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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Alpha and Omega: The Big Fureeze is another in a series of Alpha and Omega DVDs that star a family of wolves -- Mom, Dad, and three pups -- as they embark on adventures in the natural wolf world. This story finds the pups separated from their parents during a winter storm. Until they're reunited, parents and pups face a series of dangerous obstacles and predators. There are chases, encounters with bears and other hungry wolves, bumps and falls, as well as the unstable effects of the storm itself. Warm, funny relationship scenes are intercut with perilous moments when the adorable heroes barely escape the villains. There are some positive messages about teamwork, courage, and the importance of family. The film is fine for kids who clearly understand the difference between real and cartoon violence.
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What's the story?
ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE BIG FUREEZE finds young wolves Runt (Hunter Swan), Claudette (Lindsay Torrance), and Stinky (Kate Higgins) on the move. Winter is upon their world and food is scarce. Their parents, pack leaders Kate and Humphrey, went looking for caribou and have not returned. Worried -- and without their grandparents' permission -- the pups take off to find them. With only a few loyal friends along for the journey, Runt, Claudette, and Stinky encounter some hungry wolves who blame Kate and Humphrey for the breakup of their pack and who would like nothing better than to make the pups their next meal. Some distance away, the stranded Kate and Humphrey accidentally discover that the cave sanctuary they've entered is actually the hibernation home of some pretty powerful grizzly bears. So with wolves and bears at their heels, our heroes must find a way to save themselves, find one another, and make it home before the next major storm hits.
Is it any good?
An action-packed story combines with amusing characters, clever banter, and a few close calls to make this entry in the wolf family series a treat for kids who are comfortable with pretend violence. Alpha and Omega: The Big Fureeze gives an array of wild creatures a chance to shine. Voice actors are stellar; the action is just scary enough to provide suspense and a few thrills, even though the film's savvy audience knows that none of their favorites -- the central wolf family, a lovable bear, a wise-cracking porcupine, a goose, and a duck -- are in real danger. This sixth movie in the franchise works for both kids who are already familiar with the close-knit wolves and those for whom this is the first.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the friendships explored in Alpha and Omega: The Big Fureeze. List the different animals with whom the wolves are friends. How does each species' special skill help the heroes? Do you have any friends who are not exactly like you? How does that make your life more fun and interesting?
Think about how animals adapt to the weather changes in the natural world. Have you wondered about how they find food when nothing is growing? What is hibernation? What changes do humans make when the seasons shift?
"Anthropomorphic" means giving human characteristics to nonhuman beings (animals, objects). List some of your favorite movies or books that have anthropomorphic characters. Create your own animal character that has human traits.
- On DVD or streaming: November 8, 2016
- Cast: Kate Higgins, Ben Diskin, Hunter Swan
- Director: Tim Maltby
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Wild Animals
- Character strengths: Courage, Teamwork
- Run time: 45 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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