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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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 it may surprise you. 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.
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.