A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the movie is intended to entertain rather than educate, kids may learn about some species of animals they didn't know about, along with some positive life lessons.
Never give up on your dreams. Be the best version of yourself and even if your best isn't good enough, that's OK. Understanding that you can't succeed all of the time. Making up for your past mistakes and asking for forgiveness. The film is very much steeped in competition -- different species of animals compete against one another.
Positive Role Models
Daisy is a positive representation of the underdog. All other species underestimate her because she is a quokka, and they are not considered strong or intimidating creatures. But she is determined to upset the odds. She displays remarkable courage and her actions inspire others around her, proving that no matter who you are, you can succeed. Daisy has a great role model in her trainer, and idol, Frankie, a crocodile. He lives by the tough love method, trying to maximize her potential that he sees within her. But he also tells her not to be anything she's not, and to excel primarily as herself. He also shows a vulnerable side, falling for Daisy's blissful outlook on life. Frankie has a sub-plot whereby he seeks forgiveness from his daughter, who he abandoned. Daisy's parents encourage her to keep up her spirits and to keep smiling.
The main character is an optimistic and courageous female quokka. She is portrayed very much as the underdog, but this only makes her appear a more well-rounded and determined character. Different species of animals go up against each other in a competition. The voice cast is primarily made up of White actors.
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Violence & Scariness
Plenty of slapstick violence, which is almost playful in its approach. In the training montage sequences, characters are frequently shown injuring themselves. A character vomits when seeing another injured. There are scary looking robotic crocodiles, fire, and destruction. The "World's Scariest Animal" competition involves plenty of peril and danger that our protagonist must overcome.
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A character is referred to as "old and fat" by their younger counterparts. Some use of "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Daisy Quokka: World's Scariest Animal is an Australian animated adventure that has plenty of cartoon violence but also positive messages around courage and perseverance. It is also known as Daisy's Dream and is the third film from The Tales from Sanctuary City franchise, following The Wishmas Tree and Combat Wombat, although each film sits as a standalone feature. This movie focuses on the worth of the underdog, and how outsiders can succeed in the face of adversity. Daisy (voiced by Angourie Rice) is a quokka, a species that is considered weaker than most. Despite this, Daisy is determined to compete in the "World's Scariest Animal" tournament. Daisy's trainer, a crocodile called Frankie Scales (Sam Neill), teaches Daisy to never give up and that, so long as you try your best, it doesn't matter if you win or lose. Daisy displays both courage and determination, and her actions inspire other quokkas that they too can succeed. Frankie has a sub-plot where he is seeking forgiveness from his daughter who he abandoned. There is much peril. But the violence and injuries obtained by the characters are all presented in a very cartoon, slapstick way. A robotic crocodile could scare some viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The third film from the Australian The Tales from Sanctuary City franchise, this is a hugely conventional animated tale that ticks all the boxes of the competition-format narrative. In short, Daisy Quokka: World's Scariest Animal is about an underdog who teams up with a has-been trainer to defy the odds and compete. It's Cool Runnings. It's The Karate Kid. Now familiarity doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. There can be something comforting from these tried and tested formulas, so long as it's done well and brings a degree of freshness.
Rice does a fine job voicing the eternally optimistic Daisy, but the true star of the show is Neill, lending his gruff, unforgettable vocal talents to the role of Frankie. But despite some touching moments between the two leads, there's no escaping this film's lack of originality. While it has a lot to say -- promoting the notion of never giving up, no matter how hard the task ahead seems to be -- it's nothing that hasn't been told many times before.
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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.