Impy's Island

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Impy's Island Movie Poster Image
Cute adventure with quirky animals; some mild scares.
  • G
  • 2008
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate. Introduces some animals: monitor lizard, elephant seal, king penguin. 

Positive Messages

Characters work together to accomplish their goals. Values positive thinking over pessimism.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each character is called upon to use his or her own special talent to assist the others. Although some "inter-species" teasing goes on, the players respect one another's differences. Problem solving, teamwork, and positive attitudes are valued traits. A villain learns the error of his ways and joins the fun.

Violence & Scariness

Some mild cartoon action: bumps, falls, a food fight, a careening log ride. A vain king arrives on the island and is a danger to its inhabitants: He fires a gun, chases the animals from a helicopter, and threatens to capture Impy. Mild suspense in a climactic sequence in which characters get lost in a jungle, confront a wicked-looking crab, are trapped in a cave, and are saved in the nick of time as a volcano erupts. 

Sexy Stuff
Language

Scattered insults: "idiot," "stupid." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Impy's Island is a good-natured cartoon filled with lovably quirky characters (both animal and human), music, and some light action and mild scares. The film includes an assortment of colorful, funny, and singularly eccentric creatures; they're originals and comfortable with not being perfect. The story is easy to follow and resolves with simplicity. It's mostly adorable and clever during the first half, but there are some edgier moments that may surprise or disturb very young or very sensitive kids as the story continues. A villainous king (more comic than evil, and he looks like everyone's grandpa) fires a gun at the heroes and chases them. Baby dinosaur Impy is in danger from the king as well as from his natural surroundings (a volcano eruption with burning lava on the move, a dark cave, an eerie-looking crab). Based on the famous series of children's books by German author Max Kruse, the movie is a German production with American voices for the U.S. audience. 

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What's the story?

The last relic of the prehistoric era appears on Tikiwoo Island when a very ancient iceberg washes ashore with an unhatched dinosaur egg inside. Tikiwoo, a magical tropic paradise, is home to a wonderful menagerie of funny animals, as well as an eccentric human professor who devotes his time to teaching the creatures to speak. The folks on IMPY'S ISLAND are amazed and overjoyed when the egg hatches, and Impy -- an "impodochosaurus" steps into their midst. Just as Impy is beginning to feel at home and becoming an important part of island life, danger materializes in the person of King "Gone" (so-called because he's lost his throne and is thus "gone" from power). In his kingdom not far from Tikiwoo, the pesky monarch has gotten wind of the little tyke's presence and has set out to capture this strange being and take him home. It's a battle of wits and wisdom, as well as guns and natural disasters, as King Gone and his accomplice face a firmly united coterie of Impy's protectors and friends.

Is it any good?

This amiable film with lots of music is enjoyable, sincere in its effort to entertain, and has some original, clever characters. (Particularly endearing are a raspy-voiced monitor lizard and an OCD housekeeping pig -- not to mention an elephant seal who sounds a lot like Louis Armstrong when he sings.) It will appeal to most little kids and probably some early elementary school-age kids as well. Though there are some suspenseful moments and some close calls for the critters, no one comes to harm, and kids who clearly understand the difference between real and cartoon action should have no problem. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what you can learn about teamwork from this movie. How did each character on the island use a specific ability to contribute to the story? 

  • The characters of Tikiwoo Island like to tease each other, but they always seem to stop before anyone's feelings are hurt. How can you tell when playful teasing becomes unkind? How do you let someone know they've gone too far?

  • How did Peg, the house pig, change over the course of the film? What changed her? Did you like her better at the end of the story?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animal tales

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