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Parents' Guide to

Trouble at Timpetill

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Adventure tale with kids in charge has violence, bullying.

Movie NR 2008 95 minutes
Trouble at Timpetill Poster Image

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Based on a classic children's book, the film lies somewhere between Home Alone and Lord of the Flies. Trouble at Timpetill is set in an idyllic European hamlet in an unspecified past era when kids had the freedom (and the lack of screens) to roam the streets together making mischief and having fun. Their communalism and inventiveness are delightful to behold, and the film is at its best when the kids come together to fill the adult roles in town, from cooking to delivering mail to investigating crimes to recording and announcing the news.

Trouble has some uneven patches, like the come-and-go use of animation and special effects, and it skips over showing key parts of the adults' adventure, which seems entirely constructed to justify the kids' story (and a cameo by legendary actor Gerard Depardieu). But the cast of kids are engaging, and they fully embody their individual characters' idiosyncrasies. The portrayal of the good kids versus the bad kids might feel a bit too stereotyped, and some of the fights too violent for young viewers, but Trouble is still a fun and out-of-the-norm family film.

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