Brian and Charles Parent Guide
This charming tale of a dotty inventor and his childlike robot conveys gentle humor and an appealing story.
Parent Movie Review
From his remote home in rural Wales, Brian (David Earl) has produced some truly inspired inventions. Fishing nets for your shoes, a flying grandfather clock (so everyone in town can tell the time just by looking up), and a bag covered in pinecones are just a few of his strokes of genius, with the minor caveat that most of them don’t work – except the bag, of course.
Hard up for company, Brian sets about creating some: he intends to build a functioning robot, complete with artificial intelligence. Assembled from a washing machine, a mannequin head, and an ominous blue light for an eye, his creation seems unlikely to work. Until, that is, it gets up and starts nicking cabbages from the garden. Brian names his new friend Charles (Chris Hayward), and the two have all sorts of fun together – at home, that is. Brian is hesitant to take Charles into the village out of fear of what might happen if the village tough, Eddie (Jamie Michie) should see him. And Charles is beginning to get curious about the world beyond Brian’s secluded residence…
The British have long held a great deal of affection for the local mad tinkerer, a slightly barmy, avuncular man who can probably fix your lawnmower when he isn’t trying to build an ornithopter in his shed from bits of an old bicycle, his wife’s living room curtains, and anything else he can get his hands on. Brian fits the stereotype exactly, a quaint village version of Dr. Frankenstein, cobbling together wildly disparate components until he has whatever it is he set out to build. Brian’s determination and delightful disregard for the laws of physics, reality, and potentially Great Britain make him an utterly charming character. He pairs well with Charles who, despite looking somewhat nightmarish at times, is little more than a huge, brilliant child, learning everything he knows about the world from a mad recluse who goes into town with fishing nets on his shoes.
The film is fairly simple, primarily focusing on the parental relationship/friendship between Brian and Charles, and the simple heartfelt sweetness of that relationship is what carries the movie. It isn’t laugh out loud funny most of the time, but it isn’t hugely annoying either – at least, not to me. Humor is relative, after all. Thankfully, the film knows it isn’t complex, and has the good grace to get in and out in 90 minutes on the nose, which is just about the right amount of time to spend with its titular characters. It’s even suitable for children, with little more than the adult equivalent of schoolyard bullying in the way of content. Whether or not they’ll appreciate it is another matter.Directed by Jim Archer. Starring David Earl, Chis Hayward, and Louise Brealey.. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release June 17, 2022. Updated June 17, 2022
Watch the trailer for Brian and Charles
Brian and Charles
Rating & Content Info
Why is Brian and Charles rated PG? Brian and Charles is rated PG by the MPAA for language, mild violence, and smoking
Violence: Several individuals are shoved roughly. A man is struck in the chest with a large piston and pelted with cabbages. There are several depictions of bullying.
Sexual Content: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult character is briefly seen smoking.
Page last updated June 17, 2022
Brian and Charles Parents' Guide
Why is Brian so scared for Charles’ safety? Do you think things might have gone more smoothly if Brian had explained this to Charles instead of simply telling him what to do? What do you think parents can learn from Brian’s approach?
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Other films about lovable robots include Finch, Wall-E, The Iron Giant, After Yang, I, Robot, Big Hero 6, and Ron’s Gone Wrong. You can find crazy inventors in Flubber, Back to the Future, Inspector Gadget, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and, of course, almost any version of Frankenstein. If you like off-beat comedies from across the pond, try The Last Right or Sometimes, Always, Never.