The Painting

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Painting Movie Poster Image
Stunning animated drama tackles prejudice, forbidden love.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 76 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie reinforces the idea that you shouldn't discriminate against others; that it doesn't matter how you look but who you are -- and that superficial differences shouldn't divide people. The way the Alldunns treat the Halfies, and particularly the Sketchies, shows how easy it is for everyone in a class of people to dehumanize another class of people.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ramo loves Claire despite her Halfie status, and he speaks out against the Alldunn leader's plan to subjugate the Halfies and Sketchies. Lola is very brave and goes with Ramo to attempt to find the painter. Quill selflessly wants the painter to revive and finish his friend.


Alldunns stomp on a Sketchie until he seems dead. The Alldunn leader has groups of Sketchies and then Halfies rounded up and forced to work as slave labor. The Alldunn security forces storm Sketchie and Halfie living quarters and force everyone out.


Two characters in love kiss and embrace a few times. In one scene, there's an abstract nude painting that talks. The Alldunn characters dance at a party.


The Alldunns insult the Sketchies and Halfies, calling them "animals," "disgusting," and "trash."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alldunns drink at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Painting is a French animated adventure dubbed into English. Following the three classes of people depicted in an unfinished painting -- the completely colored "Alldunns," the somewhat done "Halfies," and the charcoal "Sketchies" -- the movie deals with mature themes like discrimination, tyranny, and forbidden love. A young couple kisses and embraces a few times, and the Alldunns treat both the Sketchies and the Halfies inhumanely -- forcing them to their bidding and even stomping/killing Sketchies. The movie should spark some questions about prejudice and how to overcome it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byiuiu May 26, 2014

Beautifull animation for tweens and up

It is a wonderful story, beautifully animated and full of imagination. I recommend it for tweens and up. I watched this film with my child and two other kids in... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byT J May 8, 2018

What's the story?

THE PAINTING follows characters who exist in an artist's unfinished canvas. There are three classes of people: the completely done "Allduns" consider themselves superior to everyone else and live in a vibrantly colored castle; the partially finished "Halfies" were almost done before the artist abandoned the work, but even a missing brushstroke renders them perceived as inferior; and the poor "Sketchies" are barely more than charcoal line drawings. Ramo, an Alldun, is in love with Claire, a Halfie. Led by their ruthless leader, the Allduns plan to enslave the Sketchies and push the Halfies out, so that they -- the artist's only fully realized creations -- can rule over more space. Unwilling to accept the status quo, Ramo, along with Claire's Halfie friend Lola and a brave Sketchie named Quill, go on a quest to search for the missing artist.

Is it any good?

With The Painting, French director Jean-François Laguionie has created a simple but beautiful allegory that older kids will appreciate for its substance and style. Very young kids may not understand the movie's more mature themes and subject matter, but the entire family can use The Painting as a way to discuss how easy it is for people to discriminate -- and how sometimes all it takes is one or two brave people to stand up to prejudice.

Ramo and Claire's Romeo and Juliet-esque love story seems doomed at the beginning, but it's actually full of hope and possibility. When Ramo sweetly tells Claire how colorful her (unfinished) face looks to him, it's one of the most romantic moments in any movie in recent memory. His love for Claire propels Ramo to look for the painting's artist -- the only person who can end the Allduns' circle of oppression. Along the way, Ramo, Quill, and Lola meet characters from the artist's other paintings and discover that they'll have to make life better for themselves. The action isn't as fast-paced as most American animated movies, so this is a film best watched with older kids who will appreciate it. An English-dubbed version is available, but if your kids are old enough to read, you might want to check out the original (Le Tableau) with English subtitles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Painting's messages about discrimination. Parents may want to discuss historical (and contemporary) examples of oppression.

  • Claire and Ramo are typical examples of star-crossed lovers. Why is forbidden love such an enduring theme in movies? Can you name other star-crossed lovers from movies and books?

  • Why do you think Lola wasn't as satisfied as the other characters with being able to finish yourself? What are the parallels to being able to reinvent yourself?

  • How does this film compare to more mainstream American animated movies you've seen?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animation

Themes & Topics

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