By Tracy Moore,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Pro-animal-rights film a bit harsh, perilous for young kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will learn a little about the terrible practice of animal poaching.
Amazon Jack takes a strong pro-environment and pro-animal-rights stance. It offers positive messages about the value of all living things, nature, and the dangers of some scientific research.
Positive Role Models
Many characters are motivated purely by greed, profit, or fame from scientific discoveries. One adult character is a caring soul who aims to help and protect the wild animals being sought for capture and research, and the animals themselves are shown as innocent victims.
Violence & Scariness
Sustained peril throughout, largely centered on the pursuit of the wild animals for capture, or arguments among the poachers who seek them. Several scenes involve people pushing each other down or around, often grabbing by the throat or arguing over how to handle the animals. There are a few frightening scenes of armed men with weapons or needles intended to inject sedatives and barking dogs in pursuit of the new species. A few scenes involve animals in cages. A lab catches fire and explodes, but no one is injured. A menacing panther stalks an animal, often baring his fangs or growling. A few scenes involve holding or aiming weapons, such as a crossbow. An animal is caught and pinned down as if in preparation for dissection and cloning.
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Very minor insulting language, such as "don't be stupid," as well as intimidating or threatening language regarding killing, dissecting, or cutting up animals to make expensive perfume.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Amazon Jack is a movie about a new species of animal hunted for research and experimented on to make an expensive perfume. There's a mild peril throughout, many discussions of the experiments that will be performed, and an ongoing, casual discussion of capturing the animal at any cost. Though it's clear the poachers are in the wrong, there's a harsh overtone to the film that might be too heavy for younger kids. Additionally, it's clear the film was translated from another language, so the performances and voices have an odd mismatched feel, which loses some important emotions needed for the film to seem more compassionate.
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Where to Watch
Based on 4 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
Jack is a new species of wild animal that has just been discovered. He lives a peaceful existence with his friend Rita in the jungle until an evil businessman learns of his existence and wants him captured for studying and experimenting to make an exotic, expensive perfume. Can Jack and Rita stay together and safe long enough to evade capture, or will the world's rarest creature disappear before anyone has a chance to learn from him?
Is It Any Good?
The premise of AMAZON JACK is appealing enough; it's a cautionary tale about the way greed and arrogance can destroy beautiful things. But here, it's mangled a bit too much to tell that story. The animation is quite dated and looks to be something like a cheaply animated mid-2000s video game. The acting may have been good in the original, but this translation, which uses the original animation with English-speaking actors, has a kind of wooden stiltedness that renders all the dialogue rather emotionless. With so many scenes focused on the perilous chase of the rare creature, the focus is more on the greed of the poachers and their evil plans, which gets in the way of the movie's ultimately heartfelt message to leave these poor creatures alone. What's left is a work that's a bit too harsh for younger kids and too poorly done to capture the imaginations and sympathies of older kids.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about new species of animals. Do you know how many new species are discovered every day? What should we do to learn about new species while still protecting them?
What does the movie say about poachers who hunt for animals to sell them for profit? Does it offer a solution for what can be done?
What can we do in our everyday lives to help animals from becoming extinct?
- On DVD or streaming: September 2, 2014
- Director: Jorgen Lerdam
- Studio: Phase 4 Films
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Wild Animals
- Run time: 72 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: April 6, 2023
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