A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Birds of Paradise is an animated movie about a sparrow named Jack who wants to be "special." Some doves make him feel insignificant because of his plain appearance (saying he's "so whatever"), and he wants to change his appearance to stand out. The movie explores the idea of what truly makes someone special and the importance of self-confidence. There are some scary and violent scenes, with carnivorous creatures chasing small birds, humans shooting at birds who are trying to set free a captured bird, and danger to birds from fast-moving traffic. There's also one bird kiss and a hummingbird with a "nectar problem."
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What's the story?
In BIRDS OF PARADISE, a little sparrow named Jack (Drake Bell) flirts with some attractive doves, but they shame him and insult him by telling him he's not special enough for them. Jack gets the impression that he needs to look different to be special, and when he finds himself in a barn containing paint cans, he paints his wings to make himself look exotic. Meanwhile, the "seventh-richest man in the world" has purchased a valuable exotic canary named Aurora (Ashley Tisdale). After Aurora escapes, she meets Jack and his friends, a pigeon named Vinnie (Ken Jeong) and a hummingbird called Skeeter (Jon Lovitz). She also meets a helpful bat, Rosie (Jane Lynch), who debunks Aurora's mistaken ideas about bats being vampires. As the rich guy hunts Aurora to recapture her, she and Jack learn some important lessons about self-esteem and trusting their friends.
Is it any good?
Birds of Paradise is voiced by some very talented actors, so the performances are a bit more nuanced than some animated adventures are. Kids will be entertained by Jack's attempts to swagger, and they'll warm to Aurora's sweetness. There's plenty of suspense in this movie, and some nice lessons, too. But Birds of Paradise is generally pretty average, with a fairly predictable plot and characters. Overall, though, this is a fine choice for family movie night if you have grade-schoolers who love animated tales.
Talk to your kids about ...
- On DVD or streaming: April 1, 2014
- Cast: Drake Bell, Ashley Tisdale, Jane Lynch
- Directors: Daniel De Felippo, Gustavo Giannini, Mychal Simka
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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