Parents' Guide to

The Happiest Millionaire

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Some drinking in long, corny Disney musical.

Movie G 1967 141 minutes
The Happiest Millionaire 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+

Sweet fun movie

I watched this as a high schooler and loved it them. My family (kids ages 9 and 11) watched it with me last month and loved it. It’s funny, sweet and the music is great. It’s quirky and fun.

Is It Any Good?

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

The unfocused, overlong, and beyond-corny storyline sabotages everything else in this story. Characters, like the lead character's two sons, sing a song early on, then are never heard from again. The more elaborate musical and choreography numbers share space with less-inspired songs that make The Happiest Millionaire at least half an hour longer than it needs to be. This is the last movie Walt Disney was involved with before he died, and the movie's overt themes of American exceptionalism and flag-waving patriotism, matched with its undercurrents of clearly defined class and gender roles, leave little doubt as to what side the filmmakers were on.

The talent of the performers is undeniable, and the movie isn't without some period charm, but it's easy to imagine many viewers finding more entertainment value in the corniness and irony of it than anything else. For instance, spirited odes to the boundless economic opportunity to be had in Detroit, Michigan -- released at a time when the city was starting its decades-long decline -- are up there with The Music Man's effusive praise of Gary, Indiana, for humor gleaned out of Rust Belt post-capitalist irony. Songs about how to woo a man, especially when you're a young woman who enjoys boxing and is capable of stepping into the ring and knocking out young male suitors, has aged about as well as the average 1950s sitcom. The result is a movie that superfans of musicals will probably enjoy, but hardly anybody else.

Movie Details

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