What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while the overall message of this movie, which encourages children to become lovers of books, is a positive one, the scary adventures that take place in the film will scare very young children. The faceless "Nothing" sets out to destroy the land of Fantasia, and while the hero of the film has no weapons (at least until the story's end), he does engage in a bloody clash with one of the Nothing's emissaries. Other potentially upsetting incidents involve a steamrolling monster, bullies throwing a child into a dumpster, and a beloved horse being sucked into a swamp.
- Families can talk about whether a fantasy tale can be compelling without being scary.
- Families can also discuss the value of reading books, and how they can almost transport someone into another world. In the movie, that fantasy becomes a reality -- a distinction parents may wish to point out.
- They may also discuss a lesson from Bastian's father, who warns the young boy not to become overly caught up with his imagination. Are there times when kids' heads should indeed be in the clouds?