Labou

  • Review Date: July 8, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Lame attempt at a treasure hunt in Louisiana bayou.
  • Review Date: July 8, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

New Orleans needs the props after the Katrina disaster, but this weak effort does little to give the Crescent City a boost. The mixed race cast is refreshing to see.

Positive role models

A cameo by the real-life Mayor of New Orleans is nice to see. Plus, an appearance by jazz great Ellis Marsalis.

Violence & scariness

Some comic pratfalls when the construction crew chases the kids, but nothing notable. The ghost of Le Rouge appears periodically throughout the movie, but he's not too scary.

Sexy stuff

The ship's mastiff features a busty woman, scantily clad. This image is shown often enough to warrant attention.

Language

Bully language does not let up: "shut up," "what a wuss," "losers," you're an idiot," "captain crybaby," "you guys are total babies," etc...

Consumerism

Krispy Kreme box shown, and characters say, "I love Krispy Kreme!" Characters then devour doughnuts.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The first scene depicts drunken adult revelers in old New Orleans. The drunkest of them all talks about the pirate who is a key factor in the film.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie about pirates, a ghost, buried treasure, and a musical swamp creature does not find its groove. Three kids follow a dare to find a treasure and get lost in the swamp overnight. They also find the ghost of Pirate La Rouge, which might be scary to younger viewers. One of the kids is a bully, calling the other two names throughout the film. The kids are never really threatened, but the bad guys do kidnap one of them, though he's able to escape handily.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

On the bus ride home from school, The Toddster (Bryan James Kitto) brags that he knows where a ghost can be found, but Gavin (Darnell J. Hamilton) and Emily (Marissa Cuevas) are convinced that he's lying. To prove that he's for real, Todd takes the two doubting kids deep into the bayou, where they begin a search for the Pirate La Rouge's treasure. Meanwhile, two developers are trying to buy the land to put an oil refinery in the swamp. The kids get lost, consequently meeting a strange creature called the Labou and an oddball relative to the Pirate La Rouge. They band together to save the swamp from the money hungry developers and look for the hidden treasure.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

You want it to be good, you really do. It's got a lot of great ingredients: pirates, treasure, kids lost in the bayou, the real mayor of New Orleans, a handful of jazz legends, and a strange-looking puppet called the Labou. But, sadly, this movie could be out-shined by any number of school play productions. The cast members are not given a whole lot to work with (how many times can a kid say "whatever" in a single movie?) so kids aren't likely to identify with the young characters.

Moreover, the Labou itself is a sideline to all of the other stuff going on. The magical creature, whose whistles are rumored to be the inspiration for jazz, gets tossed in Emily's backpack and tweets once in a while to show that it's alive, but that's about it. Some kids will enjoy the adventure, although adult fans of New Orleans culture are likely to be disappointed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about ghosts. Are ghosts always scary? The Pirate Le Rouge's ghost is at times helpful and at times menacing. Why do people believe in ghosts? When does it get too scary to think about ghosts? Parents can check out these tips to help their kids navigate the scary stuff in movies.

  • A box of doughnuts makes the kids in the movie go nutty. Do certain foods change your behavior? Here are some facts about food that might make you wonder why that box of doughnuts showed up in the movie to begin with.

  • The Toddster bullies the other kids by calling them names and hiding the map that they're using. Why does he do this? How could Gavin and Emily do better at standing up to him? Does he learn his lesson?

Movie details

DVD release date:May 19, 2009
Cast:Bryan James Kitto, Darnell Hamilton, Marissa Cuevas
Director:Greg Aronowitz
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Pirates, Puppets
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:General Audiences

This review of Labou was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byFilmFather July 7, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Intentions are good, but misses the mark

Labou is an animatronic creation (think Gremlins’ Gizmo crossed with a frog) who’s convincing enough to satisfy kid viewers, but adults will be much more cynical. He feels like he could have been plucked from a Jim Henson reject pile. *** Even worse, Labou disappears from the film for stretches at a time – forcing viewers to sit through either a) the three kid actors trying to carry their scenes; or b) unfunny slapstick and insults between a pair of bumbling father-and-son developers (Earl Scioneaux and Chris Violette) who want to raze Labou’s swampland home and build an oil refinery. *** While it’s too little too late, the last 20 minutes of Labou does hit on the magic that the rest of the film struggles to deliver, and it all ties up nicely at the end. *** Writer/director (and veteran FX artist) Greg Aronowitz obviously made Labou for kids, and in that respect, mission accomplished. It’s a perfectly harmless, highly disposable children’s film that parents shouldn’t (and won’t) take too seriously. *** The only minor concerns in Labou are some name-calling (“loser,” “idiot,” and my personal fave, “Billy the Skidmark”) and a brief scene featuring a drunk person. *** Read my full review at: filmfather (dot) blogspot (dot) com
Kid, 10 years old July 22, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
I liked it, and the green creature is CUTE!!!!
Kid, 11 years old November 29, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Great movie for family.

I love this movie so much. There is a ghost that looks like a human that is green and is shivering like water. I love labou he is a cute green guy guy that looks like a puppet. I showed this movie to my 8 year old sister. When the ghost scene was coming she was getting scared but once she saw the ghost it was nothing to her. She was fine no nightmares. This movie is cute fun and cool to show to a family.

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