The Adventures of Thomas and Felix

Movie review by
JK Sooja, Common Sense Media
The Adventures of Thomas and Felix Movie Poster Image
Uneven indie about boy lost in woods with imaginary friend.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 75 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Some discussion about what forest animals might eat and might not eat, but no direct educational content.

Positive Messages

Follow your inner nature for your own path. Themes of friendship and loyalty. By letting go of childish things you can make real friends.

Positive Role Models

Thomas is clearly brave and determined, even if that leads to him running away and getting lost. But he's a good kid and treats his best friend in the whole world well and with respect. They play together and love and protect each other. They also challenge each other, debate options about what to do next and how to do it, and share their feelings and fears. Thomas maturely and nonviolently faces bullying behavior from other kids at camp.  

Violence & Scariness

At camp, Thomas faces some bullying behavior from other kids, like being made fun of for bringing a "teddy bear" and being "weird." They call him a "baby." Two kids pick up and throw Thomas into a pool. Some running from a "monster" in a forest. A few night scenes in the forest find Thomas and Felix scared. They also fall from the sky into a lake, but Felix turns back into a stuffed animal. Thomas, alone, searches for Felix in a dark forest. The "totem monster" could be scary for some younger viewers. It looks like a handmade tree person made out of grass, wood, and branch, with caved-in eggshells for eyes but no other facial features. He also has the ability to grow branches instantly from the ground. Thomas and the totem monster bury the stuffed animal version of Felix into a grave and then tearfully cover it up. A scary story at a campfire tells of a monster that "breaks your legs."

Sexy Stuff

Some might take issue with Felix being played by Delaney Wingrove, an older girl to the younger Thomas (Bryce Gheisar), even though Felix is referred to as "he" throughout the movie. For most of the film, Felix appears as a human girl wearing a fox costume, with her face clearly visible. There's no attempt to make Wingrove's face look like that of a fox. Felix, in this form, also has clearly visible human hands. The two friends hold hands, hug, and sleep together in the same bed, often on top of one another. 

Language

One instance of "nutjob." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Adventures of Thomas and Felix is an indie family film about Thomas and his imaginary friend, Felix, who is also a fox stuffed animal. But in friend form, Felix appears as a human girl wearing a fox costume, like one would wear at Halloween. The two friends hold hands, hug, and sleep together in the same bed, often on top of one another. The two friends are loyal to a fault as Thomas's parents worry that Thomas doesn't have any "real" friends. But to Thomas, Felix is real. At summer camp, his parents want him to make new friends, but instead, Thomas runs away and gets lost in the forest. Strong themes of friendship, growing up, and believing in your inner magic. Expect some danger, a few night scenes with moments of peril, and some bullying behavior from other kids at camp. Scary or emotionally intense scenes include when Thomas falls from the sky into a lake and when Thomas buries stuffed animal Felix. Also, the tall "totem monster" encountered in the forest could be scary for some. Language includes one instance of "nutjob."

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What's the story?

In THE ADVENTURES OF THOMAS AND FELIX, Thomas is encouraged by his parents to leave his best friend and stuffed animal, Felix, at home while he goes off to his first summer camp experience. His parents want Thomas to make real friends, but Thomas has other things in mind. He sneaks Felix along, gets ostracized by his cabin mates, and promptly runs away into the forest. Will Thomas survive in the forest alone? Will he let go of Felix?

Is it any good?

There's a charm and heart to this indie family adventure, but there's also a choppiness and vagueness to it. Whether in the dialogue or scene cadences of The Adventures of Thomas and Felix, transitions from moment to moment can often feel aesthetically or logically jarring in this darkly-lit half-fantasy. It's unclear what's real and what's not, which is likely part of the point, but its consequence is a feeling of ungroundedness. Ultimately, this amounts to lots of unanswered questions: Is Felix in human friend form only an imaginary friend? Or is Felix the imagined human form of a stuffed animal fox that wants to actually be a real fox, as some scenes suggest? Further, once firmly lost in the woods, when did it properly become an actually magical place or reality called "the who knows!" and does this "who knows!" have the power to turn Felix into a real fox? Or was that the totem monster's power? Also, what is the deal with the totem monster? Is it part of the forest? Just a random monster? Why is it called "totem monster" and so on. It's unclear whether or not there's magic, the supernatural, or just Thomas's imagination, how he's "interpreting this harsh reality of being lost in the woods."

But that doesn't explain Felix as always appearing as a human girl in a fox costume. Was Thomas imagining all these things in the forest but in reality just hunkered down for days trying to survive until he was saved by the search party? But clearly in this "who knows," a particular place or reality, Thomas sees Felix as a human. The transitions also are sudden and without explanation. There's lots of not explaining things. Still, kids who don't mind the confusion may enjoy this quirky fantasy tale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the portrayal of a boy and his imaginary friend in The Adventures of Thomas and Felix. Do you remember having or playing with any imaginary friends? Why might Thomas want to rely so heavily on Felix for all his friendship needs? Why might Thomas not like "real friends," as his parents call them?

  • What lesson do you think Thomas learned from his adventures? 

  • Why did Thomas bury the stuffed animal version of Felix? And what do you think the totem monster was doing when it touched the grave?

  • What would you say to Thomas if you met him in real life?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

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