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 FRIEND RAFFI REVIEW
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.
This film was originally reviewed as part of the Childish Films section of the 2016 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. FFTC was provided with tickets to facilitate our review. Find more movie reviews from past film festivals here.
MY FRIEND RAFFI – DETAILS & VIEWING INFO
You can view the trailer for the film below.