Lotte from Gadgetville

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Lotte from Gadgetville Movie Poster Image
Whimsical animated tale will charm the whole family.
  • NR
  • 2008
  • 78 minutes

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate. Includes imaginative inventions (i.e., electricity, washing machine) and rudimentary judo moves.

Positive Messages

Promotes curiosity ("I want to learn everything; there's so much to learn"), sharing with others, making friends, working hard. Values featured: teamwork, empathy, ingenuity, family. Cheating isn't acceptable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lotte is high-spirited, optimistic, generous, smart, loyal, and appreciative. A wide variety of species (animals, insects) respect one another, share their community. Though Lotte is an adventurous and independent girl, the adult female characters are portrayed in traditional roles at home.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lotte from Gadgetville is an Estonian-Latvian animated feature that's been dubbed into English. A multi-festival winner and long-popular European franchise (which included merchandise and TV episodes), Lotte and her family and friends live in Gadgetville, a charming village in which just about everyone is an inventor. Dogs, cats, pigs, flies, bees, and even some particularly sophisticated moles have adventures without the usual villains -- no scares or jeopardy. The mild conflict comes in easily digestible bites of misunderstandings, dealing with child-appropriate fears and family relationships. A bit of suspense comes because a beloved dad has been missing for a while; it's well-resolved. In this movie, there are lots of small plots -- from an invention competition to unexpected new friendships -- even a hot-air balloon journey to Japan for a judo tournament. There's lots of music and many funny situations, and characters have been designed to appeal to the littlest members of the family, but older kids and adults should find much to like here, too. It took nearly a decade for this entry to make its way to English-speaking audiences, but it's been well worth the wait. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIronGumby December 4, 2020

Inappropriate things over kids' heads

Idk if it's just me or a European thing, but there are some disparaging things that go on in this film, namely when you learn the backstory of the father c... Continue reading
Parent Written byEmilie B. June 5, 2018

Strange and hard to follow

There was nothing particularly age-sensitive or objectionable about this film, but it was quite strange and hard to follow even for the grown-ups. It had some... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Little Lotte (a cartoon dog) lives happily with her family in an idyllic town in LOTTE FROM GADGETVILLE. Her dad, Oscar, is an inventor extraordinaire. Who wouldn't be extraordinary if he invented electricity, a washing machine, and a hot-air balloon? Lotte's best friend is Leo (a cat), who is shier than she is but willing to explore and try new things with Lotte as his guide. When Titume, a misplaced bee from Japan, unexpectedly appears in Gadgetville, courtesy of a runaway book that sailed the seas, Lotte and Leo are delighted, along with lots of the townspeople, to learn judo from him. At the same time, Oscar must hide his newest invention from a most determined bunny/inventor -- a fellow who isn't above cheating, which gets him into lots of trouble. Lotte and Leo train for an upcoming judo tournament. All of this happens as two very highbrow moles drink tea and ponder many of life's puzzles, and a spirited fly narrates all of the action. 

Is it any good?

Inventive and original, witty and clever enough for adults to enjoy, sunny and funny for the kids, the film is a welcome English-language version of a European entry for family viewing. The story and characters transcend international borders with relatable humor and situations. The Estonian animation company that created Lotte from Gadgetville has been making films for decades. How lucky that someone decided to give American audiences an opportunity to see a film with plenty of story and no baddies or scary stuff. Highly recommended.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the universality of moviesThough Lotte from Gadgetville comes from Europe and was dubbed in English, how common are the themes? What are the similarities to towns and families that you know?  

  • Create an invention of your own. Write about or draw something you think would be great to have for yourself or for the world. It doesn't have to be possible, just fun.

  • What is it about portraying animals and critters as human that makes them so appealing? The word for that is "anthropomorphizing" the character. Think about your favorite anthropomorphized character. Who is it, and why is that character your favorite?

  • How do the characters display teamwork and curiosity? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Families can download a free study guide to go along with the movie here.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoons

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