A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Recalls tale of folk hero Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, American legends. Bunyan, a mythological lumberjack, is noted for super-human strength. Statues of him and Babe dot the landscape of several rural areas in the U.S.
"You don't have to be big to do big things." Seemingly powerless children have a strong hand in saving a town from greedy developers. It's enriching to forgo technological entertainment to rediscover nature and the satisfaction of hard work and community.
Positive Role Models
The 12-year-old hero, indifferent to the world around him, hooked on video games, and having a not-too-pleasant older brother, learns the value of nature, cooperation, passion for a good cause, and making a difference in the world. Some stereotypes: hard-of-hearing elderly man, greedy/soulless businessmen, ditzy female secretary (who proves to have hidden resources).
Violence & Scariness
Children in danger in several scenes: chased and nearly trapped by villains, menaced by a careening car and a raging fire. The heroic ox is chased by a bull, poisoned, shot by a tranquilizing dart, caged, and chained; no injuries. Under a carnival tent an entire community is hypnotized and unable to move as fire threatens.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Insults and some potty humor: "nincompoop," "nerdface," "crazy blue-hair," "witless," "ass"; pooping and puking are mentioned.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bunyan and Babe is an animated feature film that finds a modern-day young brother and sister connecting with the American folkloric lumberjack Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox. The two partnerships team up to help save a Minnesota town that is being taken over by an evil land developer (a comic but stereotyped businessman villain). The kids and the ox face assorted perils (chases, careening cars, falls, captures, a tranquilizing dart gun, fire), but there are no injuries or deaths. A few insults are delivered ("nincompoop," "nerdface," "ass") and expect some mild potty language ("poop," "puke"). It's OK for kids who are comfortable with real vs. pretend violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With conventional animation, a simple story, and a few intriguing characters, this modern twist on an old folk-hero story is pleasant enough but far from memorable. Made several years before its release, Bunyan and Babe will successfully introduce kids to an American legend. Some voice performances are noteworthy. Kelsey Grammer has a fine time with two stellar villains. Dorien Davies shares a wonderfully comic interpretation of a ditzy secretary with more to her than meets the eye. There's enough cartoon violence to make it iffy for kids who aren't able to separate real and pretend violence. Otherwise, the movie is fine for most kids.
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.