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Is Netflix’s The Willoughbys Kid Friendly?

The Willoughbys on Netflix has no qualms about not being a touchy feely, family film. However you may be surprised at the outcome (or not as the film progresses). Is Netflix’s The Willoughbys kid friendly? With tongue-in-cheek and dark humor and questionable parents that the kids try to get rid of, it may not be for everyone.

The Willoughbys Parent Movie Review

Is Netflix’s The Willoughbys Kid Friendly?

The first quote from The Willoughbys lets you know right off the bat that if you love stories about families that stick together and love each other through thick and thin and it all ends happily ever after…this isn’t the film for you. And they’re right. 

Since the storyline involves kids wanting to kill their parents, The Willoughbys is not exactly kid friendly for those looking for a sappy animated family film. There’s a sarcastic cat, some rude humor, and parents who outrightly claim they don’t like their kids and wish they weren’t there. 

The parents are a hot mess, yet love each other; they just regret having kids and resent them, often neglecting them and saying rude things. The kids include Tim Willoughby (Will Forte) who wants to restore The Willoughby family name, Jane Willoughy (Alessia Cara), the sister with a positive outlook who loves to sing, and the Barnabys (Sean Cullen), creepy twins who add one-liners. They are fed up with their parents and decide it’s time to get rid of them.

The Willoughbys is rated PG for rude humor.


There is no inappropriate language in The Willoughbys.


There are some deaths meant to be humorous. The parents starve the children, and in another scene the parents are presumed dead.

Mature Content

Topics such as adoption, orphans, child abuse, and abandonment are addressed. The parents are very affectionate with each other and sometimes make suggestive comments and gestures.

Is The Willoughbys ok for kids?

Are The Willoughbys Appropriate For Kids Under 8?

The Willoughbys are bizarre and weird, two characteristics that I can appreciate, but the movie itself just doesn’t make sense. I recommend The Willoughbys for kids over 8 with two asterisks. One, if your child takes everything literally and doesn’t understand the concept of sarcasm, then he’ll most likely ask a lot of questions about why the parents are making certain decisions. 

Why aren’t the parents feeding the kids? Why do the parents hate the children? Why do the kids want to get rid of their parents? And sometimes the parents are all over each other while the father makes some purring noise with his neck which skeeves me out a bit, but I think that’s the point.

And two, if your child is adopted or has issues with abandonment or low self-esteem, then there may be some triggers in this film, and you may want to screen it first. 

Is The Willoughbys on Netflix kid friendly?

There are definite funny moments and Ricky Gervais as the cat narrator often makes me chuckle with his snide comments. Maya Rudolph as the Nanny brings some sunshine and pep to an otherwise somewhat solemn film even with its bright colors in the animation. It’s like colorful chaos. 

Perhaps during these times the message of ‘the best stories are always the hard ones’ will bring hope to somebody needing a different perspective. 

I don’t know that I’d classify The Willoughbys as family friendly, but it’s animated, it’s relatively safe for kids, dares to be different, and my standards are lower these days.

Is The Willoughbys appropriate for kids?

Netflix's The Willoughbys Movie Review: A Dark Family Film

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

[…] Is The Willoughby’s kid friendly? Well, my girl Tania at Lola Lambchops has you covered on that one. I am never the right person to answer this question because I am pretty lenient about what my kids watch. Does this movie seem a little dark? Yup. I mean — the parents totally hate their kids. Like despise them. They treat them horribly. These poor kids don’t even eat. Or know what TV is. And they never get to feel love. It is sad. Like…real sad. I am honestly surprised that this movie didn’t make me cry. Because I cry at everything.  […]