When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

2003 PG 1h 25m DVD

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When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

2003 PG 1h 25m DVD
  • Overview
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Billed as "the fattest boy in the world," sideshow attraction Zachary Taylor (Sasha Neulinger) has a big effect on gawkers in the sleepy town of Granger, Texas, including 12-year-old Toby Wilson (Jonathan Lipnicki), whose initial attitude of derision is transformed into one of empathy and tolerance. Cody Linley, Eric Stoltz and Jane Krakowski co-star in this heartwarming tale of friendship based on the award-winning book by Kimberly Willis Holt.
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
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 11+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 11+
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age 11+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is a 2003 coming-of-age movie that deals with some emotional topics that could be difficult for some kids. For instance, a beloved "big brother" figure in the movie dies in war, and the sorrow and grief of the family and friends when they are informed of his death is shown in heart wrenching detail. Also, a tween boy wrestles with the difficulties he has over the possibility that his mother might not come back after leaving their small Texas town in the hopes of becoming a famous country singer. And then there's Zachary Beaver, a morbidly obese boy who seems to be exploited as a freak show act by his legal guardian. There's also some profanity used by tweens, including like "sucks," "son of a bitch," "fat-ass," and "dammit."

Sexual Content

Mild preteen kissing and flirtation.


A beloved character dies, and the sorrow and grief of the family and friends when they are informed of this death is shown in heart wrenching detail. Mild peril, as a boy trying to cross a rickety ladder between two silos nearly falls when the ladder begins to break. Two best friends get into a physical altercation in a lake. Bullies kick at the trailer door where an overweight boy lives while calling him names; the two lead boys in the movie retaliate by throwing rocks at the bullies.


On occasion, preteens use words like "sucks," "son of a bitch," "fat-ass," and "dammit." When a pretty girl walks by and smiles at one of the main preteen characters, his friend tells him "She wants you."

Social Behavior

Through discussion and example, this film shows young characters learning to be considerate and empathetic toward those they consider to be "different."


The Rock Star Games logo appears in one of the preteen's bedrooms through posters hanging on his walls.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The owner of the local diner frequently appears intoxicated, sipping from a flask while mumbling.

  • 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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