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What is the crayon movie on Netflix?

Netflix’s catalog of movies and TV shows is always changing as new content is added and old content expires. One movie that has been available on Netflix is called “The Crayon Case.” Here’s an overview of what this movie is about and why it’s called the “crayon” movie.

The Crayon Case is a 2017 family drama film directed by Robert Townsend. It stars Wanda Sykes, Uzo Aduba, and Tom Everett Scott. The movie follows a 12-year-old girl named Gabby who loves art and wants to be an artist when she grows up. However, her school doesn’t have enough funding for art classes or supplies. When all the crayons in her school supplies closet are broken, Gabby decides to sue her school district to provide better art programs and materials for students.

The film tackles issues like inequality in public education and the importance of arts education for kids. Gabby’s legal case earns her the nickname “Crayon Girl.” The movie’s uplifting message celebrates children using their voices to stand up for what they believe in.

Plot Summary

Here’s a more detailed overview of the plot:

  • Gabby is a 6th grader who dreams of being an artist. She carries her sketchbook everywhere and loves drawing colorful, creative pictures.
  • When Gabby arrives at her new middle school, she’s disappointed to find the art program is severely underfunded. The art closet has a few stubby crayon nubs and no other supplies.
  • Gabby asks the principal to get more art supplies, but is told there is no money in the budget.
  • Frustrated but determined, Gabby decides to sue the school district for failing to provide students with the art supplies and education required by law.
  • With the help of her lawyer mother and community activists, Gabby builds a case demanding equitable access to art supplies and courses.
  • Gabby’s lawsuit earns media attention. She becomes known as “Crayon Girl,” the brave 6th grader fighting for art programs.
  • The publicity pressures the school board to settle and agree to improve art education funding at Gabby’s school.
  • In the end, Gabby is happy to see her school getting new art supplies. She continues pursuing her artistic dreams.


Here are the main cast members in The Crayon Case:

  • Gabby Douglas – Played by Arica Himmel. Gabby is the determined 6th grade protagonist.
  • Monica Douglas – Played by Wanda Sykes. Monica is Gabby’s lawyer mother who helps her build a case.
  • Leslie Miller – Played by Uzo Aduba. Leslie is a passionate community activist who advocates for Gabby.
  • Tom Hoffman – Played by Tom Everett Scott. Tom is the principal at Gabby’s school.
  • Ms. Ledger – Played by Laura Marano. Gabby’s supportive young teacher.
  • Martin Reynolds – Played by Craig Robinson. The chair of the school board.

Behind the Scenes

Here is some background information on the making of The Crayon Case:

  • The movie is inspired by real-life events. In 2014, a California student successfully sued his school district over unequal access to textbooks.
  • Wanda Sykes and Uzo Aduba signed onto the movie to champion the message around promoting equal education.
  • Child actor Arica Himmel makes her film debut as Gabby after being cast from a nationwide search.
  • The Crayon Case was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia over the course of about two months.
  • Director Robert Townsend is known for uplifting films about overcoming adversity like The Meteor Man (1993).
  • The producers consulted with education experts and nonprofits to shape the film’s themes around equity in public education.


Here is how The Crayon Case was received upon its Netflix release:

  • The movie earned mostly positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 73% critic score and 83% audience score.
  • Critics praised the film for its empowering message and Arica Himmel’s standout performance as Gabby.
  • However, some found the storyline unrealistic and overly sentimental at times.
  • Audiences on Netflix responded positively to the movie’s uplifting tone and family-friendly plot.
  • Many viewed The Crayon Case as an overlooked, quality family movie on Netflix.
  • The film was appreciated for tackling issues of inequity and promoting youth activism in an accessible, engaging way.

Why It’s Called The Crayon Case

So why is this movie titled The Crayon Case? Here are a few reasons behind the title:

  • Gabby’s lawsuit stems from lack of crayons – the iconic childhood art supply.
  • The crayon becomes a symbol for Gabby’s creativity that’s stifled without proper art materials.
  • Gabby is referred to as “Crayon Girl” in the media for her unique crayon-focused case.
  • “The Crayon Case” calls attention to the specific object and issue central to the plot.
  • Crayons have colorful associations. The title reflects the movie’s uplifting tone and Gabby’s vibrant artistic spirit.
  • The alliteration makes “The Crayon Case” a catchy, easy to remember title.

So while simple, The Crayon Case effectively encapsulates this film about a young girl fighting for the tools to express her artistic creativity.


The Crayon Case is an uplifting Netflix movie that centers on youth activism and equity in education. Twelve-year-old Gabby sues her school district over the lack of art supplies, earning her the nickname “Crayon Girl.” With the help of her lawyer mother and community support, Gabby’s case succeeds in effecting real change at her school. The movie delivers an inspirational message about using one’s voice for social justice. With strong performances and thoughtful themes, The Crayon Case proves to be a quality family film and worthwhile, if overlooked, addition to Netflix’s catalogue.