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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Introduction to some Swahili words, Masai culture, animal habitat, and life in Africa.
Lessons of loyalty and love abound here. Teddy and Susan risk a lot to save their pet cheetah, Duma. But these risks include lying and putting themselves and their friend in danger. Slight ethnic stereotyping of Indian shop-owners as greedy.
Positive Role Models
Adults are either smart and supportive or scheming and bad. It's pretty easy to discern which are which, though. The kids are loyal, kind, and good-hearted, though they sometimes lie and take risks for their cause.
Violence & Scariness
Several perilous moments like being chased by an elephant. A tribesman threatens another man with a spear. No blood. Kids are captured and put in a cage, but their friend frees them.
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Products & Purchases
Coca Cola bottles and signs seen throughout the movie.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A poacher smokes cigarettes. Adults may or may not be drinking alcohol at a party-- hard to tell what is in their glasses.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Disney family adventure from the '80s features some bad guys who capture a beloved cheetah pet, put her in a cage, and starve her. Poachers hang animal skins around their dwellings -- proof of their deadly deeds. Kids are kind-hearted, but make some questionable choices to protect their pet, though everything turns out well in the end. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's refreshing to see teenagers portrayed as being hungry for adventure and excited to be in a new environment. Life in tribal Africa has been pretty simplified here, but there are touches of truth in this tale, where culture clashes are concerned. Morogo's parents are not crazy about their son getting mixed up in the visiting American's drama. For good reason too -- Teddy and Susan put Morogo in harm's way.
Animal lovers will enjoy seeing all of the herds and flocks at play here. Cheetah lovers will cherish seeing Duma run and play and purr with her human friends. There is a happy ending to this story, which is a relief, once one realizes that the skins on the poacher's walls came from living, thriving animals of the wild.
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.