Parents' Guide to

Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Clever animated tale is frenzied but fun.

Movie NR 2014 68 minutes
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First appearing in 2012, Boonie Bears quickly became the most popular children's show on Chinese television, and its originality, cleverness, and hectic energy make it clear why. The franchise has expanded from shorts to longer-form plots, including this one. The Chinese creative team has an original take on cartoon storytelling, but they are not too proud to steal from the best. Vic and the bears are much like Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny, always feuding and plotting to good-natured, chirpy music. The "king" monkey in the forest is a direct rip-off of King Julien in the Madagascar series, from facial expressions and dance moves to voice and accent. You'll also hear a snippet from the Sesame Street theme song, and you'll see other derivative visuals and sounds. But for the most part Logger Vic and the bears are their own men. The pace is frenetic -- Vic is a caricature of a bipolar person during a manic phase -- and the bears are happy to play the growling behemoths when necessary but otherwise are actually nice guys.

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