Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Labou Movie Poster Image
Lame attempt at a treasure hunt in Louisiana bayou.
  • G
  • 2009
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value
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 & Representations

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.


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


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 9-year-old Written byEric Z. July 7, 2012

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 cynica... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 29, 2010

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 look... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 22, 2010
I liked it, and the green creature is CUTE!!!!

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Themes & Topics

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