Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

The Great Alaskan Race

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Intense but uneven historical drama showcases teamwork.

Movie PG 2019 87 minutes
The Great Alaskan Race Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 9+

CAUTION; more death than reviews state

I was suprised at how much death was showed in this movie seeing that it was rated for ages 9 and up. Based upon the reviews and story plot given, we gave it a try as my boys love any "live action" vs animated. So we figured it was similar to Balto. While it was, it showed way more footage of the sick children as well as them passing than I felt was necessary for their young eyes to see. We did have discussion about different time periods and how vaccines have now been created to help with things like that, as well as airplanes that can now deliver medicine to remote parts of the world if needed. We did stop the movie about half way through as it was just too intense. Just a heads up for those parents wondering if it would be a good fit for your younger children.
age 8+

Fantastic Movie!

This is an outstanding movie of an amazing true story

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (4 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Presley's filmmaking debut lacks the sophistication to appeal to many adults, but the serum run of 1925 is a fantastic true story, and the movie has enough elements to keep kids captivated. One small but telling example: The actress who plays Seppala's daughter, Sigrid (Presley's own daughter, Emma), sports a front tooth that's half-grown back in. That's a small part of a kid's real life that has perhaps never made it the screen. And, of course, kids always connect to stories about amazing dogs, and movie canines don't get more heroic than Togo and his sled team. Plus, the relationship between "Sepp" and Sigrid is the driving force behind the mission's success, which might help kids feel a connection to a historical miracle. Other positive aspects of the story include the example of how leaders weighed the pros and cons of how to try to get the serum to the village.

That said, knowing that the film appears to be targeted at a family audience makes some of Presley's choices all the more confusing. It's unclear why it was so important for Sepp to kill a bear and drench himself in its blood (it doesn't match the description of the spirit animal believed to bring death). And it's a mystery why a musher would explain in gruesome detail the horrible death a husky will endure if run at certain temperatures ... just before choosing to run them in those same conditions. Puzzlingly, the identity of the narrator who speaks in first person is never explained, nor why he speaks only at the beginning of the film, never to be heard from or acknowledged again. Tweens likely won't notice those pesky details, although they'll definitely recognize that they watched a sad movie, even if the outcome is victorious.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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.

See how we rate