Family Movie Guide #3: Mandie And The Secret Tunnel

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Mandie And The Secret Tunnel is a series of best-selling books I’ve heard about for years. When I found out that Mandie books had been made into movies, I knew I had to watch one and review it. I’ve been having so much fun writing these family movie reviews and this is #3 in the series. I’m watching this one without my teenager so that Princess and I can read the books before we watch all the movies together.  Find out what I think about the Mandie and the Secret Tunnel movie below!

movie trailer

Mandie and The Secret Tunnel

movie: Mandy and The Secret Tunnel

date: 2009

cast: Dean Jones, Lexi Johnson, Amanda Waters

runtime: 103 minutes

rating: G

rating explanation: General Audience

available to watch: DVD & Prime Video (streaming online video): At the time of my viewing, I was able to watch this for free on Amazon Prime.

The books that the Mandie and the Secret Tunnel movie are based on are historical fiction mysteries. Mandie and her friends find themselves in the midst of a mystery wherever they go.  The background, though, is the 1900s prairie.

Amazon describes the move as, “being based on the Mandie book series written by Lois Leppard and set in the late 1800s, this film boasts a delightful cast of characters who, in the tradition of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, learn valuable lessons as they conquer hardships and celebrate life’s triumphs. Young Mandie’s life changes when her Cherokee friends help her escape to a mansion that holds the hidden secrets of her past and the key to her future. “Mandie and the Secret Tunnel” is an incredible adventure that takes Mandie in search of her family roots. Compelled by the story that her father told her from the time she was a small child, Mandie makes a discovery that ultimately reunites her with the family she never knew she had. It’s a story filled with adventure, mystery, comedy, and romance.”


The following is a loose movie guide of the film’s topics that may cause discussion with your people. I try to watch and listen closely, but the only way to guarantee that this movie is suitable for your family is to preview it yourself.

intimacy: zero

inappropriateness: zero

language: zero

violence:  There was no real violence except the “bad guy” acting like he was going to shoot Mandie’s cat.  There was also a squirmish between the bad guy and the IndiansArrows are shot at people. There is a tiny bit of animal hunting with mounted animals and animal skins around.  There is a flashback scene of someone dying of a slightly bloody wolf attack.

use of substances: None that I recall.

overall messages: The truth will always come to light eventually.  Prejudice against Indians was a reality of that time period with the Trail of Tears and beyond.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Having nobody don’t equate to being nobody.’ ~from Mandie and the Secret Tunnel” quote=”‘Having nobody don’t equate to being nobody.’ ~from Mandie and the Secret Tunnel”]


One of the initial things I loved about the Mandie and the Secret Tunnel movie is that an understanding of the book series was NOT necessary to jump right into the movie.  It was so refreshing to watch a movie with clean dialogue, no violence, and incredible cinematography of what appeared to be the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

I felt as if the dialogue of the Native American and African Americans was a bit “over-the-top” stereotypical. Having a bit of an Indian heritage myself, I was not offended by the reality of Indian prejudice of that time. This is a great subject to discuss afterward since this theme was touched on a bit. I felt that the characters Mr. and Mrs. Snow were a silly addition to the story and their ridiculous actions made me want them to disappear!  🙂

I enjoyed the theme and secretiveness of this Mandie’s quest for her family’s history and the way Mandie “heard” her Daddy’s story as she went about her daily life and discovery of the family secrets.

All in all, I liked this movie.  I felt like some parts were a little longer than they had to be, but I was invested from the moment that Mandie ran away from home with her Cherokee friends.  It was was a good period film and a fun one for the whole family to settle in to watch together. If you like Michael Landon-ish movies like Little House on the Prairie, When Calls the Heart, and Love Comes Softly, then you will really enjoy this movie!

Mandie and the Secret Tunnel has an “All ages Dove Approved” seal on their site. Woot!

Have you watched Mandie and the Secret Tunnel?  What am I missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Mandie and the Secret Tunnel Dog shown holding a movie clipboard




Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Lee
    April 20, 2018 / 8:27 am

    I don’t have children, but love reading about movies I can recommend to my sister. Of course with a tween boy he only wants to watch action movies. You did a great job reviewing the movie!

  2. Tiffany
    April 20, 2018 / 8:42 am

    sounds like a good movie to check out! thanks!

  3. Brandy
    April 20, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the review, my family is always looking for new movies to watch 🙂

    • Shan
      April 20, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      Yay, Brandy. Same here. It’s tough to find great ones for the whole family without the garbage. Thanks, and enjoy!


  4. candy
    April 20, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    We haven’t seen this movie or I just can’t remember seeing it. Thinking we haven’t seen it but need to change that.

  5. Rachel
    April 22, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    Oooh! I desperately want to see this movie with my kids!

    • Shan
      April 23, 2018 / 9:17 am

      Yay, Rachel! Hope y’all enjoy it!


  6. Emily
    April 24, 2018 / 7:52 am

    Thanks for the review! I love finding new movies!

  7. Vicki
    October 17, 2023 / 11:25 am

    I still watch this movie and like it more than “Mandie and the Cherokee treasure” I love the zaniness of the ” Snow” characters and the ridiculousness of everyone trying to get their part of an inheritance hanging around the house incognito but eavesdropping. Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas is a good one too.

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