My Friend Raffi – Review

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My Friend Raffi at MSPIFF

Image courtesy Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

My Friend Raffi is the fantastical story of a hamster who, hours after open heart surgery, is accidentally kidnapped and the parallel adventures he and his boy have until they are re-united.

Do I think it is appropriate for family viewing?


My 10-year-old daughter loved Raffi. We both agreed her younger brothers would have enjoyed it, too. However, they would have required translating, and it would have been less enjoyable for me. I’m hoping when this comes to video, it comes with an English option.

Every film I’ve seen in this series so far has included some aspect of running away. Raffi is no exception. Eight-year-old Sammy runs away several times in an effort to try to find his missing hamster. This film isn’t violent, but the character of Rocky is one of those one-dimensional bad guys from kids movies that is both inexplicably bad and stupid. So, his actions would be violent and scary in real life. In the movie, the violence is a bit more cartoonish.

Sammy’s older sister, Molly, is a young teenager with a boyfriend who is an all around nice guy. However, in one scene, their mother walks into Sammy’s room in the morning to find Molly and her boyfriend sleeping on either side of him making it obvious he had spent the night. Mom makes a comment about the inappropriateness of this, but then drops it. At the end, the mother promises she’ll let the boyfriend spend the night on the weekend. I found both scenes unnecessary to the rest of the story and wondered why they were even included in a family movie.

My daughter pointed out that Molly “used the Lord’s name in vain” a lot. I didn’t notice.There was a spattering of other mildly bad language — mostly from Rocky. This is a German film, so the kids went to a bar and shared a pop in one scene. Adults were drinking alcohol at the bar. Rocky was a smoker and his big evil scheme involved smuggled cigarettes.

For all of that, I found this to be the most family-friendly of the films I’ve seen so far. I wouldn’t hesitate to watch it with all of my kids. This film has been rated PG.

This film was based on the book of the same German title, Rettet Raffi, but it doesn’t appear to have been translated into English yet.


Language: German (with English subtitles)
Runtime: 97 minutes

My Friend Raffi can be seen one more time during this festival. Click the link to purchase tickets.

You can view the trailer for the film below.

Free Tickets DisclosureFamily Fun Twin Cities was granted press passes to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival to facilitate our reviews of the Childish Films series. We strive to provide honest and useful opinions regarding the appropriateness of each film for family viewing.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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