Where Is Anne Frank
Profound animation tackles heavy themes with positivity.
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Where Is Anne Frank
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Where Is Anne Frank is a poignant and profound animation with plenty of positive messages despite the backdrop of World War II and its atrocities. After a magical storm, Kitty (voiced by Ruby Stokes), the imaginary friend from Anne Frank's (Emily Carey) diary, comes to life in modern day Amsterdam. While searching for her friend, Kitty learns of the horrors of Nazism, in particular toward the Jewish community. The film also relates the Holocaust to the current refugee crisis, making for a relevant and thought-provoking feature. Despite these heavy themes, Anne's blissful, optimistic outlook on life, and ability to find the good in everything, sets the tone for the film. There are upsetting scenes though. For example, Anne and her family are seen being transported to their death in a concentration camp, with Anne trying to understand why the person she is puts her life in danger. As a reminder to Anne and Kitty's young age, there are innocent teen conversations about crushes and some characters kiss. In the 1940s, characters smoke, and in one scene in modern day Amsterdam, someone is shown smoking cannabis, where it is legal to do so.
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What's the Story?
In WHERE IS ANNE FRANK, a storm hits present day Amsterdam and the Anne Frank museum, causing the pages from Anne's diary to come to life, including her imaginary friend, Kitty (Ruby Stokes). Kitty doesn't understand the world she is in, and goes on the hunt for her best friend, trying to comprehend as she searches in vain, exactly what happened to Anne (Emily Carey), and why.
Is It Any Good?
This fantastical animation is a truly unique and fascinating route into a story many of us already know so well. Where Is Anne Frank tackles the young diarist's story through the eyes of her imaginary friend, Kitty, who magically finds herself in modern day Amsterdam. What this approach, and this perspective allows, is for the viewer to try and understand what happened to Anne Frank through the eyes of someone who had no idea what had occurred. Kitty is oblivious to the horrors and cruelty that swept across Europe during World War II, learning about them for the first time and trying to make sense of them. Through these innocent eyes we see the atrocities of WWII in a simplified form, which makes the devastation seem even more profound and upsetting -- the sheer tragedy that kids were killed for no other reason than their race.
Yet Where Is Anne Frank also strives to highlight the lasting impact that Anne left behind, the sense of humanity she gave to an otherwise inhumane period of history. Tying the Holocaust to the ongoing refugee crisis feels a little heavy-handed, though it's difficult to be too critical of a story that hammers the importance of love over hate. To top it all off, the animation style is striking, adding to a film that will enlighten and capture the imaginations of both kids and adults.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what happened to Anne in Where Is Anne Frank. What did you know about her before you saw this movie? Has it inspired you to learn more about her? What character strengths did she demonstrate?
The film discusses some difficult themes. How did the fact that the film was animated impact how you felt about the story? How to talk to kids about violence, crime, and war.
The film ties the Holocaust to the ongoing refugee crises. Are you a refugee, or do you know any refugees? What can we do to help those in need?
Many of the characters in the 1940s smoked. Do you think attitudes toward smoking have changed? If so, why?
- In theaters: March 18, 2022
- Cast: Ruby Stokes, Emily Carey, Sebastian Croft
- Director: Ari Folman
- Studio: Wild Bunch
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Activism, Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Character Strengths: Communication, Compassion, Courage, Curiosity
- Run time: 99 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 24, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Inspiring wartime journal reveals teen's inner life.
My Best Friend Anne Frank
Girl risks life to save best friend; violence, intense peril
Anne Frank Remembered
Powerful look at the Holocaust through teen eyes.
For kids who love stories about Jewish history
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