Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

  • Review Date: November 7, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Excellent anime based on video game characters, some peril.
  • Review Date: November 7, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Age(i)

2
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11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message here is that our loved ones can live on eternally in our memories. "Eternal life" is only achieved through the love and care of the people around you. Though it's a good and heartfelt message, it's also a bit on the dark side because it requires young viewers to think about death and its repercussions.
 

Positive role models

Professor Layton is a wonderful role model: he's a smart solver of puzzles and a "true gentleman." He's shown to be kind and considerate of others. Better still, the movie's young hero, Luke, is the professor's apprentice. He sets a good example for other kids by trying to emulate the professor's best qualities (he wants to become a "true gentleman" himself someday). The professor also has a young female helper, skilled in martial arts.
 

Violence

The movie contains a fair amount of fantasy violence with some chasing and fighting and talk of death, plus a dark tone. A bad guy threatens the lives of innocent bystanders (though no one actually dies). There are killer sharks and scary wolves. A young boy is sometimes in peril, though he's very brave and resilient. One character uses martial arts combat. There's a sword fight, a giant robot rampage, and explosions.
 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The movie is based on a popular series of Nintendo DS video games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A secondary character humorously pours himself a huge, overflowing glass of wine.
 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is a feature-length anime based on the characters of a popular and highly regarded series of Nintendo DS video games. Viewers can choose between an English-language soundtrack or a Japanese-language soundtrack with English subtitles. The movie contains mild fantasy violence, such as killer sharks, angry wolves, martial arts, giant robots, explosions, and sword fights, but even though death is discussed, no one is actually injured or dies. There's also a comical instance of a minor character pouring a large glass of wine. The main characters, a professor and his young apprentice, are excellent role models, demonstrating kindness, compassion, intelligence, and even good manners. A message about remembering loved ones after they die is positive, but not for all younger viewers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After solving a case involving Big Ben, the gentleman sleuth Professor Layton (voiced by Christopher Robin Miller) and his young apprentice Luke (voiced by Maria Darling) receive an invitation to hear an opera, sung by one of the professor's former students, Janice (Emma Tate). After the show -- about a beloved queen and an elixir that gives eternal life -- they learn of a contest: the winner will receive an actual elixir, but everyone else will lose their lives. The mandatory contest consists of answering tricky questions, which the professor can do easily. But what will happen when the stakes grow ever higher, and the professor discovers the diabolical mastermind behind the game?
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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is the first movie based on the popular Nintendo DS video game series, and doesn't sound promising. But the actual movie is a most welcome, utterly delightful treat. On every level, it's a clever combination of old-fashioned and ultra-modern: the characters are hand-drawn, while the elaborate backdrops are computer-generated. On a story level, Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke seem to come from a simpler time when being a "true gentleman" is something to aspire to.

Indeed, there's a real Sherlock Holmes dynamic to this duo, using deduction and traditional know-how to solve problems. But at the same time, they live in a fantastic world of high-tech robots and high-flying inventions. Even the subject matter feels cozy; there's nary a strong word or a hint of sexual innuendo. The only real issue here is some fantasy violence, as well as the threat of death (even though no character actually dies). Anime fans (and non-fans) will be in heaven.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How intense or realistic is it? Are people ever in real danger? What would be the real-life consequences of the kind of violence portrayed in the movie?

  • What do you think about the style of this movie? What are some differences between Japanese anime and that produced in the United States?

  • Who are the role models in this story? Does every story need role models?

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Movie details

DVD release date:November 8, 2011
Cast:Christopher Robin Miller, Emma Tate, Maria Darling
Director:Masakazu Hashimoto
Studio:Viz Media
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 10 year old Written byMamaBearNJ July 29, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Weird mix of sad subject matter & silly elements

I don't know why the other reviewers said there were no deaths. The entire story is centered around the death of a young girl, which is handled in an emotionally heavy way. I found it depressing, except for the parts that were gamelike or Saturday-morning-cartoonish and silly. One more case in which I wish Commonsensemedia had buttons for "Sad" or "Scary." The sharks aren't all that scary, and the giant robot is downright cute, but the bad guy seems to be killing everyone who answers a question wrong, and besides, it's the main theme that may give some kids nightmares that you won't be able to talk them out of by saying, "it's just a silly story." SPOILER THAT SOME PARENTS MAY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT: The whole search for the elixir of life was initiated by someone who wanted to revive his dead daughter, and this effort fails in the end, but we are supposed to see it as a positive ending because at least she will remain in his *memory.* This theme is repeated and repeated in a way that seems to rule out imagining that she is going on to any kind of afterlife. To me, this makes it all the sadder.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byHumbleScientist April 12, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

My favorite animated movie so far.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is a wonderful movie. My sister (Age 7) and I (Age 13) greatly enjoyed this movie. The main characters are very positive role models (The secondary characters...not so much.) Professor Layton is a puzzle-loving, gentlemanly archaeologist who always puts others before himself. He knows how to use critical thinking and special tactics to get himself and others out of even the biggest predicaments. He fights when necessary, though it's mostly for self-defense and to protect others. (He's never shown actually hurting anyone, though.) His assistant Emmy is a young but loyal woman who is intelligent as well as a skilled fighter. She also helps others in need when she can. His 10-year-old assistant, Luke, is also a very good role model. He tries his best to become a true gentleman as Layton has. He wants to protect those around him from danger even though he isn't very strong. He is also smart, and is seen solving a few of the puzzles given in the movie. There is a bit of violence, though it's nothing major due to the lack of blood and the fact that no one already living actually dies and none of the protagonists are greatly injured.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old March 6, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

good things about this movie

It's a good movie with action,music and other stuff
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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