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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Misty is a family-friendly film from 1961, inspired by a true story and based on the Newbery Award-winning book of the same name by Marguerite Henry. It offers gentle messages about responsibility, love, and patience, and about humane treatment of creatures in the wild. There are two mildly suspenseful scenes: A pony is thought to be drowning, and a stallion chases a young boy; both are resolved quickly. In an early look at gender discrimination, the young heroine asserts her right to participate in the same activities as her brother. Brief reference is made to the fact that the two kid protagonists have lost their parents and are adjusting to life with their grandparents.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MISTY is a faithful adaptation of the classic (and fact-based) children's book Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry, about two children who fall in love with a wild horse that's descended from the Spanish ponies that escaped from a sinking ship and swam to Asateague, an island off the coast of Virginia. The children are Paul and Maureen, who live with their grandparents on Chincoteague, a neighboring island. Once a year, the residents of Chincoteague go to Asateague to capture ponies.
Is it any good?
MISTY does a great job of showing the challenge of teaching Misty independence -- how hard it is for her, but how much love it shows. When Paul has to let the Phantom go back to Assateague, he tells Misty to go, too, but Misty stays and runs after them. Her home is with them, now. Misty provides a good opportunity to talk about showing love by letting go. The brother and sister have a very good, supportive relationship. And their grandfather (Arthur O'Connell) is strict and proud but understanding, as shown by his reaction when Paul goes off to Assateague alone.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important for Misty to learn to be independent. What's the best way to teach her?
Why do you think horse stories in books and movies are popular with kids? What others have you read or seen?
Why does Misty want to stay with the children? Why doesn't the Phantom want to stay? How does Paul know?
- In theaters: June 4, 1961
- On DVD or streaming: November 25, 2008
- Cast: Anne Seymour, Arthur O'Connell, David Ladd
- Directors: James B. Clark, Robert Stevenson
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.