Hugo Parent Guide
For audiences used to sugarcoated entertainment, this beautifully plated production will likely be far more substantial than expected.
Parent Movie Review
Director Martin Scorsese stands at the helm of the visually stunning movie Hugo. Based on an illustrated novel and set in the 1930s, the story introduces Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), an orphan who lives in the internal chambers of the Paris train station. Brought there by his drunken and now absent uncle (Ray Winstone), he secretly winds and repairs the multitude of clocks in the building in hopes no one will realize the older man is gone.
Wandering among the shops, he survives by stealing food while avoiding the station inspector (Sasha Baron Cohen) who patrols the depot for homeless children. In his tiny quarters, the lonely boy’s only companion is an automaton his father (Jude Law) found in storage at a museum. Tinkering away every evening, Hugo tries to repair the mechanical human figure.
Meanwhile the station’s toyshop owner Georges Méliés (Ben Kingsley) reacts coolly when his goddaughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) befriends Hugo. He knows the boy steals parts and tools from him. Yet only slowly does the connection between Georges and Hugo become apparent.
Lasting over two hours, this movie may be too long for family viewing with younger audiences. As well, the script expands to include a host of secondary characters and a storyline with some historical significance, which will thrill film buffs but may bore children and some teens.
Employing phenomenal sets and a strong musical score, Scorsese applies amazing 3D effects that leave viewers teetering on the ledge of a clock tower or staring down the workings of a giant timepiece. However for audiences used to sugarcoated entertainment, this beautifully plated production will likely be far more substantial than expected.
This movie is also known as Hugo Cabret.Directed by Martin Scorsese . Starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Lee. Running time: 127 minutes. Theatrical release November 23, 2011. Updated April 29, 2020
Watch the trailer for Hugo
Rating & Content Info
Why is Hugo rated PG? Hugo is rated PG by the MPAA for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking.
Violence: People are pushed and shoved to the ground as characters race through the train station. A man is caught on a hook dragged along the train platform. A dog nips at and bites a man. A fire in a building results in a man’s death. A deceased man is pulled out of a river. A child steals to survive. A man threatens a boy. A character is thrown into a holding pen and then picked up by police. Characters sneak into a movie theater. Characters hang from the side of buildings and experience other moments of peril in the movie, as well as in historical film footage. A train nearly runs over a person on the track.
Sexual Content: Men discuss a woman’s pregnancy and the paternity of the child. Other brief sexual innuendo is included.
Language: The script contains brief name-calling.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Smoking among secondary characters is repeatedly depicted. A man is drunk. Other characters drink on occasion.
Page last updated April 29, 2020
Hugo Parents' Guide
What does Hugo discover about the purpose of life? What difference does he make in the lives of the people he meets? How does he help Isabelle find her purpose? What is it?
Isabelle claims she has only had adventures through books. What effect does reading have on her and her vocabulary?
Clocks are everywhere in this production. What is the significance of time in this story? What events happen because someone is at the right place at the right time? How are some characters stuck in the moment?
Does an understanding of film history change the way we look at movies? How did those early inventions transform the world of entertainment? What other “passing fancies” have become ingrained in society. Check out this footage of Le Voyage dans la lune shot in 1902.
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Isabelle mentions a number of classic adventure novels, including Robert Louis Stevensons' "Treasure Island", a one of the best stories of adventure on the high seas for children. In C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe", the four Pevensie siblings find a magical world lying just behind the door of a wardrobe. Sophie, the protagonist of Roald Dahl's "The BFG" is spirited away to the land of giants- huge, bloodthirsty monsters who steal children from their beds at night.
George Melies' film "A Trip to the Moon" is one of the first science fiction films ever made. Early examples of science fiction in literature include Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon", and H.G. Wells "The Time Machine".
The most recent home video release of Hugo movie is February 28, 2012. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Hugo
Release Date: 28 February 2012
Hugo releases to home video in a Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) and a 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy). Both packages include:
- Shoot the Moon
- The Cinemagician, Georges Méliès
- The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo
- Big Effects, Small Scale
- Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime
Related home video titles:
Stuck in a place where people are always coming and going haunts some of the characters in this movie. In The Terminal, a man without a passport faces similar frustrations.
This movie is based on the illustrated novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. by Brian Selznick. Other movies inspired by children’s books include Bridge to Terebithia, Because of Winn Dixie and Charlotte’s Web.