Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva Movie Poster Image
Excellent anime based on video game characters, some peril.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.


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.


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byT J November 17, 2018
Adult Written byDr.Pepper January 1, 2012

A Hidden Gem

This is a great movie.There is some violence/scary scenes such as someone being chased by sharks, people being attacked by wolves, and the villain catching ever... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMonkeyMan123476 November 23, 2018

Doesn’t make much sense, but is fun and appropriate.

I really love the Professor Layton games, and when I watched this movie I was slightly confused, although the nonsensical content of the games only really makes... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byItalyJapan9 May 16, 2017

Professor Layton and Luke

I am a big fan of Professor Layton games and I thought that it did a great job capturing what was so great about the game into a movie. I thought it was a great... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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?


Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love anime

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate