Koala Kid

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Koala Kid Movie Poster Image
Aussie circus adventure is fun but has a few scary scenes.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 86 minutes

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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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... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

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