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The Rescuers Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Great adventure, but too dark for preschoolers.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated movie isn't as accessible to the youngest viewers as many other Disney features -- its dark story (a suspenseful tale of child kidnapping and slavery) may be too much for sensitive preschoolers. The young Penny and her mice companions are nearly drowned as they search for a treasure, which gleams from inside a human skull. Though the kindness and bravery of Penny's rescuers ultimately triumph over the evil kidnapper, kids might find that the scary elements linger after the movie has finished.

  • Families can talk about how this 1970s tale is different from animated movies they see today. Can you tell the movie was made a long time ago? If so, what gives it away?
  • Discuss the villain Medusa. What makes her an especially good villain? Who's your favorite villain in the movies or in books? Why? And why do stories always have villians? What would stories be like without them?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Definitely a triumph of good over evil. Positive messages about helping others, and about the perils of being greedy. Penny worries that she's not pretty enough to be adopted, an idea that Medusa reinforces -- though ultimately that proves untrue.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The mice in the International Rescue Aid Society take it upon themselves to help girls like Penny who are in need. Medusa, on the other hand, is the worst kind of villain: she is alternately charming and threatening when Penny does not do what she is told.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Kidnapping of an orphan, perilous falls, and dangerous situations that nearly cause the drowning of a child. Medusa has a shotgun which she uses to shoot at mice, other animals, and the child. No blood, but snapping crocodiles tear at clothing. A diamond gleams from inside a human skull.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: Bullying language from an adult, who tells a child to "shut up," and calls her a "brat."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A country mouse drinks from a jug, remarking, "This new batch really packs a wallop!" He gives anybody who is lagging a slug of the booze, saying that it "will cure what ails you." Those who drink it spew fire and display renewed vigor.