Once Upon a Crime parents guide

Once Upon a Crime Parent Guide

Instead of being silly-but-fun, this movie is just irrational and disjointed.

Overall B-

Netflix: While attending a fairy tale ball, Little Red Riding Hood gets embroiled in a murder mystery that only she can solve.

Release date September 14, 2023

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is Once Upon a Crime rated TV-PG? The MPAA rated Once Upon a Crime TV-PG for fear.

Run Time: 107 minutes

Parent Movie Review

In the fairytale kingdom of Clair de Lune, Little Red Riding Hood (Kanna Hashimoto) has set out on an adventure to gain more life experience and explore new lands. On her travels, she meets Cinderella (Yuko Araki), who hopes to attend that night’s royal ball to get her mind off the bullying she endures at home. With the help of some semi-competent fairies, the two women, now dressed for the occasion, make their way toward the castle. Just as the evening is getting started, the king’s hairdresser is found murdered. Now with all the attendees as suspects, Little Red Riding Hood must use all her deductive skills to solve the crime.

I like camp. I like movies that don’t take themselves too seriously and are in on the joke. But when that tone goes too far it has a tendency to fall off into incomprehensibility. That is unfortunately the case in Once Upon a Crime. Every single story beat and character choice is silly, which makes for a frustrating viewing experience as characters react to things in incredibly irrational ways, and the story moves forward only through contrivance. Campy movies can have some leaps of logic, but these writers decided to throw logic out completely. Some elements are very fun, such as the incompetent fairy godmothers, or the evil stepmother’s over-the-top performance. Those elements aren’t enough to save this tedious production that goes on far too long.

That said, the premise is cute, and the design team did a great job with this fairy tale world. The costumes are fun, if a little cheap, as are the sets. Having a new telling of a classic fairy tale that centers Little Red Riding Hood as a strong, intelligent heroine is a welcome change of pace for the well-trod story. Although many of her deductions take huge leaps in logic, it is entertaining to watch her take charge of the investigation and put the pieces together.

Although I found this film to be overly long and frustrating from a story perspective, there are some amusing moments. I can’t say I hated every minute, just most of them. The very low levels of negative content are welcome, but I can’t imagine young children enjoying this movie’s slow pace and long monologues. I’m sure there is an audience for Once Upon a Crime, but it won’t be a wide one. The story might have a happy ever after, but my evening sure didn’t.

Directed by Yûichi Fukuda. Starring Kanna Hashimoto, Yûko Araki, Takanori Iwata. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release September 14, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Once Upon a Crime

Once Upon a Crime
Rating & Content Info

Why is Once Upon a Crime rated TV-PG? Once Upon a Crime is rated TV-PG by the MPAA for fear.

Violence: The plot revolves around a murder mystery. A character kills another character by bashing him over the head with a brick. A woman kills a pigeon by hitting it with a broom. A woman’s face is cut; some blood is shown.
Sexual Content: A woman repeatedly readjusts her breasts to get a man’s attention.
Profanity: There are a few mild insults.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There is a discussion about wine, but no one drinks it.

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Once Upon a Crime Parents' Guide

How does Cinderella react to the way that she is treated? How does she allow this to affect her character? How is this contrasted by Remi?

Loved this movie? Try these books…

If you want a traditional, beautifully illustrated version of the story, you can find a copy of Trina Schart Hyman’s Little Red Riding Hood.

Written by Rebecca Grabill and illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova, Violet and the Woof takes a comical twist on the tale by setting it in a modern apartment building. Violet and her brother need to walk through their apartment building to bring food to a sick neighbor – and their imaginations keep them busy.

With rhyming text and a library setting, Little Red Reading Hood by Lucy Rowland and Ben Mantle will give readers a chuckle.

Elementary school readers will get a laugh out of Liels Shrutliff’s Red: The (Fairly) True Tale of Red Riding Hood, which features the protagonist on a quest with Goldie a.k.a. Goldilocks to find a magical cure for her ailing grandmother.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

When her grandmother’s recipes are stolen, Little Red Riding Hood a.k.a. Red joins forces with the Wolf to find the culprit in Hoodwinked!.

For other fairy tales with a twist, you can try Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, Shrek, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Happily N’Ever After, or Enchanted.