Hoot

 
(i)

 

Sweet, clumsy family film about saving owls.
  • Review Date: August 14, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The kids who are trying to stop the building engage in illegal activities.

Violence & scariness

Bully picks on boy repeatedly; face mashed into a window; dog bite leaves bloody wound; villain sprays owl holes with fire extinguisher in an effort to kill them; villain tied and gagged in a closet.

Sexy stuff

Very minor: cleavage shots as teenaged Beatrice wears bikini tops; bully appears in underwear.

Language

Mildly obnoxious language ("screwing up," "psycho bully," "darn," "dork," "sucks," "jerk," "dang," "nitwit," "idiot").

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know the film concerns a corporation's illegal effort to build a restaurant on protected land. To stop a saboteur, the local corporate employee sets mousetraps and sends out trained attack dogs. The kids who are trying to stop the building also engage in illegal activities, such as setting loose alligators and cottonmouth snakes, deflating tires, spray-painting a police cruiser, organizing a town meeting under false pretenses, and tying up the villain in a closet. The company boss lies, cheats, and treats his girlfriend callously. Kids and adults use mildly obnoxious language ("dork," "sucks"). A chaste flirtation develops between the boy and girl protagonists.

What's the story?

HOOT focuses on three kids who unite to combat the corporate entity endangering owls. One of the rebels, a wily nature-boy named only Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley), discovers the company's scheme and then sets to sabotaging the construction site, convincing his friends to help him. Having gone truant from military school, Mullet Fingers solicits help in saving the owls from Roy (Logan Lerman), new to Coconut Cove, Florida and feeling alienated when he first spots Mullet Fingers running barefoot along his school bus route. When Roy tracks down the mysterious boy, he also meets Mullet Fingers' stepsister, Beatrice the Bear (Brie Larson), so named because she's a tough, respected sports competitor willing to beat up anyone who crosses her. Enter the villain, Curly (Tim Blake Nelson). Assigned to protect the site where a new Pancake site is to be erected, Curly is sneaky and generally miserable. His boss, Mr. Muckle (Clark Gregg), is almost hyperactive in his cruel conniving. No one's about to feel sorry for them when the kids make trouble, even to the point of leaving Muckle tied up and gagged.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sweet but clumsy, HOOT doesn't show much of the endangered burrowing owls that motivate the plot. Instead, it focuses on the three kids. Produced by Jimmy Buffett (who provides a score and an appearance as the wise science teacher), the movie's good intentions are repeatedly undermined by awkward pacing and editing, such that storylines collide more than coincide.

The movie tends to sanction bad behavior when the intentions are righteous. For instance, when the school bully Dana (Eric Phillips) starts picking on Roy, Beatrice steps in to defend him, leaving Dana stripped to his underwear and tied to a tree so her teammates can walk by and giggle at him. The villains, on the other hand, are broadly drawn and uncomplicated: The least irritating adult in sight is also the least relevant: Officer Delinko (amiable Luke Wilson) tries to help the kids but gets himself in trouble with his boss when Mullet Fingers spray-paints his cruiser's windows during a stakeout. Still, it's Delinko, who appears to be slow-on-the-uptake, who sees the children's righteous cause before anyone else. And so he helps them achieve their ends: thwarted corruption and shut-down bulldozers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what tactics might effectively stop corporate cheating. How does the film parallel the middle school bully with the corporate bully? How do Roy's lies to his parents lead to their distress and what lesson does he learn from the experience? They could also compare the movie to the book upon which it's based.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 5, 2006
DVD release date:August 15, 2006
Cast:Brie Larson, Logan Lerman, Luke Wilson
Director:Wil Shriner
Studio:New Line
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Wild animals
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild bullying and brief language

This review of Hoot was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN February 16, 2011
 

A cute movie that shows kids that they should stand up for what they belive in and what's right.

Roy has moved around his whole life; so when his family moves to Coconut Cove he hopes he isn't staying too long. Bullied on the school bus by Dana Matherson, Roy sees a kid running super fast. The weird thing? The kid wasn't wearing any shoes. One day Roy follows the kid, and embarks on a journey with the boy (who we learn to call Mullet Fingers), and Beatrice, the boy's sister, to save a small population of owls on a soon-to-be Mother Paula's Pancake House property. Together they run into some obstacles, which they overcome with some pretty intuitive schemes. The movie is nicely tied together by the beautiful Florida wildlife and the movie soundtrack, which includes songs by Jimmy Buffet. (He also has a small role in the movie!)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2010
 

A see-once-and-forget movie

Pretty good movie. I don't remember anything that terrible in it. The acting was cute and all, but not a movie I would watch again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byLissaNicky April 30, 2010
 

Okay

We watched this movie right after reading the novel in school and I thought it was Ok. Not bad not great.
What other families should know
Great messages

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