A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gus is a humorous entry from Disney Studios with genuinely funny moments. But it looks like it was hastily assembled, with little concern for the look of the project. Elementary-age kids probably won't mind the movie's less than professional sheen, and parents will appreciate its child-friendly approach. Very young children may not be able to follow the narrative, but 4 and 5 year olds will like watching Gus's hijinks. School-age kids will enjoy the silliness and may laugh all the way through.
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What's the story?
A Yugoslavian lad and GUS, his miraculous kicking mule, prove to be the saviors of a floundering NFL football team. This 1970s Disney movie looks hastily put together, but features a strong cast of comic actors including Tom Bosley, Don Knotts, and Tim Conway, and Ed Asner as the cantankerous, but goodhearted, owner of the team.
Is it any good?
What really makes this movie work is the quality acting of the seasoned pros. Unfortunately, Gus has a less than professional sheen. It's not very well lit and the writing has a sitcom quality. The movie also includes a terrible special effect of the ball flying through the air. Any editor should have been able to piece together shots to make it look as though the ball is soaring the length of the field.
But that's beside the point. Children will find the many setups for pratfalls hilarious, especially the goofy chase sequence in the grocery store. And parents can rest assured that this is Disney before it ventured into more controversial territory.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: February 1, 1976
- On DVD or streaming: January 14, 2003
- Cast: Don Knotts, Ed Asner, Tim Conway
- Director: Vincent McEveety
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Horses and Farm Animals
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: family friendliness
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