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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Life, in every form, is to be cherished. Living beings thrive and grow when they are treated with love and respect, and when they work together towards a common goal. The same event viewed from different perspectives may lead to very different conclusions.
Positive Role Models
Over the course of this film, Fluke (a man who is killed then returns to Earth as a dog) becomes independent, resourceful, brave, self-sacrificing, and loyal. He learns a very big lesson about what's important, and realizes that appearances may be deceiving. Dog catchers, shelter personnel are all portrayed as villains.
Violence & Scariness
The film opens with a car accident in which a man is killed; the sequence is repeated several times in flashback from different points of view. Dogs are in danger throughout. They are mistreated by a thug, captured by brutal men (a mother dog is wrenched away from her puppies by animal control officers), caged, injured; one beloved dog is shot and killed. Fluke is cruelly restrained in a medical lab and subjected to painful tests. The dog ferociously attacks several villains.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Not much -- a rare "hell" and "my God," as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
Monopoly, The Nature Company.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several people are shown drinking in a homeless camp. A auto salvage dealer drinks and smokes. In one flashback the human hero is revealed to be a heavy smoker.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while Fluke was originally marketed as a family film, it includes several deaths and many scenes in which people lose or mourn their loved ones. The principal animals are in danger throughout -- subjected to cruelty, abandonment, a medical lab experiment, and harsh capture. Though it is not religiously or philosophically explored, a light-hearted acceptance of reincarnation is at the heart of this film so that the human hero, as a dog, can take a second look at his life. Generally, despite the lovably talented dogs, this is an often confusing, very sad film that may be upsetting to young kids, sensitive kids, and animal-lovers of any age. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's an earnest, heart-warming story about the value of an examined life somewhere in Fluke. The movie is well-acted with wonderful music, surprises, and performances -- especially from Comet, one of the most enchanting canine actors ever to grace the screen. But death and danger abound, and are delivered with cruelty, brutality, and lots of sadness.
Viewers, especially young ones, may be in constant fear for Fluke's life and well-being. Some challenging issues are introduced as well: medical experiments using animals, reincarnation, and homelessness. Families with older or mature kids would do well to watch Fluke with them. It may spark discussion, and it certainly will have an emotional impact.
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.