Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front

 
(i)

 

American Girl learns about sacrifice during WWII.
  • Review Date: November 23, 2006
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages of sacrifice, compassion, and community support.

Violence & scariness

The story takes place on the home front, but it talks about the death of friends and a character's mother abroad.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

For a movie prompted by a doll in the American Girl empire, commercialism is very low-key. While many of the products, costumes, and sets are available for dolls from the American Girl catalog and store, the only real sign of the products is a small $10 coupon sticker on the packaging.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that family members and friends enlist to fight in World War II in this movie, and not all of them come back home. One character has been evacuated from London during the Blitz, and her mother was killed in the bombing. Molly's family is extremely close, and they provide support to one another during a family member's absence. They also help neighbors and friends during this difficult time.

What's the story?

AMERICAN GIRL ON THE HOME FRONT takes place in Jefferson, Ill., in 1943, and Molly McIntyre (Maya Ritter) and her other friends in the third grade are obsessed with movie stars and their lovely teacher, Miss Campbell (Sarah Manninen). Molly's world changes when her doctor father (David Aaron Baker) enlists and her mother Helen (Molly Ringwald) takes a job in a machinery plant. Emily (Tory Green), a young English evacuee, comes to live with the family to escape the London bombing and brings with her personal stories of the war. Molly gets a first-hand understanding of the need to sacrifice in support of the war effort, deferring her own needs and feelings to help the greater good. She learns to empathize with her strict neighbor and the initially reserved Emily, and family support takes center-stage. And, Molly is determination to be crowned "Miss Victory," the lead dancer in a school tap dance show, despite her lack of obvious talents.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front is a heartfelt and entertaining movie. Molly learns about sacrifice, compassion, and self-confidence as she and her family cope with the direct and indirect impacts of World War II. The movie moves along at a good clip, interspersing newsreel footage and radio broadcasts in a manner that educates kids about life on the home front during WWII without them even realizing it. Period costumes, music, and sets make the story sparkle. Ritter is earnest and enthusiastic in her role, and more natural than some of the adult actors in the movie.

As a nice touch, the DVD includes a captivating interview with a woman who tap-danced for USO shows during WWII, with dance instruction so viewers can replicate the Miss Victory tap dance.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the types of sacrifices that Molly's family made in support of the war effort: her father, her mother, and Molly herself. They recognized when something needed to be done and didn't wait for others to do it. Are there ways that you can help others around you right now, perhaps focusing on families who have soldiers fighting in the Middle East? What did you learn about life during WWII? How realistic do you think this depiction of the WWII era is?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 28, 2006
DVD release date:November 28, 2006
Cast:David Aaron Baker, Maya Ritter, Molly Ringwald
Director:Joyce Chopra
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:not rated

This review of Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front 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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Parent Written bynobbsy May 23, 2013
 

Heartwarming and Instructive Movie!

this is a wonderful movie, both for kids and adults. It is not entirely upbeat, but the unhappy events are instructive and the film ends on a warm and happy note. In my opinion, this is the best of The American Girl series. I hope you will agree.
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byfastraxsg July 1, 2011
 

Better than I thought...

I think this movie really explains what its like to be in world war. Girls really fall into the movie and feel emotions. Personally, it was better than I thought it would be.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bypron08 July 16, 2015
 

Knowledge in a fun manner!

I grew up watching the American Girl movie series and this one stands out as one of the best. Firstly, it teaches children about the history of war which in my opinion is quite important as children reach an age where they must learn that not everything in the past has been rather pleasant. As well, it teaches kids about the second world war in an appropriate manner without violence that parents aren't so keen about. I believe the earliest age to view this film should be 8 years of age, a child this age will have the ability to interpret the story effectively. There is a realistic storyline that not only teaches family and friendship values but has a heartwarming ending as well. Would recommend to anyone who's interested to learn a little bit about the war from a 10 year old's perspective!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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