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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this 2014 entry in the Alpha and Omega franchise has some moments that might be too frightening for very little kids. Wolf pup Runt, the smallest of the Omega wolves, frequently enters a shadowy forest where he encounters lightning, a menacing windstorm, a wolf-ghost, and glowing eyes, all accompanied by spooky music. Cartoon action is played throughout with chases, rescues in the nick of time, and the most vulnerable wolves in danger. Messages about family, parenting, and protecting those less fortunate are solid. There's plenty of humor to go along with the jeopardy, and the film features many of the well-liked characters from the earlier stories. At 45 minutes in length, Alpha and Omega: The Legend of Saw Tooth Cave is best for primary school-age kids who clearly can tell the difference between real and cartoon violence.
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What's the story?
In ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE LEGEND OF THE SAW TOOTH CAVE, Runt, the littlest Omega wolf of all, seems to be the most high-spirited, the most adventurous, and the most confident. In fact, his caring parents are worried that he won't recognize a truly perilous situation when he sees it. And they may be right. Runt insists that the legendary "shadowy forest" isn't really scary and that the myths about the Saw Tooth Cave aren't true. When he takes it upon himself to investigate and prove his point, he finds himself in a very frightening place -- but not in the way that everyone imagined. Instead of running into danger, Runt meets the fragile Daria, an outcast wolf who truly deserves his help. Runt enlists the assistance of his brother and sister, and, along with a surprising ghost and a vigilant porcupine, the three pups set out to make things right.
Is it any good?
This entertaining fourth DVD in the series is almost entirely character-driven, both in the tale that's told and as the wholesome origin of the laughs that emerge. The original Alpha and Omega, a 3-D feature film released in 2010, relied on sly sexual innuendo for much of its humor; some found this objectionable for the target audience. The creators of the franchise have certainly gotten the message. Porcupines have never been so intriguing. The now-familiar wolf pack and the other critters in their world reflect the emotions and behaviors of all creatures. Kids will identify with Runt, Claudette, and Stinky and recognize the grown-ups who try hard to raise them well. Still, kids who are not yet able to grasp the concept of cartoon danger might find this film too dark or scary.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Kate and Humphrey as parents who were having a hard time allowing their pups to grow up. How did Runt and the others convince them that they could be trusted?
Why do you think that Daria's original pack did not accept her? What were they afraid of? How are human families different?
What is an "alpha" wolf? Did you know that some experts think that there are actually no "alpha" or "omega" wolves? Find out about the different views of the hierarchy of a wolf pack.
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