A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the movie is primarily intended to entertain rather than educate, kids can use it as a starting point for learning about nature.
How teamwork and courage can lead to success. Learning to appreciate the good things in life, even if they're not obvious. Recognizing the beauty of nature.
Positive Role Models
Bears Briar and Bramble are friendly and loyal. Explorer robot Coco learns the value of friendship and sacrifices herself to save the world. Logger Vick steals from his friends to try to get wealthy in order to escape his "miserable life." He thinks back about the fun time he's had on his adventure and eventually returns to help his friends. Boss, the main villain, is ruthless. His backstory is revealed to be an unhappy childhood in which he wasn't allowed to watch cartoons or play.
The group of humans, animals, and a robot are made up of both male and female characters. The chief villain laughs at his henchmen when they say they were "defeated by a girl." One character is styled in stereotypical Native American clothes but has an Irish accent.
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Violence & Scariness
Regular mild threat, which includes two caves collapsing and a fall from a height in which a robot character appears to die -- they later return. Some supernatural threat. Characters are chased and fight with a variety of weapons, including rocket-propelled fists, ice blasts, whips, a bow and arrow, sticks, and rocks. During a capture scene, characters are tied up and gagged with cloth stuffed in their mouths. Some slapstick.
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One use of "Jeez."
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Products & Purchases
A character wants to get rich to change their life but realizes they are in fact already happy. The film is part of a movie and TV franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An unusual situation is described as "trippy."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fantastica: A Boonie Bears Adventure is a supernatural adventure that's part of the Chinese Boonie Bears animated kids' series of movies and TV. Due to some mild threat and cartoon action it's suitable for slightly older kids than the franchise's usual audience. The movie features a gang of bears, humans, and a robot who go in search of a mythical deer spirit artifact. They are pursued by Boss (voiced by Joseph S. Lambert) and his gang. Boss' backstory shows an unhappy childhood in which he is forced only to study and can't play or watch cartoons. Human adult Vick (Paul "Maxx" Rinehart) betrays his friends in the hope he can take the artifact and get rich to escape what he calls his "miserable life." He learns that he is already happy having his adventures with friends and returns to help them. The movie has strong messages of teamwork and humility. In a scene that could upset some younger viewers, a robot character (Hanna Allsaar) sacrifices herself to save the world. For a few minutes she is thought to have died before she returns for the happy ending. The movie is known in some territories as Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds. 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 first half of this fourth spin-off feature film from the popular Chinese TV series feels like a run of the mill budget animation. But at the midway point, Fantastica: A Boonie Bears Adventure kicks up a gear and becomes an exciting adventure with effective emotional moments. When the movie begins, it follows a template seemingly set by a creative team more influenced by video games than cinema. The various characters have a puzzle to solve, then an encounter, before they're whisked to the next magical land. But this formula eventually makes way for a film that gives its villains backstories and with an emphasis on character development.
We learn about how Boss became a cold-hearted, bitter baddie, while Logger Vick's story of feeling dissatisfied with his life, before learning he's actually got lots to be thankful for, gives a real emotional impact. The same can be said for cute robot Coco. When she sacrifices herself to save the world, it's genuinely moving, setting up the fist-pumping ending when she (spoiler) comes back to rejoin the gang. As a gateway to fantasy adventure movies, Boonie Bears fans couldn't ask for more.
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.