a mysterious figure and immediately fall asleep, which may imply the berries are drugged or have magical powers. There's a safe resolution. Overall messages show the importance of teamwork and that sharing resources makes things better for everyone. Latte and her friend Tjum are positive role models for bravery and perseverance.
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What's the story?
In LATTE AND THE MAGIC WATERSTONE, Latte (voiced by Ashley Bornancin) is a young hedgehog who lives under a tree stump in a forest along with other forest creatures. But the river that sustained them is just about dry, and the animals won't survive much longer unless the water starts to flow again. An old crow says that the reason for the drought is because the magic waterstone was stolen by a bear, and the only way to get the water back is to return the stone to its rightful place. Most folks scoff at the very idea of a magical waterstone, but Latte determines that if no one else is brave enough to try, she'll be the one to do it. But the path to the lair of the thief is a long and dangerous one. If Latte is to succeed, she'll have to outrun and outsmart a lynx, a pack of hungry wolves, and Bantur, the bear king. She'll also have to learn how to accept help from a friend when she needs it.
Is it any good?
This is a cute animated adventure story that kids will enjoy, even if it doesn't quite knock anything out of the park. Kids will relate to main characters Latte and Tjum (pronounced "choom") while admiring Latte's determination and attitude and Tjum's bravery and loyalty. The quality of the animation is good, especially when it comes to animal movements. And the story provides positive lessons along the way about sharing resources, the value of teamwork, and the way community members should help each other.
A few parts of the story seem to happen for no reason, like when Tjum shows up in the dungeon or when the bears perform a synchronized-swimming musical number for the king, but young viewers aren't likely to notice. Otherwise the story moves along well and follows a logical, if predictable, sequence. Latte and the Magic Waterstone is a fine movie-night choice, especially for animal lovers, although littlest ones may need some comfort from the mild scares, peril, and sadness from an orphan missing her dad.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Latte and the Magic Waterstone portrays Latte. Is she a positive role model? What are her strengths and weaknesses?
Why are the other kids mean to Latte and Tjum? Have you ever called someone a name, or has someone ever called you names? What did you do? How did you feel?
What other movies about animals have you seen? Do you have a favorite? What do you like about it?
- In theaters: October 21, 2019
- On DVD or streaming: July 31, 2020
- Cast: Ashley Bornancin, Carter Hastings, Danny Fehsenfeld
- Directors: Regina Welker, Nina Wels
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character strengths: Courage, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 25, 2020
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