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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain, not educate.
Family is more important than work; being a team player is more important than winning.
Positive Role Models
Mara and Chris rescue the monkey from an abusive home; Alan decides to put his family first.
Violence & Scariness
A kid knocks another kid down on purpose, Malik threatens the monkey, and the monkey throws things at Malik.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Alan's boss inappropriately flirts with him; some flirting, one kiss on the cheek, and some hand-holding between kids.
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Some mild name-calling, such as "loser."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An adult drinks wine at dinner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that It's a Zoo in Here (also known as Monkey in the Middle) is a family comedy about kids taking in an escaped monkey that has some positive messages about fair play during sports and the fair treatment of animals. This mostly clean flick has only some mild name-calling and a little slapstick violence. But it does have some inappropriate flirting by a boss toward her employee and some mild flirting, a kiss, and some hand-holding between the adolescent characters. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
IT'S A ZOO IN HERE has a lot of elements that might appeal to a lot of kinds of kids: animal hijinks, soccer drama, and some cute adolescent romance. Unfortunately, there are too many plot elements and too many conflicts, making the movie mostly feel a bit muddled. Chris is struggling with hiding a monkey, trying to get his workaholic dad to pay attention to him, learning how to do the perfect free kick, and dealing with a bully who wants to make his life miserable. And the character of Chris' dad has a whole subplot dealing with a creepy boss who'd rather keep him at work all evening and on weekends so she can flirt with him. There's just too much going on.
The acting also is pretty bad, from both the adult and kid actors. With so many other fun animal adventures out there, this is one you can safely skip.
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.