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The Borrowers Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Charming adaptation with constant (but funny) perils.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the little people in this movie have a lot to fear from the "Beans," or humans, who are out to exterminate them. The tricks and traps can be painful to watch. There are also some gross-out moments (like when a Borrower falls into a pile of dog poop, or when a villain is drenched in liquid cheese). But the clever gadgets and great escapes will prove entertaining to tweens and even adults.

  • Families can talk about what makes this film so fun, and compare it to Mary Norton's book. There's a lot of imagination here, and families can use this film as a jumping point to create their own imaginary stories set in worlds where anything is possible.
  • Why are so many books made into movies? Are stories usually more or less enjoyable on the screen? What makes a good book-to-screen adaptation?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true3

    Messages: Positive messages of teamwork, family, hard work, and friendship.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Strong female role models dominate the Borrower culture, making decisions, taking physical risks, and speaking their minds.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Perilous and violent scenarios have tangible results. Traps, chemical burns, pokes in the flesh with prongs, chase scenes where little people are nearly smashed with hammers or drowned in milk. No one dies or is mortally wounded. The action is frenzied and continuous, but fun, too.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: "Damned," "idiot," and "shut up."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Very discernible product placement in first 15 minutes of movie: Breyer's ice cream, Reach dental floss, Energizer batteries.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The villain smokes cigars.