What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sweet, family-friendly fantasy is brimming with product placement, though most of it's in context (you can't really make a movie about a magic toy store without toys...). Plus, the positive messages about friendship, trust, finding your potential, and believing in yourself overshadow most of the branding. There isn't any violence, but the store does throw a temper tantrum that sends toys flying after patrons (the red walls also fade to gray, and the toys lose their spark and color). A significant death, while presented in an idealized way to fit in with the tone of the film, is handled gently and poignantly; there are some sad scenes, but it's peaceful overall (though really young kids may need further explanation of how death really works). A young boy is looked at as a loner and has trouble making friends with other kids.
- Families can talk about product placement and commercial tie-ins. Did your kids notice how many toys were featured in the movie? Why were some more obvious than others? Where else have your kids noticed ads and other marketing for this movie? Also, why do you think Eric felt that he was different than the other kids? Did your child relate to his character? Families can also use the movie as an opportunity to talk about death. What does it mean? How do you cope with it? Is dying always sad? Why or why not? How is it different in real life than the way it is in the movie?