A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure is a direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2010 animated wolf adventure Alpha and Omega. Although the movie is holiday-themed, the characters are wolves, so the holiday influence is limited to references to a holiday family meal and a shot of a business' Christmas tree. There are a couple of mildly perilous sequences involving predators (bear) or rivals (rogue wolves) chasing young and adult wolves, but there are no serious character injuries or deaths. The humor veers into the suggestive a couple of times, but only parents will get those jokes. Language includes "what the heck," "take a whiz," and some omega shaming. The DVD targets a slightly younger audience than the original.
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The film had good ideas and... Continue reading
What's the story?
ALPHA AND OMEGA 2: A HOWL-IDAY ADVENTURE is the holiday-themed sequel to 2010's Alpha and Omega. Alpha she-wolf Kate (Kate Higgins) and her omega mate Humphrey (Ben Diskin) are now happily married with three little wolves of their own: Stinky, Claudette, and Runt. On the eve of their first holiday together, the kids get spotted by rogue wolves who are part of an all-alpha pack. The wolves manage to keep little Runt captive, while Stinky and Claudette return home to tell their parents the bad news. With the help of their relatives and friends, the entire gang bands together to rescue Runt.
Is it any good?
Even judging by direct-to-DVD standards, A Howl-iday Adventure is subpar in every aspect. Between the weak plot (why bother depicting these wolves celebrating the holidays anyway?), the terrible computer-generated animation, the generic-sounding score, and the lack of any real connection to the supposed holiday theme, there's little to recommend it. The whole movie seems more like a middle-school animation project than a professional production. That's not to say that some kids won't find it enjoyable, because they will (some kids like pretty much anything animated), but parents will find it difficult to watch. If your kids are dying to watch an Alpha and Omega sequel, skip the second and go straight to the third.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether it's necessary for animated movies to put out these straight-to-DVD sequels. What's the appeal of these? Are they the same quality as the original theatrical films?
This is supposed to be a holiday special, but is there really any meaningful connection to the holidays? How do you feel about animals that supposedly celebrate holidays?
How does the sequel compare to the original? Can you tell that none of the actors returned to voice a main character?
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