Parents' Guide to

My Friend Bernard

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Adventure about overcoming fears is loaded with peril.

Movie PG 2012 70 minutes
My Friend Bernard Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 17+

Sad, boring,scary, and a terrible finale.

It’s a overly-familiar adventure where Lilo acts utterly unlikeable and out of character, it gets insincerely dark, the ending ruins the rest of the franchise, and it’s obviously a cash grab. Don’t watch.
age 2+


This is so annoying, I can't go one day without seeing my 6 year old seat and watch it like a 2 year old. It really has to go. I can't get rid of it even if I take the remote away because they just walk to their room and watches it on their tv or phone. Please help!!!! It also has a ad every single minute, and not to mention how much the bear gets hurt to the point where it's just torcher. Might as well ruin more lives not like it will make kids better

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

My Friend Bernard certainly means well in its quest to teach youngsters that their deepest fears are better faced than avoided. But it does that by jam-packing 70 minutes with nonstop frights like a series of scary dominos to knock down one by one. In Sam's world, the only way out is through. And in an effort to keep the pace going, My Friend Bernard overdoes the action with a trial-by-fire ethos.

It doesn't help that the adventure storyline feels needlessly convoluted, that the polar bear is confusingly presented as both friend and foe, and that the attempt to make every stop on this epic rescue-thon a teachable moment wears thin. Kids may enjoy the silly penguin characters and laugh at bear fart jokes, but parents may find this a tough one to get through. More significantly, parents may find this an oversaturated, lesson-packed attempt at diffusing fear for younger kids, who likely prefer to space their frights out over longer than 70 minutes.

Movie Details

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