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Parents' Guide to

My Life as a Zucchini

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Animated drama about orphan is touching, unforgettable.

Movie PG-13 2017 70 minutes
My Life as a Zucchini Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 18 parent reviews

age 13+

Not for little kids but still a great movie.

I am surprised that people are rating it low because it is not for little kids. There is sex talk, but if you think your 14 year old isn’t hearing worse on the school yard you are fooling yourself. A mature 13 year old could handle it. Anyways, it is a beautiful heartfelt movie.

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Great messages
1 person found this helpful.
age 11+

A beautiful portrait of a complicated time in many children's lives

A surprisingly thoughtful, complicated, and painful film. It both feels a bit short and like it meanders. Some parts feel too trite, but in all it feels like issues that lend themselves well to stop-motion and also necessary to express. Well worthy of your time, each kid could get his own film.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (18 ):
Kids say (28 ):

Director Claude Barras' adaptation of Gilles Paris' novel isn't quite a coming-of-age story, but it's every bit as poignant. And the gorgeous animation and whip-smart dialogue make it a delightful pick for tweens and up. My Life as Zucchini can be heartbreaking, it but never loses sight of how resilient children are, even when they've seen the horrors of violence and abuse and abandonment. Despite their difficult backgrounds, Zucchini, Simon, and their housemates just want to be cared for and to belong -- and for the most part, they do. "They're all the same," Simon tells Zucchini -- whether it's because a parent was arrested, deported, died, or just left. These are kids who have no one to claim them as their own, at least at first.

Like some of Studio Ghibli or LAIKA's edgier offerings, My Life as Zucchini isn't meant for very young kids, and that's refreshing. Not all animated films need to cater to the early-elementary set, and this one is clearly best for kids who are mature enough to appreciate the characters' difficult circumstances (and of course, to deal with the hilarious conversation the boys have about "that thing between boys and girls"). This is a story that brings up so much, and it's all treated beautifully -- from the bully redeemed to the power of puppy love to the importance of friendship to the fact that families can be more than blood relations. If your family enjoys stop-motion animation and your kids are ready for big themes with a side of laughter and possibly tears, this is a must-see film.

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