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Treasure Island Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Spry adaptation of beloved pirate yarn has a treasured cast.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are fatal shootings and stabbings, and one intense scene when a horse-drawn carriage turns a pirate into roadkill. One scene even has pedophile overtones, but it will likely go over most kids' heads. The pirates are also pretty deep into the grog. When one of them dies, it's hard to determine if he was slain by his mates or alcohol poisoning. Young hero Jim Hawkins is threatened with death on occasion, though Long John serves as his protector, and Jim later returns the favor.

  • Families can talk about Jim's relationship to Long John. Do you think Jim has done the right thing in the end? Long John is endlessly flattering and complimentary to the boy -- yet he uses the same flowery language with an adult sailor, and casually kills that same man when he won't join the pirate mutiny. Do you think Long John has changed by the end? Why do you think pirate yarns were popular in the 1930s and are still popular today? How does this version of the tale compare to the book or other versions?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Young Jim Hawkins is a brave, scrappy, and valiant lad, even risking his life on principle. Most of the pirates are greedy, treacherous rascals, with the lying, cunning Long John Silver rendered sympathetic by his almost fatherly affection for Jim (we know nothing about the boy's own missing dad). Though it's doubtful Long John has reformed by the fadeout. Despite a setting predominantly in the West Indies, the ship's crew is all white.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Shootings, swordfight-stabbings, and fisticuffs. One pretty gross scene of a pirate run over by a carriage. A few skeletons.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: One creepy scene in which a grown man seems unhealthily interested in the boy Jim.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking among the seamen, with Jim Hawkins and his mother running the tavern.