Ronja, the Robber's Daughter

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Ronja, the Robber's Daughter TV Poster Image
Beautiful book adaptation with exceptional female lead.
 Parents recommend

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Ronja is the center of a tight-knit family and extended community of loved ones, even if they are thieves by trade. It creates a conundrum, letting viewers decide whether the characters are protagonists because of the morals they show among themselves or antagonists because of how they treat others. Strong themes of friendship and loyalty, and the idea that breaking rules for the right reason can be a good thing. Some potty humor, as when a teen holds himself because he has to use the restroom.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ronja's mother is her steady guide, an intelligent woman who guides her daughter's knowledge and empathy and encourages her to be curious about the world. She's also the uncelebrated heroine among the more flamboyant men, quietly keeping them on task and solving problems that arise. Mattis is childlike in his enthusiasm and in how he relates to his fort mates, but he loves his daughter fiercely and is protective of his extended family. Ronja and Birk are great examples of how friendship can overcome differences.

Violence & Scariness

Robbers descend on travelers and intimidate them into turning over their belongings, but the exchanges are more confrontational than violent. Contentious relationships between Mattis and the leader of a rival robber band. Much yelling and arguing and some threatening talk such as "I will drop you from this world!" Some perilous moments and scares, especially during Ronja's visits to the forest.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Occasionally "hell."

Consumerism

This series is based on a book of the same name by Astrid Lindgren.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ronja, the Robber's Daughter is an anime fantasy series based on the book by Astrid Lindgren and presented by the studio behind Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. Ronja's extended-family members are thieves by trade, but they're not unlikable as a result. Instead, being raised in this unique community gives this unabashed girl a decisive sense of right and wrong and a strong value set that encourages her to trust her own instincts in choosing her path. There's little violence to the skirmishes that erupt between the robbers and their victims -- and among themselves -- but young kids may find some of the fantasy creatures that live in the surrounding areas scary, and there are infrequent uses of "hell." Strong themes of friendship (including a friendship that breaks the rules but fulfills Ronja and Birk) and loyalty exist, as does the value of being inquisitive and adventurous. This beautiful, musical anime series is an excellent pick for families with older kids and tweens because of its multigenerational appeal.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJelena C. March 27, 2017

Wait until your kids are older or just skip episode 15

This is a fantastic production that lives up to the Ghibli studio's reputation. We are highly enjoying it but are grateful that we were warned about episo... Continue reading
Parent Written byDanielle K. January 29, 2017

Delightful, heart-warming, funny, family-friendly :)

I think this is very nice and of course the animation is gorgeous. The story is classic and the characters are interesting and some are funny. My husband and... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 15, 2017

Not clean

It started of really great but on an episode (Not sure which one) they show a few men naked though they don't show any privates. It might not be what you o... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byclaradoctor1 April 2, 2017

Good advice

A bit scary for younger audiences with harpies. Honestly one of my favorite shows.

What's the story?

Ronja (voiced by Theresa Gallagher) is a spirited girl, the only child of robber-band chief Mattis (Rufus Hound) and his wife, Lovis (Morwenna Banks). Growing up among an extended family of career thieves has inspired Ronja's enthusiasm for new challenges and adventures and her courage in the face of adversity. Her inquisitive nature brings her face to face with some unpredictable situations, especially in the neighboring forest and among its strange creatures. And then there's her unexpected friendship with Birk (Kelly Adams), the son of Mattis' sworn rival, Borka (Bob Golding). On that front, things get even tenser when Borka and his gang move nearer Ronja's family. RONJA, THE ROBBER'S DAUGHTER tells of Ronja's coming of age as an outspoken, courageous, and loving girl.

Is it any good?

Narrated by Gillian Anderson, this internationally celebrated series is beautifully crafted around an exceptional young female character in Ronja. Though the details of her upbringing and family life among a band of robbers seem contradictory to the principled, empathetic girl she becomes, you quickly forget about the characters' questionable livelihood and focus instead on the image they create of family, community, and loyalty. As the beneficiary of her environment, Ronja emerges as an expressive, opinionated girl willing to stick out her neck for what she believes is right, even when it challenges her elders' beliefs.

Ronja, the Robber's Daughter is a methodical, almost relaxing series to watch because of the patient pace of the story, the sweeping scenery, and the stirring music that bridges dialogue. There's nothing rushed about this tale, allowing you to settle in and fully appreciate the expert animation and vivid storytelling that bring this popular book to life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ronja's character strengths in Ronja, the Robber's Daughter. How would you rate her courage? Her empathy? Her loyalty to her friends? How do these qualities compare with those you look for in a friend or strive for yourself?

  • Are strong female characters becoming more common in movies and on TV series? Are gender stereotypes challenged in this story or in others you've seen with girls at the forefront? Why is this a positive change? Are there any negative results that might come of it?

  • What does the music add to this series? How does this compare with American series, including anime-style ones? Did you like this show's slower pace?

  • People show empathy when they understand and share someone else's feelings. Let's think about empathy and Ronja, the Robber's Daughter. Do you remember when Ronja learned that her family steals things? How did she feel? Why do you think s/he felt that way? What other things might make Ronja feel sad or confused? How would you feel if you learned something about your parents that you didn't understand? What other things make you feel sad or confused?

  • People show courage when they feel scared but do something anyway. Let's think about courage and Ronja, the Robber's Daughter. Ronja shows courage because she makes and stays friends with Birk even though she's scared about what her family might think. Sometimes we have to do things, even if they scare us, so that we can take care of people. Can you think of a time when you showed courage? How did you feel before, during, and after?

TV details

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