A Tiger's Tail

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A Tiger's Tail Movie Poster Image
Predictable tiger cub tale has lots of stereotypes, bullies.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 77 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Attempts to promote self-confidence and believing in oneself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

In order to serve the story, the young hero behaves irresponsibly and exhibits neither resourcefulness nor sound thinking. Parents are portrayed as caring, but always clueless and self-absorbed. Their efforts to "connect" with their son are shallow and nonsensical. An overweight boy continuously eats and appears obsessed with food. Has an ethnically diverse cast.

Violence & Scariness

A caged tiger roars and snarls. Two bullies appear in multiple scenes to threaten and insult the hero and his best friend. 

Sexy Stuff

A dad prepares to tell his son the facts of life, but stops short of any meaningful discussion.

Language

Lots of insults are delivered by bullies: "dweeb," "dummy," "loser," "moron," "idiot," "full of crap." A tiger cub sprays urine on a young boy. Some discussion of "pee." 

Consumerism

Products are visible throughout: Krispy Kreme, Wii, Sprint, Kellogg's, Wesson Oil, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Samsung, Neurosonic drinks, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Tiger's Tail is about the misadventures of a young boy who finds an adorable tiger cub in his backpack and takes him home. In order to provide the film's "cute" moments and keep the story going, Billy must make a series of bad decisions and his parents must be both dim and irresponsible. Two routine bully boys -- spewing insults (i.e., "dummy," "losers," "full of crap," "moron") and threats -- provide the conflict. A boy who is food-obsessed and overweight is shown eating in many scenes. "Safari World," a self-described animal sanctuary, is run by a caring man, but the animals (including one growling, snarling tiger) appear to be kept in small areas, and security is shown to be less than secure.    

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What's the story?

A perfect storm of negligence, bad timing, and lax security at Safari World sends a baby tiger into Billy Connley's backpack in A TIGER'S TAIL. On the way home from the animal sanctuary, Billy's parents ignore his warnings, so little Luna simply goes along for the ride. The cub ends up with Billy at home. It's a tough time for the Connley family -- his parents' jobs are shaky and they may lose their house -- so Billy doesn't have to work too hard to keep his new pet a secret. And the frisky little lass is a continued source of chaos, misbehavior, and cute antics. Meanwhile, the kindly owner of the Safari World is searching in vain for Luna and the cub's mother is inconsolable. When two neighborhood bullies, Billy's best friend, and the girl of his dreams get involved, events escalate. It's only a matter of time before all is revealed.

Is it any good?

This film is just barely watchable with its amateurish production, mostly substandard performances, and dependence upon characters' illogical behavior all around. The filmmakers tried for cute, cuddly, and comic, but achieved only minimal success. Some very predictable story elements -- the bullies, Billy's girl-crush, the fatty who is always ravenous, and parents who are oblivious, don't help matters. It's harmless at best. A lot of energy was expended (including that of the four-legged characters whom one hopes were well-treated) for very few laughs and even fewer heartfelt moments.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the treatment of animals in movies. Do you think it's important that the animals be well cared for and safe? Find out how the American Humane Association protects animals on a set.

  • The movie would have been over very quickly if Billy had done the right thing when he discovered Luna. If the tiger cub had crawled into your backpack, what would you have done? What would you expect of your parents? 

  • Look up "stereotype." How was Koby a stereotype? Since there's so much important research about childhood obesity, do you think Koby's behavior was as funny as it was intended to be?

Movie details

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