A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this modern-day reinterpretation of these two classic characters makes Thumbelina far less of a "damsel in distress" and more of a take-charge woman on an equal partnership with Tom. There's some cartoonish violence throughout their adventure, but unlike many kids' films, the snappy dialogue and all-star cast should keep both parents and kids engaged through repeat viewings.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As babies, Tom Thumb (Elijah Wood) and Thumbelina (Jennifer Love Hewitt) were taken from their village by a giant. While Tom ended up with a kindly man named Ben, Thumbelina is held captive by a wicked circus ringmaster who runs a traveling freakshow. While Ben sends Tom off to find others like him, Thumbelina makes her escape. They meet, but encounter difficulties with lovelorn beetles, an inquisitive aspiring boy etymologist, and, worst of all, the Mole King (Peter Gallagher), who wants to force Thumbelina to marry him.
Is it any good?
THE ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB AND THUMBELINA is a fun tale with enough constant action and snappy dialogue to keep both children and adults entertained. The animation looks like something from a Tim Burton movie, and with a cast of familiar names lending their talents (besides Wood and Hewitt, there's also Jon Stewart, Robert Guillaume, and Bebe Neuwirth), the acting is above average for children's fare.
Fairy tale purists may scoff at this modern-day reinterpretation of these two beloved characters, and while the musical numbers don't always shine, for those wearied of female characters in this genre being typically weak, helpless, and unable to fend for themselves, this version of Thumbelina is a refreshing evolution away from centuries-long archetypes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about home, and why it is important for Tom and Thumbelina to try and find where they come from. Before meeting each other, why do Tom and Thumbelina feel like the only ones who look like they do?
Thumbelina says that it is "better to be original than a copy." What does that mean?
How are these versions of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina different than and similar to versions of these two characters in other movies and stories? Why do you think they changed them compared to how they've been in the past?
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