A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will hear Sergei Prokofiev's unforgettable music. For many this piece is a first introduction to classical music and its various instruments. A feature on the DVD matches up an instrument playing each theme with the character.
There's an added element to this version that deals with forgiveness and understanding.
Positive Role Models
Peter's best friend, a duck, is eaten by the wolf and he has to make a choice between letting a butcher kill him, selling him to a circus, or letting him go free. He chooses forgiveness. Earlier on he disobeys his grandfather and takes his keys to venture into the woods even though he knows it's forbidden.
Violence & Scariness
Peter is bullied by some hunters. They throw him in a Dumpster and point a gun at him; later they shoot a hole through the cat's ear. Grandpa has a gun. The wolf terrorizes all of Peter's animal friends, finally eating the duck in two gulps in front of a horrified Peter. Peter ties a rope to the wolf's tail and uses a tree branch as a pulley to hold him there; his face gets a slash.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the hunters smokes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this award-winning animated short is 34 minutes long and narration-free. It's a bleaker more artistic take on the classic tale and so better enjoyed by tweens and up. Set in modern-day Russia, Peter is shown as a poor loner who gets bullied by hunters who point a gun at him and throw him in a Dumpster. Of course when the wolf shows up, as the story goes, the duck gets eaten. It's even sadder here because the duck is one of Peter's only friends. In the end though, the focus is on forgiveness and understanding. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
What a gorgeous take on this classic story. The wonderful expressiveness of the stop-motion animated characters is part of what makes narration unnecessary. The modern-day impoverished setting adds a layer of bleakness and makes lonely Peter a more complex character.
Viewers will also notice that the hunters are the bad guys here, bullying poor Peter and then showing up after Peter's already captured the wolf to make a bumbling macho display by shooting the cat's ear. So Peter not only gets to be the hero, but then gets to display maturity beyond his years when he decides to let the wolf go. Having the duck's theme play right before he makes the decision makes it all the more poignant. It's subtle touches like that one that make this short worth many repeat viewings.
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.