A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Postman Pat: The Movie is a feature-length film based on the popular British preschool show Postman Pat. The movie, like the show, promotes emotional development, friendship, and community bonds, as well as the idea that close personal friendships are more important than fame and fortune. Preschoolers will be encouraged to participate in their community, acknowledge public servants, and be kind and courteous to others. Older kids may recognize the similarity between the reality show in the movie and talent series like X Factor and American Idol. Most of the movie is fine for kids but there are some frightening robots with scary red laser eyes that act rudely toward postal customers, nearly run over people, and are programmed to take over the world.
What's the story?
POSTMAN PAT: THE MOVIE follows the lovable Pat Clifton (voiced by Stephen Mangan) on a feature-length adventure that takes him from his small village of Greendale to the big city of London. Pat promises his wife, Sara (Susan Duerden), that they'll use his annual bonus for a belated honeymoon, but his plans are foiled when budget cuts mean no bonuses for anyone. Desperate to still make Sara's dreams come true, Pat tries out for the reality talent show You're the One, hosted by the overly critical Simon Cowbell (Robin Atkin Downes, doing a Simon Cowell impression). As Pat faces tough singing competition from handsome singer Josh (Rupert Grint), a Draco Malfoy-esque exec uses the opportunity to release a robot postman prototype (a Pat replica) in Greendale.
Is it any good?
Little kids familiar with the appealing Postman Pat series will enjoy spending more time with the inhabitants of the small village of Greendale. They'll have fun cheering Pat on as he competes in the You're the One competition (Pat's singing voice is Irish singer-songwriter Ronan Keating). Adults will appreciate some of the parent-friendly humor, the Cowell impression, and the performances by Grint and David Tennant, who plays Josh's fame-hungry dad/manager.
Although the computer-generated animation isn't nearly on par with big-budget animated features by Blue Sky or Pixar, Postman Pat: The Movie is still a sweet, charming story about what happens when you start prioritizing fame or efficiency above relationships and human connection, respectively. And the earnest humor makes this British import a lot of fun to watch with little ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Postman Pat changes throughout the movie and why he loses sight of what he initially set out to do. What are we supposed to learn from Pat's experiences?
Why didn't the town like the robot postmen? How is the real Pat irreplaceable?
Does the movie make you more interested in the Postman Pat show?
- In theaters: June 27, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: September 23, 2014
- Cast: David Tennant, Rupert Grint, Stephen Mangan
- Director: Mike Disa
- Studio: Shout! Factory
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Cars and trucks, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Music and sing-along, Robots
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.