5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "A Dog's Purpose"

Families can talk about everything from the impact of the movie's sad and upsetting scenes to the importance of empathy and companionship. By Betsy Bozdech
5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "A Dog's Purpose"

Sweet and poignant, A Dog's Purpose is a tear-jerking drama based on W. Bruce Cameron's 2010 novel about a dog that's reincarnated several times from the 1950s through the 2000s. There are some disturbing and sad scenes but also clear messages about empathy and the importance of companionship. The movie is also at the heart of a recent controversy about whether the animal performers were mistreated on the set. All of this means there's plenty for families to talk about. Try these discussion questions for kids:

  • Talk about the violent and upsetting scenes in A Dog's Purpose. Do you think they're necessary to the story? Can a movie have violent parts and still be family-friendly?
  • Has the controversy about this movie affected your feelings about it? Did it affect your choice to see the movie? Or how you felt about what you saw on the screen?
  • What do the human characters learn from the dog? How does the movie's story promote empathy? Why is that an important character strength?
  • How does the movie address grief, especially in relation to losing a pet? Have you ever had to deal with that? What made you feel better?
  • How does the movie portray drinking? Are there realistic consequences? Why is that important?

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About Betsy Bozdech

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Betsy's experiences working in online parenting and entertainment content were the perfect preparation for her role as Common Sense's executive editor of ratings and reviews. After earning bachelor's and master's... Read more

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