What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even very young children will dig this Disney animated adventure, although it may be too intense for some. The story revolves around Lewis, a genius orphan who desperately wants to meet his real mother. There's a sense that he and his friends at the orphanage feel rejected -- he counts 124 couples he's met who don't end up adopting him -- but he's still take care of and encouraged by adults. The cartoon violence is owed mostly to the movie's villains -- a robotic bowler hat and the mysterious mustachioed man who wears it. The Bowler Hat Guy suffers from severe jealousy and bitterness, which is why he wants to ruin Lewis' future. But the future, as it turns out, is bright for all, even Lewis' nemesis. Parents of adopted children may be especially concerned with the way the orphans and the adoption process are depicted.
- Families can talk about why the Robinsons believe that failing is good. Can you think of a time that you didn't win but you still learned something useful? And, for fun, since Lewis is an aspiring inventor, name some inventions that you think would be useful in the future.
- How are orphans depicted in the movie? Does the movie make kids who aren't adopted seem sad and lonely? Do you think that's how orphans must feel? Name some other famous orphans in movies and books.
- How does the movie compare to the William Joyce book on which it's based? Kids: Had you read the book before you watched the movie? If not, did you know it was based on a book?
- Do you like movies that are based on books/stories more than ones that aren't? What are some of the best book-to-movie adaptations?