Parents' Guide to

My Father's Dragon

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Runaway finds courage in colorful cartoon fantasy adventure.

Movie PG 2022 100 minutes
My Father's Dragon: Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 8+

Misleading title, not at all based on book

If you are familiar with the book, don’t be fooled by this. It is almost unrecognizable from the book. The boy’s name is the same, there is a dragon, and there is an island, but the similarities basically stop there. The plot is completely different, bordering on dark at times. There are many intense scenes of danger, peril, and violence. While this new plot is interesting, it is totally misleading to say that it is based on the book, “My Father’s Dragon.” This is an entirely new story, and I would not have watched it with my 6-year-old had I known what it was.
age 8+

Disappointing it wasn’t close to the book

My husband read the book with our 6YO and loved it. We wish we had read the previous review before watching because my husband said it was very disappointing compared to the book. Having not read the book myself, I was able to have fresh eyes and unfortunately the storyline didn’t hold my attention. It felt a bit all over the place going from sad to scary to happy and back again multiple times. Felt very scattered and tough to really pinpoint the underlying message of the story. I felt disappointed as well.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

It's sometimes a bit confusing, but this colorful dragon fantasy is likely to entertain younger viewers. That said, the film's setup -- a child runs away from a loving parent, trusts a stranger's outlandish promise, and gets aboard transport to be taken to a remote location, where he forms a friendship with a magical dragon -- paints an awfully pretty picture of running away from home.

What's more, the story can be hard to follow and has some uneven messages about solving problems. After being encouragingly labeled "answer boy" when Elmer does use observation and logic to come up with a solution for how to solve the island's problem, it turns out that he's wrong: The solution is magic. And both Elmer and Boris have to blindly choose to do something that looks quite dangerous to achieve a positive outcome. Overall, the film feels less like a continuous journey and more a series of scenes that begin with a shout and are solved by food, candy, or a convenient occurrence. But Elmer and Boris forge a strong friendship and learn to trust both themselves and each other, and the animation is lovely, if perhaps not quite as impressive as previous Cartoon Saloon films like Song of the Sea and Wolfwalkers.

Movie Details

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