Matilda

1996 PG 1h 38m DVD

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Matilda

1996 PG 1h 38m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
  • Cast
Cursed with uncaring parents and a cruel school principal, 6-year-old Matilda escapes into books. But with a kindly teacher on her side, Matilda discovers hidden powers within herself -- which she uses to fight back against the bullies in her life.
Format
DVD
Screen
Full Screen 1.33:1
Subtitles
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
CC
Yes
Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Rating
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 9+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 9+
  • Mara Wilson
  • Danny DeVito
  • Rhea Perlman
  • Embeth Davidtz
  • Pam Ferris
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Reviews

age 9+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Matilda is a 1996 surreal family movie based on the book by Roald Dahl. It includes a lot of cartoonish violence, nearly all of it perpetrated by a bullying school principal. Children who displease the evil principal are put in "the chokey," a dark closet lined with nails and broken glass. A girl is picked up by her pigtails and flung over a fence. A boy is tossed out of a window like a javelin. A boy is forced to eat an entire gigantic chocolate cake in front of all his classmates; when he finishes, the angered principal smashes the giant cake plate on his head. There is reference to suicide in the story line and one use of "hell," plus "oh my God" used as an exclamation. When Matilda's parents aren't neglecting her, they're berating her -- so she decides to punish them. But she also stands up for the principal's victims. The film explores themes of youthful independence and personal identity.

Sexual Content

Not applicable

Violence

Cartoonish violence, nearly all of it perpetrated by a bullying school principal. A girl is picked up by her pigtails and flung over a fence. A boy is tossed out of a window like a javelin. Children who displease the evil principal are put in "the chokey," a dark closet lined with nails and broken glass. A boy is forced to eat an entire gigantic chocolate cake in front of all his classmates; when he finishes, the angered principal smashes the giant cake plate on his head. Reference to suicide.

Language

One use of "hell," plus "oh my God" used as an exclamation. Also some "fake" profanity, in which adults use mildly rude phrases ("dog slime!") where they might otherwise swear.

Social Behavior

Though Matilda's decision to stand up for those who can't or won't stand up for themselves is admirable (as is her positive attitude), there's plenty of iffy stuff here. The movie is relatable for kids going through their own growing pains, but the fantasy-based nature of the way Matilda copes with her problems doesn't offer many realistic solutions for young viewers. The film discusses how "most ideas come from hard work and careful planning."

Consumerism

A box of Cheerios is in plain sight. Dented Budweiser cans.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Adults occasionally drink beer.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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