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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of family, love, and remembering those who have died are primary themes. A bully makes an anti-gay joke just before attempting to attack Xan.
Positive Role Models
Xan is a brave, strong, and loyal young child on an adventure that includes some truly perilous situations.
Violence & Scariness
Frightening situations and peril, one man almost dies in quicksand, insects nearly sting a man to death.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the father in the film dies, and that one character almost dies twice. This may upset more sensitive viewers. The main character has to deal with his father's death, moving to a new town, enrolling in a new school, and letting go of his favorite pet -- stressful situations for any kid. The film may inspire young animal lovers to ask if they can have a cheetah or other wild animal for a pet. The main character also runs away from home to return his cheetah to the wild and befriends a stranger. 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 the adventure of Huckleberry Finn and the majesty of The Black Stallion, DUMA is an enchanting coming-of-age drama that teaches viewers the power and importance of family. Kids will be as mesmerized by the action as they are enchanted by Duma's gentle and loyal spirit. Here, the story and story-telling shines. Director Carroll Ballard also directed The Black Stallion and Fly Away Home, and it shows. The camera lovingly follows Duma's every movement and sound, evoking emotions if not human characteristics.
Alexander Michaletos plays Xan well as a scrappy, ingenious kid whose loyalty matches Duma's. Xan's relationship with Ripkuna is unexpectedly loving. Father-figure Ripkuna protects him and teaches him to allow change --both in himself and in Duma, who is less and less a pet and more a wild animal. Bonds -- between a boy and his cheetah, a boy and his mentor, a boy and his deceased father, and a boy and his mother -- are the real driving force here. Duma shows they are stronger than any cheetah is fast.
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.