A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this adventure features some mature themes, including war, political corruption, armed occupation, race relations, and genocide -- not exactly what you expect from an animated fantasy film. While the language is mostly insults, and the sexuality is limited to flirting and one innocent kiss, the violence is rather prominent and frequent. The entire plot revolves around getting two races to declare war on each other, and some scenes portray atrocities that one army committed against innocent civilians. The protagonist creatures may be winged, but this is no fairy tale.
What's the story?
The winged Nohrin are a proud race of flying creatures. When their world becomes a wasteland, King Zahn (voiced by Louis Gossett Jr.) puts his sister Sedessa (the late Anne Bancroft, in her final screen performance) in charge of establishing a new home. The spiritual, terrestrial Lockni, who live in Jhamora, offer the Nohrin the skies above their homeland. But instead of making peace, Sedessa tries to wipe out the Lockni, so Zahn clips her wings and banishes her. Fifteen years later, Sedessa orchestrates a plot to kidnap the king's daughter Princess Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and blame it on the Lockni, so the king will be forced to declare war. Delgo (Freddie Prinze Jr.), a young Lockni adventurer who's smitten with Kyla, and his comic-relief sidekick Filo (Chris Kattan) team up with imprisoned Nohrin general Bogardus (Val Kilmer) to save the princess and stop the violence.
Is it any good?
It's difficult to follow DELGO's convoluted plot. Between the political intrigue, General Bogardus' gambling addiction, Sedessa and Raius' evil plot, and the tension between the occupying Nohrin and the occupied Lockni, the story gets way too bogged down; this is an animated fantasy film, not four seasons of Battlestar Galactica crammed into an hour and a half.
Even kids and their parents who can keep up wtih all of the political machinations may have trouble looking past the creepy, reptilian-like creatures (who would have been better off imagined as human-looking aliens). And the animation, although computer animated, is more 1988 than 2008. The one redeeming thing about this film is that viewers get to hear Bancroft's commanding contralto voice one last time. It's just a shame the project isn't worthy of her (or most of the cast's) considerable talent.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether animated violence is more or less upsetting than real-life violence. Why?
Is this movie more violent than most animated films?
What is the impact of seeing violent behavior in the media?
Families can also discuss the movie's social and political themes.
What can we learn about the way the Nohrin and Lockni interacted? What are some ways they discriminated against each other? Kids: Could you understand what was going on, or was the story too complicated?
- In theaters: December 12, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: August 4, 2009
- Cast: Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer
- Directors: Jason Maurer, Marc F. Adler
- Studio: Freestyle Releasing
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Run time: 107 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: sequences of fantasy action violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.