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Parents' Guide to

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Inventive, book-based misfit tale is sweet and funny.

Movie PG 2020 99 minutes
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 6+

Representing our neurodivergent population.

I think with everything else out there this is a solid choice for families. Yes Timmy is quirky, he has a difficult time socially, he seems to “not care” (taken from another review) about how his actions are effecting others. But this movie represents other kids like Timmy and I think that is fabulous. Timmy is autistic, neurodiversity needs greater representation and I think the film did justice in that respect. My 6 year old ADHD kiddo related so much to Timmy he was brought to tears and got reflective on his own behavior.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 7+

Fun and cute! Great message

I really liked this movie. Im pretty strict against violence, sex, language etc. Im not a huge fan of Disney but this one was really fun. No scared stuff, no sexy stuff, no bad language. Just fun! I loved his partner the polar bear. He is a kid growing up who doesn't want to be like everyone else and his mom supports that. He gets into some sticky situations but somehow comes out on top and learns how to be a better human being. His teacher is a little mean to him. The librarian was very "butch" and wore pride clothing but nothing was said about it. You do see his father leaving them at the beginning and that is sad. Other than that a great movie with a great message to be yourself.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (12 ):

This inventive, book-based movie pulls off the rare trick of being a thinking person's film for kids.The Oregon city that provides the setting for Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made has the unofficial slogan to "Keep Portland Weird." Likewise, this film's tagline could read, "Keep Timmy Weird." The quirky tale celebrates difference, be that in the form of a misfit 5th grader with an exceptional imagination, or in its Portland setting, home to self affirming murals, naked bike races, bearded hipsters, activist kids, and tattooed librarians. "Normal is for normal people," Timmy and his struggling mom say, in defiance as much as self preservation.

Timmy's single-minded, boy-against-world superiority is laugh-out-loud funny, but as it slowly dawns on the viewer that his refusal to adapt is actually problematic for his own well being as well as for the adults who care for him, the film also becomes a poignant psychological study. His imaginary friend and emotional crutch is the polar bear Total, and their tender, E.T.-like hand-to-paw farewell implies a new beginning for the boy.

Movie Details

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.

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