A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Values promoted include teamwork, adventurousness, hard work, inventiveness, empathy, and bravery. Repeatedly advocates a can-do, never-give-up attitude. Encourages fighting back against bullies. Shows how being useful enriches one's experience.
Positive Role Models
Hero is a natural born leader who is smart, brave, loyal, and compassionate and takes responsibility very seriously. Only featured female character proves to be as courageous and resourceful as her male counterparts. Villain is a predator through and through and takes great satisfaction in cruelty and power over others.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of cartoon violence. In multiple (sometimes lengthy) battle sequences, fanged, drooling weasels with glowing eyes attack a horde of mice. Weaponry includes rocks, spears, and hand-to-hand combat. The weasels are led by a cackling, brutal villain, who threatens and menaces and has powerful claws. Heroic mice make a perilous journey over cliffs and through raging waters, narrowly escaping their weasel enemies. Included are steep falls, crashes, the appearance of strange, shadowy creatures with luminous eyes, shots of dead birds on the ground. Two featured good guys are fatally injured, one with an extended deathbed scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Air Borne tells the story of a brave young mouse and his growing band of allies who work together to save lives and defeat a powerful villain. It's a straightforward tale, easy for kids follow. Part of the adventure focuses on the difficult journey the heroes must take simply to get to the island upon which the danger lies. But the real action begins once they take on the legendary Winston, leader of a ferocious colony of weasels. Battles are fierce: The drooling, fang-baring, glittery-eyed mammals attack and attack again. The mice use all manner of weapons and cunning to survive, against all odds. There are falls, crashes, menacing jaws and claws, as well as many narrow escapes. Two strong-featured good guys meet violent deaths, one in a particularly heartrending sequence. Strong messages about not giving up, working as a team, standing up to a bully, and having compassion for others are nicely woven into the plot. At more than 90 minutes, the film may be too long for some kids, and it's not suitable for kids who aren't comfortable with imaginary violence or are especially sensitive to sadness. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Appealing, often funny characters and a clear-cut story of good vs. evil keep this Japanese-American coproduction swiftly moving, action-packed, and engaging. In addition, there are solid examples of teamwork, courage, and brains over brawn, which give additional heft to Air Bound. Production values, including animation, and performances are fine. It's long -- 94 minutes -- which might test the staying power of some kids. And it's way too violent for little ones or for those who are not ready to handle on-camera death scenes of likable mice. This is a competent, if peril-heavy, effort by filmmakers who are obviously hoping for a successful run, as evidenced by the final scenes that seem to call out for an Air Bound 2.
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.