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The Velveteen Rabbit Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Family film lacks frills but has sweet message for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this engaging live-action/animated feature (based on the classic children's book) deals with some themes -- like neglect and death -- that may need explaining, it does so in a way that's gentle enough for young viewers. There are a couple of tense scenes involving a fire, and the main character's mother has died (it happened before the events shown in the movie). But ultimately this is a crowd-pleasing story with a heartwarming, family-centric message.

  • Families can talk about the movie's central question: What makes someone/something real? Is it love? If so, why? Why were Toby's father and grandmother so distant from each other? Are their reasons understandable? How do their actions -- and their relationship -- affect Toby? How would you feel in Toby's position? And what did Rabbit bring to Toby's life (and vice-versa)? Is the change that comes over the family believable?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A father temporarily passess his young son off to a stern grandmother who at first seems more inconvenienced than overjoyed about her grandson's visit. But the main characters undergo a transition and in the end are the better for it.

What to watch for
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    Violence and scariness: Some intense scenes involving a fire and a noble act of self-sacrifice, but no violence.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue