This Oscar-nominated entry documents the intense experience of the National Spelling Bee as seen through the eyes of eight young spellers, with viewers glimpsing the kids' private lives as they train for and compete in the ultimate cerebral showdown. While they try to keep their eyes on the $10,000 prize, their personal stories illuminate their quirks, their obsessive study habits and their alternately heartbreaking and inspiring family dynamics.
Rent DVDs for only $7.99 a month.
- Jeffrey Blitz
- 2003 Academy Award®
- Best Documentary Feature nominee
Full Screen 1.33:1Subtitles
Closed captionedLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo French: Dolby Digital 2.0 StereoOther features
Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; filmmaker's commentary; bonus footage; actor updates; interactive game; educational guide.
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Spellbound is a documentary that follows eight kids from different socioeconomic and geographic areas as they prepare for the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. It has some tense and sad scenes; kids are upset when they lose (they're escorted onstage to a "comfort room"). One child uses a mild potty word. The film has great messages about working hard, self-acceptance, and always doing your best. The spellers are smart, funny, ambitious, brave, and dedicated; their parents are supportive and proud of their kids.
- Sexual Content
- Not applicable
- One parent tells another that the spelling bee is "a different form of child abuse." The competition is tense, and the spellers get nervous.
- One mild potty word.
- Social Behavior
- Hard work involves making sacrifices but is ultimately worth it. It's OK to be different. Winning isn't as important as preparing well for the competition and doing your best.
- Not applicable
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- A mom smokes.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it