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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Actions have consequences. Try to acknowledge and make up for your mistakes.
Positive Role Models
Thomas is responsible and respectful but rejects his heritage. Josh is ignorant of the importance of nature but learns quickly.
Violence & Scariness
A bike racer puts a stick into the spokes of a racer next to him, breaking the other rider's bike. Reckless boys spray-paint a sacred Navajo site. Buffalo threaten to stampede but kids on bikes head them off.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Buffalo Dreams is a coming-of-age story about a jaded middle-school city boy who is uprooted when his dad's job takes the family to rural New Mexico. His friendship with a Navajo boy and what he learns about nature, buffaloes, and spirituality change his life. Violence includes a buffalo stampede, a bike racer putting a stick into the spokes of a racer next to him, and reckless boys spray-painting a sacred Navajo site. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Teaching kids to respect the environment and about man's all-important stewardship of the earth are central themes here, which makes it worthwhile viewing. The emphasis is on a kind of self-examination that teens may be able to relate to. Thomas scolds Josh about being oblivious to his environment at the same time that Thomas himself struggles with embracing some of his heritage's spirituality. The big, valuable takeaway from Buffalo Dreams is that we're all flawed in our own ways, but it doesn't have to keep us from finding and being our best selves.
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.