What parents need to know about recent movies

Available via PBS Kids streaming.

Age 6+

Animated alien adventure has learning, empathy, teamwork.

“Terra Willy” (also known as “Astro Kid”) is a French animated space adventure (dubbed into English) that’s full of positive messages with a bit of mild peril. After his family’s ship is destroyed by asteroids, Willy (voiced by Landen Beattie) crash-lands on an uncharted planet. Despite the fact that he’s separated from his parents, the movie has a reassuring tone, with no significant danger or upsetting situations lingering or hindering the fun. When they crash, Willy’s robot companion, Buck (Jason Anthony), calmly explains the situation, how they’ll survive and how they’ll be found, with Willy constantly learning and adapting to his new environment. Exciting action scenes include regular run-ins with big, dinosaurlike rock monsters. Friendship, teamwork and empathy are key themes, with Willy forming strong bonds with Buck, an alien pet and some giant alien beetles. There are two instances of potty humor, one with Willy and an alien urinating and another with a mention of “poop.” There’s some sadness with Willy missing his parents and having to say good bye to a friend. But overall this is a joyous adventure that can be enjoyed by the whole family. (89 minutes)

Available on various streaming platforms.

Operation Christmas Drop (TV-G)

Age 8+

Military history, positive messages in gentle romance.

“Operation Christmas Drop” is a gentle holiday romance with positive messages about serving others and providing for those less fortunate. Military families and buffs will appreciate the real-life history behind the service’s humanitarian missions to get donated goods to isolated island communities every Christmas, as well as the portrayal of hard-working, upstanding soldiers who embody the principles of “service over self” and teamwork. The romance at the film’s core involves mild flirtation, compliments, a dance and one eventual kiss. Language is limited to “damn” and a little teasing. The film has timely holiday messages about the joys of giving, gratitude and selflessness. However, although the bulk of the movie takes place in Guam, Pacific Islanders are mostly present as background characters. (96 minutes)

My Dad’s Christmas Date (Unrated)

Age 13+

Sweet but forgettable holiday drama has drinking, language.

“My Dad’s Christmas Date” is a father-daughter dramedy about 16-year-old ‌Jules‌ ‌(Olivia‌ ‌Mai-Barrett), who decides to create an online dating profile for her widowed father, David (Jeremy Piven), without his knowledge or consent. More a family comedy than a romantic comedy, the movie, which is set in York, England, includes some underage drinking, teens kissing/ making out on a bed (clothed) and several scenes of adults drinking at dinners and happy hours. The language is occasionally salty, with uses of ­“s—,” “b—-,” “d—” and more. Families who watch with their teens can discuss the importance of honesty, communication, and empathy between parents and children (91 minutes)

Available on various streaming platforms.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to commonsensemedia.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites and books.

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