Curly Top parents guide

Curly Top Parent Guide

Overall B+

She could dance, she could sing, and she captured the heart of an economically depressed nation--all by the age of five. Shirley Temple performs Animal Crackers in My Soup in this tale of a golden-haired orphan.

Release date July 27, 1936

Violence A
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A
Substance Use A-

Why is Curly Top rated G? The MPAA rated Curly Top G

Run Time: 75 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Shirley Temple stars here as Elizabeth “Curly Top” Blair, a baby-faced blonde. She and her older sister Mary (Rochelle Hudson) are the orphaned children of circus performers. Promising their dying parents they would never to be separated, the pair has come to live at Lakeside Orphanage, a private institution. Young Elizabeth rooms with the rest of the homeless girls, while the almost-adult Mary works in the kitchen.

It would be a satisfactory arrangement if the irrepressible little ward could just shake off her inherited desire to entertain. Encouraged by her peers, the twinkle-eyed tot belts out tunes like Animal Crackers in My Soup, and knocks off impersonations of the home’s sanctimonious trustees. These violations (added to the night she brought her pet pony in from the barn so he could sleep in a dry bed) have caused some consternation for the strict matron in charge of her care.

However, there is one person totally charmed by her antics: Edward Morgan (John Boyles) the youngest, richest and most recently appointed member of the board. Stepping in to save the incorrigible child, he invents a benevolent benefactor in order to keep anonymous his desire to give the dimpled darling a home where she will be appreciated.

The only catch to his planned adoption is Mary—who’s a non-negotiable part of the package. But one look at the beautiful sibling convinces the wealthy bachelor she may be an added bonus feature to the already good deal.

Of course it will take until the end of the movie for the two of them to work out the romantic details, giving the golden-haired girl plenty of time to dance and sing. And that’s the real attraction of a Shirley Temple picture anyway.

Perhaps the best-known child actor of all time, her angelic portrayals cheered a nation struggling through an economic depression. Decades later, she is still warming the hearts of family audiences—especially those with daughters.

Starring Shirley Temple. Running time: 75 minutes. Theatrical release July 27, 1936. Updated

Curly Top
Rating & Content Info

Why is Curly Top rated G? Curly Top is rated G by the MPAA

This movie contains only mild content concerns, which include young Shirley costumed in a Hawaiian grass skirt wearing only a lei of flowers to cover her bare chest, some social drinking and an unrealistic portrayal of being whisked away from life’s troubles.

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More parents' guide for Curly Top after the break...

Curly Top Parents' Guide

Do you ever wonder what happens to a child star? In the case of Shirley Temple, she grew up to have a career in politics. You can find more information about her here.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Curly Top movie is October 9, 2005. Here are some details…

Related home video titles:

Orphan stories abound in movies scripts, such as Madeline and A Little Princess. You will also notice these movies and Curly Top have similarities in the way they portray the institution’s dormitories and staff.

Related news about Curly Top

Shirley Temple Dies at 85—Proved Child Stars Can Do Great Things As Adults

Shirley Temple Dies at 85—Proved Child Stars Can Do Great Things As Adults

If I lost my innocence, it would show in my eyes.