Koala Kid



Aussie circus adventure is fun but has a few scary scenes.
  • Review Date: June 18, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Positive messages

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.

Sexy stuff

Some flirting and one kiss between a male and female koala.


Insults like: "midget polar bear," "stupid," "joke," "freak," and "idiot."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Johnny (Rob Schneider) is a rare animal: an albino koala who endures taunts from his fellow koalas until Hamish (Bret McKenzie) a Tasmanian Devil discovers him and pitches him as a possible act for a traveling circus nearby. Johnny is soon a sideshow act called the KOALA KID, but the top act is the Wild Bushman, a Crocodile Dundee-type who shows off his crocodile-wrestling skills and other feats of strength. On the way to another of the circus' stops, Johnny and Hamish's train car crashes into the Outback, where they encounter a billabong where a female koala named Miranda (Yvonne Strahovski) tries to protect her friends from a group of dingoes and the billabong's biggest threat, Bog (Alan Cumming), a huge crocodile.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Australia and what the movie reveals about the animals of Australia and the landscape of the continent.

  • How does Johnny rise to the occasion when he's with the traveling circus and later when he's in the billabong?

  • Why are kids' movies about the circus or carnivals so popular?

Movie details

DVD release date:April 30, 2013
Cast:Alan Cumming, Rob Schneider, Tim Curry
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Wild animals
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild action/peril and some rude humor

This review of Koala Kid was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Clever, funny, touching; like a great road movie.
  • Animated animal buddy flick is crude but funny.
  • Cute story has some crude humor and innuendo.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old July 21, 2013

Ridiculous, stupid, poorly acted movie has tons of rip-offs.

This movie is so bad it's hilarious. It tries to have positive messages but the awful script and terrible acting don't allow it. The only decent thing about the movie is that it will keep anyone 4 through 7 years old entertained for 86 minutes.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide