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Tom Thumb Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Fun musical adventure for the family.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that with the exception of Tom finding himself in some mildly perilous situations and some bumbling, farcical swindlers who are more humorous than threatening, Tom Thumb is an entirely kid and family-friendly musical movie more than 50 years old. The two thieves smoke in one scene and chug-a-lug a nameless but probably alcoholic beverage in another. The "special effects," which present a thumb-sized hero in a world of full-sized people, are charmingly primitive, offering a historic look at early effects-dependent filmmaking.

  • Families can talk about other films about tiny characters. Why are they are so appealing?
  • Is it fun to watch a movie made so long ago?
  • How does singing and dancing enhance the storytelling?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Tom Thumb is a lighthearted introduction to a popular fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.  

  • message true3

    Messages: It's important to know the people in whom you put your trust; strangers may not be what they seem. Be very careful when you wishing for something, because it just might come true.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Presents thoughtful, loving and responsible parenting even though it occurs in an unexpected way. Once Tom Thumb learns to be less trusting and begins to develop more judgment, he is an ideal son, friend, and citizen. Toys come to life in this movie, and a Chinese doll speaks Pidgin English and behaves in a stereotypical manner common to comic films of the era.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence and scariness: One lengthy, funny fight scene. Characters are "knocked out," bopped over the head with various "weapons" (i.e. a heavy spoon, a shield, an urn). Tom also makes his way through a dark forest, falling into a swamp, but is quickly rescued. In a climactic scene,Tom's parents, wrongly accused of stealing, are tied to a stake and threatened with a lashing, but given the overall tone of the film, the audience knows that they will be saved. 

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: A chaste, romantic subplot involves a musician and the fairy queen of the forest. 

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The two villains smoke in one scene and drink what appears to be an adult beverage from a jug in another.

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