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 Gruffalo's Child is as beautifully adapted from the storybook of the same name as was the original tale, The Gruffalo. This movie is a wonderful choice for families, but very young kids might find some of the animals a little frightening or be upset by the Mouse's initial peril when the two characters meet. The movie reinforces positive themes about courage and the value of brains over brawn and celebrates the sense of security a child feels at home with his or her parents.
What's the story?
In THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD, the young daughter (voiced by Shirley Henderson) of the forest Gruffalo (Robbie Coltrane) gathers her courage and sets off into the woods in search of the Big Bad Mouse (James Corden) that her father's warned her about. Her journey brings her face to face with the Snake (Rob Brydon), the Owl (John Hurt), and the Fox (Tom Wilkinson), each of whom directs her further into the woods on her quest for the legendary monster of her father's stories. But when she finally encounters him, she feels unthreatened by his size, and the clever little Mouse has to think fast to avoid becoming a late-night snack.
Is it any good?
This darling film based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler turns the tables on the original story's plot, making the Mouse the object of fascination for the mini Gruffalo. In some ways, this makes it even more fun for kids, since they know from the start that a mouse would be no match for the young Gruffalo, yet her anxiety grows with every step that brings her nearer to his whereabouts. What's more, there are some good life lessons tied up in the story, particularly when it comes to fearing the unknown and creative problem-solving.
Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter and set to beautiful music that complements the enchanting animation, The Gruffalo's Child spans the age divide to entertain families, but if your little one is a sensitive sort, you may want to preview the movie to suss out the impact of some of the more perilous moments before you tune in together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about coping with fear. What scares the Child the most about the Mouse? How does her impression of the Mouse change once she's face to face with him? Have you ever been afraid of something only to discover it's not so bad?
How does the Mouse compensate for his size and win his freedom from the Gruffalo's Child? Can you think of another way he could have tricked her?
Kids: What are some of your favorite characters from books? Are they also on TV or in movies? If not, would you like it if they were?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love gentle movies
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
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.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch