A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intended to entertain rather than educate.
Promotes determination, creativity, resourcefulness, and standing up for yourself. Persevere and follow your dreams; don't give up easily. Families working together can accomplish great things.
Positive Role Models
While the main female character is strong and independent all along, her husband must find his courage and willingness to take risks. Parents are dependable, loving, and encouraging. Villain is an over-the-top comic blowhard who'll stop at nothing to gain power and get revenge. While there's ethnic diversity, two overweight characters are portrayed in a farcical way: a circus fat lady and a clown who overeats. And there's a stereotypical gypsy fortune-teller.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon action includes chases, falls, wild driving sequences, and narrow escapes. A car runs over a motorcyclist (who immediately recovers). Ferocious animals, as well as a mythological monster, face off and fight. A heroic lion falls and momentarily appears dead. A fire destroys a circus tent; two owners are thought to have died and are mourned. Two grown-up bullies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Loving kisses and cartoon smooches. A few skimpy circus costumes.
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Multiple instances of "butt." Villain frequently insults his aides: "nincompoop," "feather-brain," "sap," "booby," "fool," nitwit."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Animal Crackers is an animated family-friendly comedy with magic, music, and plenty of cartoon peril in a circus setting. It moves fast, with a busy story and lots of imaginative, quirky characters to follow. There's a jealous, bullying villain who wants to take back the circus he abandoned years earlier and will do anything to make it happen. Action includes chases, falls, wild rides/crashes, fierce animals fighting, and a threatening mythic monster. A fire, shown from a distance, destroys the big tent, presumably with the owners inside. Insults used include "nincompoop," "nitwit," "sap," "fool," and "feather-brain." While there are messages of perseverance and teamwork and some ethnic diversity, viewers will also see a couple of stereotypical/farcical characters (a circus fat lady, a clown who overeats, a gypsy) and a few skimpy costumes. The movie is recommended for kids who can distinguish between real and pretend violence. Voice actors include Ian McKellen, John Krasinksi, and Emily Blunt. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An ambitious effort with a stellar cast and quirky characters may just be too much of a good thing; keeping up with the crazy plot and introduction of new faces is a full-time job. John Krasinski alone appears as countless creatures, all of whom at least have bushy blue eyebrows so they're recognizable as "Owen." Working with a low budget and a busy script, certain folks stand out even among such a talented cast list: Raven-Symone and Patrick Warburton are terrific, and Ian McKellan chews the CGI scenery with gusto. The 14-song soundtrack (mostly original) is just okay. Animal Crackers is fun, but don't look away as it all happens fast.
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.