What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Joey's premise involves a teen boy whose father is absent and presumed dead, and later, a teen girl whose mother has died recently. The majority of the film involves a teen boy who has run away. Additionally, in a few key scenes, the teen boy drives a vehicle without a license and without consequence. He also steals money to further a positive goal, though in the end he pays the money back. There's mild profanity ("goddamn") and sustained peril, and some potentially frightening or confusing inclusions for younger kids -- such as a scary character with studded leather gloves and a face mask, and a plot that involves an underground animal-against-man fighting ring.
What's the story?
When Billy McGregor (Jamie Croft) rescues a baby kangaroo -- called a joey -- from the uncertain fate of a family of 'roos captured from a nearby farm, he quickly realizes his duty: to return the baby to its family in the Australian Outback. The problem is that their whereabouts are unknown, and the neighbors who ordered their capture are after him. He's in luck when the daughter (Alex McKenna) of a visiting U.S. ambassador (Ed Begley, Jr.) shares his convictions, but can they return the joey safely without inciting an international incident?
Is it any good?
JOEY offers a passionate teen boy who really cares about animal conservation and a mother who supports her son's calling and encourages it, even in the face of taunts of his "weirdness." Parents will appreciate the positive messages and wacky heroics of the two kids who are trying to do right by the animal in their charge.
But there's also some not-so-great stuff, like sustained peril and the appearance of an extra-scary henchman who could almost be straight out of a Texas Chainsaw movie, not to mention the underground fighting ring that may need some explaining. Still, older kids will enjoy the suspense, the Outback setting, and the abundant silliness and slapstick humor.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about animal conservation efforts. What animals are extinct or near extinction where you live? What steps are being taken to protect them or preserve their natural habitat?
Have you ever had to do something dishonest to accomplish something good? What was the result? Was there a way to avoid doing something wrong to make things right?