A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Bracelet of Bordeaux is an unfocused, relatively worry-free movie with a confusing plot about dognappers. Some clumsy, mild cartoon violence (sneering, pushing ice cream into someone's face, chasing, tumbling over) with amateurish special effects (lights flash, colors change) provides what little conflict and the danger there is. The adults, with one exception, are either unreliable, self-involved, and incapable of adequate parenting or supervision, or unrelentlessly mean. A few insults ("crater face," "snot") are used; one very unlikable mother smokes cigarettes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Moving to another state is unsettling for everybody. But for young Helen, who has to move to Texas when her dad is transferred there in THE BRACELET OF BORDEAUX, it's simply awful. She's counting on her beloved dog Rufus, and her allegiance to the Wood Sprouts (a national girl's service club) to see her through. What she finds when arrives in the blistering sun and unappealing landscape of "Chem City," is a town in the clutches of greedy dognappers, an interesting neighbor named Marie, and a magical bracelet hidden by a French patriot near the end of World War II. Marie's dog is one of victims, and Helen encourages her new friend to team up against the awful young punks who've stolen the dogs, their gangster co-conspirators, and the corrupt policeman who helps them.
Is it any good?
The kids try hard and the dogs are cute, but nothing can save this clumsy, confusing mess of a movie. A few unresolved flashbacks, a barely-related dream sequence, and sketchy special effects compound the root problems.
The story is lacking motivation, consistency, and forward motion; the adult characters (along with the actors who portray them) are one-dimensional and irritating; and what little suspense the filmmakers manage to create never pays off. All in all, it's hard to award it even one star.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about kid movie themes. "Dognapping" is a popular story element in movies for families. Why do you think audiences find these stories appealing? Are they less scary or more scary for you than films with people in danger?
Except for Marie's grandmother, Helen and Marie are surrounded with adults who are unable to help them or even listen to them. Is that realistic? Who would you turn to in your family, school, or community to help you with an important problem?
What did Helen learn about the best way to use the magical bracelet? Can what she learned about using a powerful object be applied to utilizing our skills and talents as well?
- In theaters: October 1, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: July 14, 2009
- Cast: Ally Claire Carson, Kelsey Edwards
- Director: Casey Kelly
- Studio: Amusement Park Media
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild action, rude humor, and brief smoking
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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.