A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Doesn't teach kids much, but does reinforce the value of reading skills by dropping the characters into rooms inspired by famous stories like Charlotte's Web, The Wizard of Oz, and The Tell-Tale Heart.
Kids see the tweens collaborate to solve puzzles and decipher clues in an escape game. A shared goal unites formerly antagonistic classmates, one of whom sees the error of his bullying ways and makes amends, and makes new friends in the process. The tweens enjoy the feeling of a job well done when they complete their escape task.
Positive Role Models
Kyle discovers leadership qualities he didn't know he had, and Charles learns the value of working with people instead of trying to control them. Classmates forge new friendships and strengthen existing ones as a result of their unique experience in the library challenge.
Violence & Scariness
Tweens face all kinds of surprises and scares in Mr. Lemoncello's cutting-edge library, and there are some scenes of genuine peril. There's a giant spider, monsters, vampires, and a wicked witch, to name a few. Two characters aim arrows at the kids.
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Some name-calling like "losers" and "wuss."
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Products & Purchases
The movie is inspired by a book of the same name by Chris Grabenstein.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is an adventure movie based on the book of the same name by Chris Grabenstein. There are some mild scares and surprises as the kids explore the library, especially in the horror section where they encounter vampires and other monsters. The building's many unusual features include trapdoors and holograms, plus magical pictures and print that pose puzzles to the kids. Positive themes of friendship and teamwork are offset by one character's chronic bullying, which causes rifts among the kids for most of the story but does reach a happy end eventually.
Is It Any Good?
Grabenstein's well-received mystery story inspires this wacky movie that's all fast-paced fun and laughs. Reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the story features characters at the mercy of the whims of a peculiar gaming genius and his elaborate (and frequently malfunctioning) library. While they solve riddles and break codes, the kids must also elude storybook characters and work together, even with difficult peers.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library's numerous nods to books and stories will delight those who are familiar with them, and they could encourage kids' interest in those they haven't read or heard. The story also raises some worthwhile talking points about getting along with others and about bullying, which is prominent in one character's behavior until he has a change of heart. For parents, it's a great opportunity to show how bullying affects other people and why it's important to consider peers' feelings when relating to them.
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.