Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that although the plot revolves around the characters in a little kid's television show, the movie centers on a 13-year-old boy's changing relationship with his family and the world around him, and will work best for that age range. An alcoholic, remote father and a mother who seems to cede all the care of the youngest son to his older brother are not model parents, but love of family helps them cope. A boy is bullied by his peers for being a coward, and there are suspenseful scenes of a near drowning.
Hugs, kisses, and slight innuendo between a married couple; very mild flirtation between young teens.
A boy is punched in a fight and gets a bloodied nose. One character nearly drowns.
Lots of name calling between brothers and by the town bully who calls Elliot "a retard."
Imperfect family is held together by copious amounts of love and good intentions. Mother encourages oldest son's ambitions when alcoholic father seems unable to. Older brother undertakes a quest on behalf of his little brother, and the two consider each other best friends despite their age difference. Forgiveness, redemption, and "going the distance" are major themes in the story. There are a few farting frog jokes.
Froggy-Doo was a real children's show in 1960s Montana, and the real Happy Herb has a book and fan club and was involved in the movie's production. Both Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden books are used to research the criminal's possible motivations.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Father's constant drinking and frequenting of the local bar shown tearing the family asunder. A worried clown drinks to cope with the pressure of being the only kid's show on the air after Froggy-Doo is kidnapped, about the most pathetic sight a child could witness. Little boy buys candy cigarettes and rolls them into his shirt sleeve like a teen rebel.