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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages about teamwork, following your dreams (literally and figuratively), and standing up for your loved ones.
Positive Role Models
Kokone is brave, curious, intelligent, and kind. Morio is helpful, courageous, and supportive of Kokone and her father. Kokone's father does his best to protect her from danger. Kokone's mother was incredibly smart, innovative, and entrepreneurial. Positive gender representations, and the cast is wholly Japanese.
Violence & Scariness
A woman dies in an accident; in a fantasy world, she dies plunging to her death. Robotic creatures battle each other; a man nearly dies defending his kingdom. Authorities pursue someone.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In a flashback, young lovers kiss and embrace.
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Insults like "brat," "loser," "nobody."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Napping Princess is an animated Japanese film (released in both Japanese with English subtitles and dubbed in English) that combines a teen anime adventure with fantasy elements and near-future events (the 2020 Tokyo Olympics). The storyline is a little too sophisticated for really young viewers, but the movie will appeal to tweens and teens interested in the genre. Expect a bit of action violence -- including a couple of deaths (one by accident, one in a battle) and some mass explosions and destruction. There are also supernatural-seeming fights between mechanical creatures operated by human beings. A flashback shows lovers kissing; language is limited to the likes of "brat," "loser," and "nobody." The main character is curious, brave, and smart, and the movie has messages about teamwork, following your dreams, and standing up for your loved ones. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Inventive and visually appealing, this Japanese fantasy adventure sophisticatedly blurs the line between the main character's dreams and reality. In that way, it's like a modern Wizard of Oz. Kokome is plucky, with her babyish voice and eagerness to help -- even if that means engaging in her favorite pastime: napping. She's a charming, curious underdog, as is her enigmatic father (Mr. Morikawa's motorcycle-driving, leather jacket-sporting dad isn't your typical animated-movie pop, that's for sure). When nerdy, slightly older Morio offers to lend Kokome a hand to save her father, it would have been easy for the filmmakers to insert some light romance into the story, but instead they keep the pair's relationship refreshingly platonic.
Although Napping Princess might confuse some inattentive young viewers, it's rather ingenious in the way it weaves the two plot lines together -- making it clear that there's more than one hero(ine) to the story. The only downside is the overtly evil, mustache-twirling villain, who's less human than he is a stereotypical greedy right-hand man who wants all the power for himself. But veteran anime writer-director Kenji Kamiyama knows how to draw viewers in with compelling narratives and protagonists, and Napping Princess is a good choice for families with kids who enjoy more challenging, fantasy-tinged adventures.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.