Inkheart – Mo Folchart is a ‘silver tongue’, someone who can bring books to life by reading them aloud but around the time he discovers this, his wife, Resa, disappears. He spends the next nine years trying to discover a book called ‘Inkheart’ which may hold the key to her whereabouts. When he finally stumbles across the last copy, ownership of it brings him and his teenage daughter, Meggie, into danger when characters from the book track them down with the intention of forcing Mo to bring the Inkheart world to Earth.

Inkheart (2008) – Director: Iain Softley

Is Inkheart appropriate for kids

By, Fair use,

Rating: PG

Running Length: 106 mins

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Eliza Hope Bennett, Andy Serkis

Genre Action/Adventure, Fantasy


Based upon the young adult novel ‘Tintenherz’ by Cornelia Funke, ‘Inkheart’ establishes the concept that books are more than just simply words on a page and the rare but special ‘silver tongues’ are able to literally bring characters to life.

Designed to spark the imaginations of children and gain their interest in the written word, ‘Inkheart’ creates a rich, colourful world full of unusual characters that encapsulates the imaginings of any child reading a fantasy novel. While the acting is good and the pace moves the story along well, the story itself is a little forgettable. Eliza Hope Bennett (who plays teenager, Meggie) is pleasant but a little bland and, as the audience is mainly seeing everything through her eyes, she lacks the much-needed charisma to bring out the wonderment of the world she is suddenly discovering. That said, the flair-tinged-with-pain characterisation Paul Bettany imbues the ‘ripped from the pages’ character of Dustfinger, and the deep sense of loss which Brenden Fraiser portrays (at odds to his usual ‘gung ho’ style) means that even when Meggie doesn’t engage the story, there is still plenty to be enjoyed.

Overall, ‘Inkheart’ is entertaining, fun and original; it is a good example of a live-action children’s story that will engage kids and is likely to get them picking up books instead of technology. Unfortunately it lacks the punch it needs to be the strong story it promises and therefore may not become the family favourite it could otherwise deserve to be.


There are several times during the movie when a character is walking alone, they hear whispers coming from books in the room. These moments do not last long but they could be a little spooky for some kids. At one point, a character opens one of these books and a loud, cackle erupts from it.

One of the villains threatens a man by speaking about their ‘calling card’ and indicates with a large, sharp knife a quick cutting motion along someone’s arm saying ‘1, 2, 3’ (showing that they would cut their arm three times and leave a scar), this man then approaches a young girl to threaten her with the same thing. A short while later, this villain is shown to actually cut someone in this manner, causing pain to his victim. This moment is quick and not gory but the level of violence and the glee this character gets from the suffering of his victims is likely to be disturbing for a lot of kids.

Main villain, Capricorn and his men keep numerous literary characters chained and imprisoned in a dungeon. They are all depressed and many have likely been there for a long time. Rapunzel is ‘read out’ of a book and is brought before Capricorn, in a very distressed state. His henchmen take great pleasure in dragging her away to the dungeon as she cries out in terror. Another character is dragged away and Capricorn tells his men to feed him to a crocodile, however this character is seen alive and well not long later.

A creature called ‘the Shadow’ is brought out of a book. It has previously been alluded to and it is clear that wherever it goes, death and destruction soon follows. People are seen fleeing from it but it would appear that there is no escape. When it is properly introduced, it is a huge monster with bright glowing eyes and mouth which is aggressive and likely to be scary for a lot of younger kids.


‘Inkheart’ is a fun and enjoyable tale that will capture the imaginations of generations of children, even if it is a little weak around the edges. Due to some violence and the villains being mostly uncaring in the suffering they inflict on others, we feel this movie should be appropriate for kids aged 9 and over.

  • Violence 3/5
  • Emotional Distress 2/5 (both Mo and Meggie are upset by Resa’s disappearance, whenever she is mentioned, both become quiet and solemn. One character who was forcibly removed from the book he was in spends many years trying to return, he has a wife and children and misses them terribly, there are times when he becomes very depressed by his situation)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (one character gets turned into the pages of a book. Their skin becomes paper-like and it consumes their whole body, starting with their face. They suffer a little but not overly so, their eyes eventually turn as well and once this happens, their body is only shown briefly)
  • Sexual Content 0/5
  • Bad Language 1/5 (infrequent mild cursing)
  • Dialogue 3/5 (a character talks of a literary character, ‘the little match girl’, who was found in an alley, frozen to death. One character threatens another by telling them that a monster will be ‘flaying the skin off (your) back’)
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of familial love, having courage even when it is against your character, never giving up hope and the love of literature.

Words by Laura Record

Inkheart [Blu-ray]

New From: £1.23 GBP In Stock

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