A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids learn a little about the Chinese zodiac and mythology.
Promotes courage and using your heart and your mind over your fists. Strong messages of family bonds, teamwork, and not seeking revenge.
Positive Role Models
Mrs. Lee is a brave and strong woman who looks after her grandson. She encourages him to have compassion for bullies who may have been hurt themselves. Mr. Hu and the other zodiacs take Tom under their wings and teach him skills to be a guardian. They're willing to stick up for each other and do what it takes to protect the world.
Mostly Asian American cast. The movie follows a Chinese American boy, his grandmother, and other characters of various ages. Tom's grandmother Mrs. Lee is fierce and strong, as is the female villain. Other strong female characters, including the dragon zodiac, act as leaders.
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Violence & Scariness
Fantasy violence includes green flying monster-like demons chasing and attacking a car with a baby and woman inside. An enchantress uses her magical powers to attack others in ways including shoving, zapping, near-drowning, and choking. Swords, daggers, and other sharp weapons are used against the flying demons as well as the mystical powers of the zodiacs, which include everything from super strength and stretchy limbs to fart explosions from a goat. There is a lot of destruction and some peril, including a character dying off-screen in an explosion and being carried away in spirit. Other main characters have close calls and near-death experiences that are redeemed by self-sacrifice. No blood or gore.
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Language includes "what the heck," "crazy witch," and "holy shrimp fried rice."
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Products & Purchases
The main character wears DC branded shoes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Tiger's Apprentice is an action-packed animated adventure based on Laurence Yep's children's book series. It tells the story of Tom Lee (Brandon Soo Hoo), a Chinese American teenager who's suddenly thrown into the position of protecting an ancient phoenix. The Chinese zodiacs all have special abilities and mystical powers that they use to battle against Loo (Michelle Yeoh), an evil enchantress who wants to use the power of the phoenix for herself. Violence includes monster-like demons chasing and attacking characters. Loo uses her magical powers to attack others, from zapping to choking to turning people to stone. Swords, daggers, and other sharp weapons are used against the flying demons, and the mystical powers of the zodiacs include everything from super strength and stretchy limbs to fart explosions from a goat. Expect some peril and lots of destruction, including explosions. A character dies off-screen and is carried away in spirit. Language includes "what the heck," "crazy witch," and "holy shrimp fried rice." The movie has a diverse cast, boasts many positive role models, and promotes themes of courage, family bonds, teamwork, and not seeking revenge. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Audiences of all ages will appreciate the vibrant animation and engaging storyline in The Tiger's Apprentice. Adapted from Laurence Yep's children's book series, the film follows the journey of Tom Lee, a Chinese American teenager thrust into the role of protecting an ancient phoenix egg. The relationship between Tom and the zodiacs is brought to life by a stellar cast that adds humor and heart to the tale, making the characters not just heroes, but relatable companions.
This visually-stunning movie finds a way to keep a culturally-rich storyline with mythological roots grounded in a modern-day teen world, from the silly jokes to getting around on a skateboard. The Chinese zodiac characters showcase each one's unique powers, and how they can work together, delivering a powerful message of diversity and a sense of unity. It's hard to miss the powerful messages about courage, family, loyalty, and choosing love over violence.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books Inspired by Asian Folklore and Mythology
Movies with Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Characters
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