Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse

Movie review by
Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse Movie Poster Image
Feel-good Christmas family movie deals with grief and aging.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 78 minutes

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Though a fictionalized account of the lives of two of the U.K.'s most iconic kids' authors, the movie is "based on some true events." Audiences will learn more about Dahl and Potter, as well as their works.

Positive Messages

Dealing with grief, learning to enjoy the spirit of Christmas. Overcoming personal and professional disappointments. Learning to express yourself creatively. Gaining independence as part of growing up.

Positive Role Models

Both Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter are stoical in the face of various setbacks they face. They also show integrity and perseverance. Dahl must deal with losing his father at a young age, while Potter is placed under pressure to deliver work while feeling less passion for it and becoming older. They both show determination and a creative imagination. Diversity among the cast -- between men and women, and also different ethnicities.

Violence & Scariness

Character chases a duck with a carving knife -- done for comic effect. A young child kicks someone in the shin when feeling threatened. The parent of a six-year-old dies suddenly.

Sexy Stuff

Character refers to being "in there" with a member of the opposite sex.

Language

Language used includes "bloody" and "c--king" as exclamations. "Massive twit" and "saggy bottom-hole" are used to describe someone. A publisher pressures an author to remove what it says is bad language from a manuscript.

Consumerism

Character complains about a publisher being more interested in making money than interesting books. Developers want to divide up and sell some land for profit.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol in moderation at social functions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse is British family TV movie that has a feel good tone, despite it addressing topics such as death, grief, professional struggles, and aging. It is inspired by the real-life meeting between acclaimed children's book authors Roald Dahl (Harry Tayler) and Beatrix Potter (Dawn French), when the former was a young boy. A six-year-old Dahl must deal with the sudden death of his father, while Potter finds herself struggling to reconcile being a successful children's author with the pressure that she is put under by her publisher to tone down her work in the hope it will make them even more money. A small amount of swearing features with both minor cursing and angry exclamations, such as "bloody" and "massive twit." There are also a couple of instances where characters lash out to defend themselves. There is some diversity among the cast, both between men and women, and also different ethnicities. Consumerism features occasionally but is never celebrated. Instead, money-hungry publishers are shown to be tone-deaf as to what makes a good children's story.

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Kid, 12 years old February 6, 2021

What's the story?

ROALD & BEATRIX: THE TAIL OF THE CURIOUS MOUSE tells the stories of two of the U.K.'s most beloved children's authors, Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. Following their individual struggles, the six-year-old Dahl (Harry Tayler) meets the aging Potter (Dawn French) in a meeting that has an impact on both of their lives.

Is it any good?

An all-star cast ensures that this British TV movie has no shortage of talent on screen, which carries its well-intentioned but slightly lightweight script. Inspired by a real-life meeting between Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter, it's mainly a chance for everyone involved to have some fun with plenty of allusions to the authors' most iconic works.

Having Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse conjure up something as memorable as the world-famous stories of its two subjects is asking the impossible, but it builds to a satisfying final act where the pair are united. It also manages to balance some light-hearted moments with serious topics, along with a dash of the dark humor for which both authors are loved, and which livens up Dahl's encounters with some monstrous adults and Potter's dealings with clueless publishers. With its Christmas setting, this is solid family entertainment, stuffed with rich production values and season good cheer.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss the relationship between Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter in Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse. What do you think their meeting gives them both? How does this help them?

  • How does Roald Dahl deal with the death of his father? Do you think he responded to feeling sad and angry in the right way?

  • How does Beatrix Potter cope with getting older? Did it surprise you that she had stopped enjoying her work? How does she change over the course of the movie?

  • How much do you know about the works of Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter? Did you spot any references to their works within the movie?

  • The movie is a fictionalized account of a real-life event. Why is it important that we recognize that? What other examples can you think of where the story is based on something that actually happened?

Movie details

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