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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can be reminded of the value of friendship, pets, limiting the use of technology, and balancing activities with free time.
Friends and family support each other. Technology can be misused and can have a negative influence in people's lives. Everyone needs love. Parents can learn from their kids.
Positive Role Models
Teens Max and Zoe don't realize they are self-isolating by being on their phones so much. Max's mom is overly involved in pushing his success in tennis. Zoe's dad's creative and economic slump is causing his daughter stress. Max learns he needs to set boundaries and shift priorities. Zoe, who plays guitar and sings, writes a song that revives her dad's career. Their pets, Roger and Gwen, collaborate to save animals everywhere, showing courage and teamwork.
Violence & Scariness
Animated shenanigans resulting in no serious injuries include a bird falling off a table and trying to drive a van, a dog getting kidnapped, high-frequency noises that hurt the ears of humans or certain animals, cats and dogs fighting, a dog squishing a spider, a cat punching out two snakes, etc. The animals organize to have Max and Zoe get stuck in an elevator and be forced to talk, but Max drinks a lot of water and desperately has to pee. In one scene, a random dog eats out of a dirty diaper in the trash and another is said to have "explosive diarrhea."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens Max and Zoe almost share a kiss when they're stuck in an elevator together. Max's mom tracks his heart rate and notes, suggestively, that she's even tracking it when he "spends time in the bathroom," to which Max responds, "Boundaries, Mom!"
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"Fart," "butt," "butt sniffer," "dear God," "nincompoop," "poop," "pee."
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Products & Purchases
Seattle and its Space Needle. Albums from Neil Young, Weezer, Rolling Stones, Nirvana. Characters like Airbud, Scooby, Garfield, Superman. Brands like Adidas, Tesla, Head. Local businesses Two Men and A Truck and Paw Street Market. Pet food Go!
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite is a stand-alone sequel that provides some silly pet-oriented family fun. Potty humor prevails, with acronyms for organizations like FART and POOP and taunts between animals like "butt-sniffer." Other animal humor revolves around the cat falling into inconveniently timed naps and wondering why dogs pee on trees or "sing along" to sirens. In one scene, a random dog eats out of a dirty diaper in the trash, and another is said to have "explosive diarrhea." Kids might find some positive messages in the characters of Max and Zoe, who discover they could use a friend instead of always being on their phones. The two almost share a kiss in a stopped elevator. Max's mom makes an embarrassing comment about tracking his heart rate, even when he "spends time in the bathroom." Animated violence results in no serious injuries when animals fall, drive, get kidnapped, suffer high-frequency noises, or fight. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This sequel continues what can be a very funny franchise. Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite has some sweet human characters to add interest, though they don't provide the laughs. That's up to the animals, played by New Girl's Max Greenfield, The Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch, and comedian George Lopez in a hilarious turn as a cockatoo who just needs a little love. Lopez's bird has a memorable scene where's he's posing for the camera to find just the right scary outfit, hat included. The beret doesn't cut it, so he settles on a tiny Superman cape.
The humor isn't consistent in the film, but there are some running animal jokes that are pretty funny, like the fact that "fish don't count" and reptiles once "ruled the world," the cats and dogs playing rock-paper-scissors but never being able to determine whose paw is in what form, or the cat stopping the action regularly for momentary, pre-announced catnaps.
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.