Pollyanna Movie Poster Image




Wonderful family film with excellent messages.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1960
  • Running Time: 134 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Shows the power of positive thinking, helping others, and expecting the the best from everyone.

Positive role models

Pollyanna demonstrate empathy and gratitude.

Violence & scariness

Scary fall from a tree.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pollyanna is a wonderful family film with themes of the power of positive thinking, helping others, and expecting the the best from everyone.

What's the story?

After the death of her parents, POLLYANNA (Hayley Mills) arrives in Harrington to live with her wealthy aunt, Polly (Jane Wyman), who is generous with money, but also reserved and joyless. She uses her influence to run all aspects of the town, even telling Reverend Ford (Karl Malden) to preach fire and brimstone on Sundays, which makes the congregation miserable. Pollyanna's friendliness and her expectation that everyone else will be friendly, too, endear her to everyone, even cranky invalid Mrs. Snow (Agnes Moorehead) and recluse Mr. Pendergast (Adolphe Menjou). She teaches her friends "the glad game," finding something to be glad about in any situation. When the towns people decide to hold a bazaar to raise money for a new orphanage instead of accepting Polly's charity, Polly forbids Pollyanna to go. The girl sneaks out by climbing down a tree and has a wonderful time, but falls on the way back in and is badly hurt. She stops playing the glad game, until the whole town shows up to tell her how much she means to them. She leaves for an operation, confident that she will soon be well.

Is it any good?


This film is Disney at its finest, a lavish and gorgeous fantasy of an idyllic American past. With first-rate actors and sumptuous period detail, Pollyanna is a delight for the eyes as well as the spirit. Pollyanna is best remembered for "the glad game," in which the challenge is to find something to be glad about, no matter how bleak the situation. But what really makes her special is the way that she expects the best from everyone, and the transforming effect it has on each person she meets.

Many of the mistakes people make in this movie come from trying to protect themselves from hurt. Polly, hurt by her estrangement from Dr. Chilton, relies on her sense of duty. Mrs. Snow, worried about illness and dependence, tries to blame others and achieves some sense of control (and some attention) with her contrariness. Mr. Pendergast just avoids any contact at all. Pollyanna shows them how to make sure that fear of pain and loss do not prevent opportunities for joy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Pollyanna, like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, gets a rare opportunity to have all she has done recognized and acknowledged by the community. Families can talk about the people who have made positive changes in their community, and how their efforts could be acknowledged.

  • How does Pollyanna demonstrate empathy and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 19, 1960
DVD/Streaming release date:May 7, 2002
Cast:Agnes Moorehead, Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman
Director:David Swift
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Character strengths:Empathy, Gratitude
Run time:134 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Adult Written bysss April 9, 2008

excellent movie!!

in the beginning of the movie, there is a scene with a boy's naked bottom as he jumps into a lake. there are some love interests, some kissing, and a few uses of bad words such as stup--, but overall a great movie worth watching.
Parent Written bymorshayshymas October 18, 2011

An Excellent Movie for All Family Members ! Attt

Pollyanna is a Wonderful Movie for All Children and Familisa to see !!! I Love the Movie !!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byBeckstar October 29, 2011


Great film! Have loved it since I was a little girl. It has no sex, just a slightly frightening fall scene.