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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Introduces kids to a classic fairytale story, but other than that, this movie is purely for entertainment.
Strong messages about believing in yourself and being happy with who you are. Don't compromise to please others when you'd hurt yourself. The idea of arranged marriage and bride kidnapping might make parents a bit uncomfortable and bring up some iffy gender messages.
Positive Role Models
Poor Thumbelina is taken from her mother by an ugly toad who wants to marry her, but she perseveres in the face of adversity. She follows her heart and expresses her will, though at times she seems easily swayed.
Violence & Scariness
The toad brothers bonk people on the head, and there is a sword fight between Cornelius and the toad. The story hinges on arranged marriage and bride kidnapping, which provides some tense moments throughout.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The Beetle keeps calling Thumbelina "Toots," and she constantly responds, "I am NOT your toots!" Lots of song and discussion about "true love."
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One of the characters calls Thumbelina "ugly" and hurts her feelings.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Members of the audience at the Beetle Ball drink cocktails.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thumbelina, a adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's story, will delight fans of fairies and princesses, but also includes some tension and mild peril. There are themes of kidnapping and marriage to the wrong fellow for the wrong reasons, but the happily-ever-after is solidly in place. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though Thumbelina can be swayed to accept different paths rather easily, it's enjoyable to watch her will shine through. And life in the forest is lush and lively, and the dramatic action is fanciful, while hitting notes of struggle and triumph. Barry Manilow (yes, that Barry Manilow) has written a host of songs that Thumbelina (voiced by Jodi Benson) brings to life. Guest voice appearances by Charo, Kenneth Mars, and Carol Channing enrich the talented cast.
Though it's not Disney, this feature does give Disney a run for its money. Younger children will appreciate the little characters like the Jitterbugs, and older kids might like the comic Beetle and the teen romance aspect. Parents might even find themselves enjoying the music.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.