A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Beyond the divisions of war and battles between countries and their armies, there is a shared humanity that unites us all.
Positive Role Models
Will learns to see the humanity in the enemy he has been sent to fight.
Violence & Scariness
While not graphic, the violence and horror of war is strongly implied. There are sounds and images of machine gun fire, bombs, and injured soldiers.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are shown smoking cigarettes and pipes in a historically accurate setting. While an officer talks on the telephone, there is a close-up of the phone, with a bottle of booze and a half-filled glass next to it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that War Game is not a typical holiday story and those looking for a feel-good tale will be disappointed. The beautifully told short animated film is set during World War I and serves as a comment on war and humanity. While there is no graphic violence, much of the action is set in the trenches; there is gunfire, rats, bombs, and casualties. The subject matter could be too intense for younger viewers, but for those mature enough to comprehend the deeper meanings of Christmas and peace, War Game should provoke discussion about history, warfare, Christmas, and how the three are often conveyed in popular culture. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
WAR GAME stands apart from other stories set at Christmas in that it conveys a profound message about the true meaning of Christmas without sentimentality. In less than half an hour, this animated film presents deep lessons on the realites of war, what Christmas represents, and a historical snapshot of trench warfare in World War I. That being said, War Game is excellent, but is not typical holiday fare.
Based on a book, the animation is quite distinct, and goes far to contrast the innocent pleasures of youth with the horrors of war creating a deeply moving experience.
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.