Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This isn't an educational movie, but kids will learn about the continent of Australia, carnival/circus acts and the fact that albino koalas exist.
Kids will see the dangers of ridiculing and bullying and underestimating others. Despite his differences, Johnny learns to believe in himself and his talents. Teamwork and friendship are depicted as the way to overcome challenges.
Positive Role Models
Johnny rises above the emotional challenges and ridicule related to being an albino and is able to become first a popular traveling circus act and then a brave defender of his new friends in the billabong. Miranda the female koala is courageous and selfless, especially when it comes to her sister Charlotte. Miranda offers to take her sister's place as a hostage. The Wild Bushman saves the day.
Violence & Scariness
A few scary scenes include kidnapping of a young koala who is mistaken for the Koala Kid; Johnny and Miranda fall into a sinkhole and are almost hurt by a menacing lizard. A giant crocodile tries to eat Johnny and Miranda. A pack of dingoes always look ready to pounce.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and one kiss between a male and female koala.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Insults like: "midget polar bear," "stupid," "joke," "freak," and "idiot."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Koala Kid is an animated adventure that's pretty kid-friendly, but includes several insults hurled at Johnny the albino koala ("midget polar bear," "freak," and "joke"). There are some scary scenes and images including the kidnapping of not one but two koalas, the apparent sinking of two characters in a sinkhole (they're saved), and a climactic confrontation between the koalas and a big crocodile. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Koala Kid is one of an ever-growing number of direct-to-DVD animated movies that will please young children, but probably not parents used to theatrical feature films from Pixar and the like. There's nothing particularly memorable about this movie other than the setting of Australia and the admittedly clever conceit of making the protagonist an albino, so kids can see how "different" doesn't mean "weird." Otherwise, the movie is filled with a rather predictable Madagascar-like plot that sets up Johnny to prove he is braver than he looks.
For a so-so movie, the redeeming qualities are all about the messages concerning Johnny. Kids will see why bullying is hurtful and why you should never judge or pick on someone because they don't look the same as others. There are some laughs along with a dramatic second half full of occasional scares and tense situations, but ultimately there's a happily ever after under the Big Top. This is a decent pick for the kids, especially if they're fascinated with Australia.
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.