It is a movie about adoption. It is, in fact, a powerful and positive movie about adoption. The content is appropriate for all ages and we strongly recommend it for the entire family.Oh, goody! We need more good adoption movies! But the Family Film Guide had this to say:
Of more concern to families with adopted children (and I say this because it was specifically pointed out to me by a adoptive mother after the screening) is the way adoption and orphanages are portrayed. Gru adopts three orphaned girls for a selfish reason and later returns them to their uncaring orphanage, but no worries, in the end everyone winds up happy.No worries, everyone winds up happy?! Gee, I want my kids seeing a disrupted adoption and an uncaring orphanage. No worries, indeed! And how uncaring is this orphanage? Well, how about this review from an adoptive mom who loved the movie but wouldn't want her adopted daughter to see it:
Warning: Because the plot deals with orphans and adoption, sometimes in an irresponsible manner, I didn't take Rosie. I think she is too young to understand that it was done with a sense of humor and true adoption is nothing like it is portrayed in the movie. If your children have any issues about adoption, make sure you talk about it before you go see the movie.Specifically how is the orphanage bad? Another adoptive mom advises:
The story line includes a single man adopting three orphaned girls so he can use them to fulfill his evil plans. The orphanage caretaker is a surly, demanding woman that punishes the children by putting them in "the shame box" During the climatic point of the movie, the evil character-turned good guy sends the girls back to the orphanage (against his wishes, but it's still a disruption). The orphanage caretaker makes the girls sit in the shame box because they're returned! The end is happy and endearing, heart warming, tear jerking, etc. Really, despite the premise, it's super cute. However, it could definitely be a trigger for traumatized children so be careful! I would NOT recommend it for families that have newly adopted children, have severe attachment issues or that have little girls that were abused by a male figure.Anyone wonder how supervillian Gru manages to adopt three girls? This reviewer does, describing the movie as set in a world where "a single bald man with questionable background could easily get approval for the adoption of three little girls, even after saying such creepy lines like: 'My heart is like a tooth, and it has a cavity that can be filled only with children.'" Great image of screening of adoptive parents, huh?
And after a positive review of the movie as "family friendly" at Christianity Today, an adoptive mom commented:
I would have given this film zero stars if I could. I am shocked that the reviewer does not speak at all about the terrible portrayal of adoption in this film. As an adoptive parent, I was appauled that my daughter saw the three girls put into cardboard boxes labeled Box of Shame when the villan returned them to the orphanage. Clearly the other reviewer knows nothing about adoption, because this movie does not give it nice treatment. Adoption advocates are horrified by this movie, and Christians who are compassionate towards orphans should boycott it.So now you know. Do with the information what you will. But recognize that even if you and your kids don't see it, it's highly likely that your kids' friends will have seen it. Be prepared for some nasty orphanage comments and send-you-back-if-you're-bad comments in the upcoming school year. Sigh.