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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores difficulties in adapting to major changes in life (moving to a new home, losing a friend). Promotes sharing feelings, compassion, resourcefulness, loyalty, respect for others.
Positive Role Models
Young heroes initially lie, disobey their parents, are mean to one another. By story's end, they have learned a measure of integrity, compassion, resourcefulness, loyalty. Heroine's mom is well meaning but pushy, annoying, doesn't have empathy for her daughter. Stereotypical teen airhead sister. Set in Denmark; no ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Some mysterious and suspenseful moments, along with tumbles, sneaking around, chases. Girl injures her leg; boy has arm wound. Teasing/bullying.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An almost kiss between young boy and girl. Some suggestive expressions: "How's it hanging?" and "messing around with him."
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"Hell," "damn," "s--t." Insults: "laughingstock," "stupid," "you're a joke," "nerd."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Next Door Spy (aka Nabospionen) is an animated children's tale about an unconventional girl who opens a detective agency in her family's basement. The budding investigator gets her first case, meets her first suspect, and nurtures a very odd pet. The movie's mystery plot is an opportunity for writer-director Kara von Bengston to touch on issues kids often encounter, like moving to a new town, exasperating sibling relationships, and asserting one's specialness. Cartoon action is mild: a few tumbles, some suspenseful chases, "stalking" that leads to startling moments. One child injures her leg; another has an arm wound. Other than an irritating older sister and an angry boy, there are no villains. There's some teasing/bullying. Oddly, while the movie is clearly intended for kids, the English adaptation (from the original Danish) includes a few curses or inappropriate expressions: "s--t," "hell," "damn," "mess around with him," and "how's it hanging?" Some insults are also used: "nerd," "laughingstock," "stupid." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Charming animation, an inventive story, and a unique, likable heroine aren't enough to overcome the film's few but notable flaws; the intermittently awkward English dialogue doesn't help. A sub-story about Agathe-Christine's discovery of an unidentifiable, constantly growing lizard-like reptile goes nowhere. He hatches, he grows, he's never discovered (not even near misses), nor does he impact Agathe-Christine's personal story. Worst of all, he isn't funny or unusual in any meaningful way. Additionally, for some families with elementary school kids (for whom Next Door Spy is intended), swearing is a deal-breaker.
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.