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Parents' Guide to

The Girl Without Hands

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Hand-drawn Brothers Grimm retelling is dark, powerful.

Movie NR 2017 76 minutes
The Girl Without Hands Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

French director Sébastien Laudenbach's debut feature film is a haunting Brothers Grimm adaptation with unforgettable visual style and a powerful message about greed, hope, and love. The distinctive animation is vibrantly colored, with hand-drawn characters and set pieces that are more sketch-like silhouettes than intricately detailed landscapes and people. While it takes a few minutes to get used to, it works beautifully for the story. The voice acting is superb, with distinguished actor Laudenbach's deep baritone sounding impressively creepy as the villainous devil/stranger. The girl also encounters a maternal goddess (Elina Löwensöhn) who lives in the sea, and her voice is appropriately ethereal and lovely.

Like many foreign animated films (and Grimm fairy tales, if we're being honest), The Girl Without Hands isn't aimed at young kids. The movie doesn't shy away from mature themes like sex, war, and childbirth, or the idea of infanticide and supernatural violence. As the young girl becomes a woman through marriage and motherhood, she continues to have a special relationship with nature, whether it's in the form of fruit trees, animals, water, the goddess, or mountains. She's also a loving earth-mother to her only son, and it's ultimately that role in which she's finally truly happy. A must-see for animation cinephiles, The Girl Without Hands should also appeal to families with middle schoolers and up who enjoy animated Studio Ghibli and European movies.

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