Room on the Broom

  • Review Date: August 6, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 27 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Short and sweet adventure about a generous witch.
  • Review Date: August 6, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 27 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

It's not an educational story, but it does teach kids about cooperation and friendship.

Positive messages

The witch's willingness to take on extra animals on the broom demonstrates the importance of generosity and selflessness, even though it would be easier for her to just keep the cat as her only pet. The additional pets don't get along, but manage to overcome their differences to save the witch from the dragon. Their teamwork is rewarded, and eventually they live happily ever after.

Positive role models

The animals are all very dedicated to the witch, who in turn is generous to allow the dog, bird, and frog to join her on the broom.

Violence & scariness

The scene where the dragon attacks the witch and is going to eat her is tense, as is the mud monster her friends the cat, dog, bird, and frog "make" together.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Room on the Broom is the BBC's animated adaptation of a popular British picture book by author Julia Donaldson. The preschooler-friendly story follows a witch (and her faithful cat) who keeps adding to her broom's occupancy as she encounters various animals who have found objects she lost in flight. The movie's content -- like the book -- is fine for younger audiences, but it does feature a scary dragon that wants to eat the witch. Of course, she's saved, but the moment of peril might be too much for the under-4 set. Children familiar with the book will be particularly excited to see the short and sweet 27-minute film.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Based on author Julia Donaldson (of The Gruffalo) and illustrator Alex Scheffler's popular picture book, ROOM ON THE BROOM is the story of a ginger-braided witch (voiced by Gillian Anderson) and her faithful pet cat (Rob Brydon) who fly over the mountains, rivers, and forests without a care in the world... until the witch loses her hat. When she flies down to look for her hat, she discovers a dog (Martin Clunes) has found it and would like to join her and the now-suspicious cat on their adventures. This situation repeats itself two more times, with the witch losing something and then rewarding a bird and a frog with a place on the broom -- until the overloaded broom snaps in two and plunges into a bog. In the bog, a hungry dragon (Timothy Spall) captures the witch, leaving her friends to save her.

Is it any good?


Originally a half-hour special on BBC on Christmas Day 2012, Room on the Broom is zippy and sweet and the perfect short video for kids of all ages. Narrated with verve by English comedian/filmmaker Simon Pegg, the movie faithfully follows the book's plot. With its memorable rhymes and funny plot (poor witch keeps losing things), the movie is accessible to preschoolers and older kids alike. The stop-action animation is fabulous, and the movie's palette -- like the book -- is vibrant, beautifully highlighting the landscapes the witch flies through with her broom's other passengers.

The witch-eating dragon and the "horrible beast" that emerges from the bog (all of the witch's pets covered in mud and making angry noises) might be a tad too scary for some of the youngest viewers, but naturally there's a happy ending that involves a tricked-out broom that all of the witch's pals can ride in style. Regardless of whether you've read the book, this is a great addition to the streaming queue or DVD library.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the witch allows so many animals to join her on the broom? Was it wise of her to add such a load? How do the animals interact?

  • How do the animals learn to work together? What do they accomplish when they collaborate?

  • This movie is an example of stop-action animation. What are some other stop-action movies?

Movie details

DVD release date:August 6, 2013
Cast:Gillian Anderson, Simon Pegg, Timothy Spall
Directors:Jan Lachauer, Max Lang
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship
Run time:27 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Room on the Broom was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written bydyfdd December 16, 2013

Room for More of This

Based on a story written by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child among many others. It teaches how to share and overcome differences. Also, in the face of difficulty, it teaches how to work together to help a friend. The scary part is when a dragon threatens the good witch, but for children 4 years and up this should not prove too challenging to watch.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 4 and 11 year old Written byMr. M. A. Cat May 17, 2015

Beautiful Adaptation

My 4-year-old son was willing to give something new a try on Netflix. He has his favorite franchises (Transformers), when he stopped on this short I encouraged him to give it a chance. My 10-year-old son joined us to watch it. All of us completely loved it. It had light suspense throughout the short - we were all transfixed. The suspense intensified at the stand-off with the dragon. The art is adorable, the characters' attitudes are reminiscent of Kipper. The ending is perfect. My 10-year-old and I gave my 4-year-old a small round of applause for making such a great discovery.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 2, 7, and 10 year old Written byproxieme January 9, 2015

Short, Sweet Adaptation

While this does have a slightly scary interaction with a dragon that may make it inappropriate for some children under 4, my 2-year-old is obsessed with this movie and the other two BBC-produced adaptations of the same author's work (The Gruffalo & The Gruffalo's Child). She will ask anyone who will listen, "Have you seen Woom on Boom? Is SOOO cute TB show!" It's pacing is very much like having a book read to you, not frenetic like some children's fare. It teaches kindness, acceptance, cooperation, and - if your child can handle the scary parts - triumphing over the things that frighten you.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass