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 Hero of Color City is similar to Toy Story, but instead of toys coming to life, it's crayons. The movie has lots of positive messages about overcoming your fears, believing in yourself, helping others, and working as a team. There are a few scenes in which the crayons are in peril -- a dinosaur wastebasket comes to life, a character is dropped off a tall building (and caught!), the crayons take a boat down the "scary narrows" and encounter a spooky fog and threatening voice -- but nothing overly scary. Younger kids will like the colors and the mild adventure, but the story might not be exciting for older kids or their parents.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ben loves to draw, but what he doesn't know is that the figures he creates come to life, along with the crayons. After he goes to sleep, the crayons jump into their box to get home to the beautiful and bustling Color City. Two of Ben's creations, King Scrawl and his sidekick, Gnat, follow the crayons and start wreaking havoc in Color City. If crayon Yellow (voiced by Christina Ricci) and her friends don't stop King Scrawl from plugging up the town waterfall, all of the color will drain from their colorful metropolis.
Is it any good?
THE HERO OF COLOR CITY is similar to Toy Story, but without the groundbreaking animation or iconic characters. It's a cute movie with some nice songs and good lessons for little kids. But the main character, Yellow, isn't quite engaging enough to hold older audiences' attention as she inadvertently goes on an adventure and fights all of her fears.
There are some funny lines, mostly by the pessimistic crayon Black (David Kaye), and some pop culture references (plus a strange crayon who sounds like Jerry Lewis) scattered here and there, but the story -- while sweet -- is one we've seen before.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Yellow's fears. She's isn't very confident in her abilities and is afraid of new experiences. Kids: Do you ever feel afraid? What do you do to get past it?
Why do you think it was important for Yellow to help the creatures in the Land of the Unfinished Drawings?
Kids: Do you ever pretend that the objects in your room come to life when you're sleeping? Is that idea exciting or scary? Why?
- In theaters: October 3, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: December 2, 2014
- Cast: Christina Ricci, Rosie Perez, Craig Ferguson
- Director: Frank Gladstone
- Studio: Magnolia Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 77 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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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.
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