The Three Lives of Thomasina

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Three Lives of Thomasina Movie Poster Image
Cat-centric family classic touches on deep topics.
  • NR
  • 1964
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

Death of a pet -- who comes back.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some children may be upset over the notion that a cat can die and come back; some who have lost a pet (or a family member) may be upset that they don't come back.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGrandmaSKAS February 1, 2011

Traumatized me as a 9 year old who's grandmother had just died

If a child has been touched by real death in the family, or of a pet, this film could be devastating. There are very confusing messages about faith/religion.... Continue reading
Adult Written byMentoring Mom April 9, 2008

WHAT?! Only 3 stars????

This is a Disney classic! I still like to watch it (for some fun performances) and I don't even like cats!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byPoison Ivey October 18, 2009

good movie, nothing bad at all

oh please, CSM, kids aren't that stupid. If you think your kid will be upset that there pet didn't come back, dont let your 2 year old watch it. I h... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byLuka Keats August 16, 2016

One of the Best Films ever! A Masterpiece!

This film is appropriate for everyone and it's very gentle. No Sex or Nudity, no gore, no violence except for when a cat is injured by falling crates, no s... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA is set in 1912 Scotland. Mary MacDhui (Karen Dotrice) is a little girl whose mother has died. She loves her cat Thomasina more than anything in the world. Her father Andrew (Patrick McGoohan), a veterinarian, is a very rational man who has a hard time showing Mary how much she means to him, or understanding how much Thomasina means to her. He is unable to cure Thomasina when she is hurt and puts her to sleep, a choice that is rational, but insensitive. Mary's supportive friends help her plan a funeral, which is interrupted by Lori MacGregor (Susan Hampshire), a mysterious woman who cures animals with herbs and affection and is thought to be a witch. Lori finds Thomasina, who is not dead; she has just used up one of her nine lives. In a fantasy scene set in Cat Heaven, Thomasina is reborn, with no memory of her previous life. The townspeople begin to bring their sick animals to Lori, upset because Andrew put his daughter's cat to sleep. Mary sees Thomasina and runs after her in a rainstorm. When she falls ill, Andrew, desperate, goes to Lori for help. Lori tells him that his love is what Mary needs.

Is it any good?

This family film delves into some pretty deep topics, such as death, the importance of communicating one's feelings, and of family bonds and love. Andrew represents the head, and Lori the heart. In the beginning of the story, both are isolated. Thomasina and Mary bring them together. Children may be interested in the way that the funeral arrangements are such a comfort to Mary. They may also want to know more about why Andrew had such a problem communicating his feelings.

WARNING: Some children may be upset over the notion that a cat can die and come back; some who have lost a pet (or a family member) may be upset that they don't come back.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they think about Mary's decision not to talk to her father. Was that a good way to solve the problem? What was her father's reaction? Was that a good way to solve the problem? Why is it harder for some people to talk about their feelings than others? Is it ever hard for you to talk about yours?

Movie details

For kids who love animals

Our editors recommend

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate