Awful Chinese animal caper has some violence, scary scenes.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lucky Dog is a Chinese animal adventure for kids that's been overdubbed in English. Although there's no bad language and only one reference to alcohol (Poh Sister and her brother are shown passed out after a night of partying, surrounded by empty bottles, although they aren't shown drinking), the movie does have quite a bit of violence and scenes with animals in peril that may be scary for very young kids. Some extreme weapons such as a rocket launcher and a crossbow are shown (though no one is hit with them), there are fight scenes, and a dog is shown injured in a somewhat dramatic and scary way.
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What's the Story?
Orphaned puppy Loh Loh is adopted by the wealthy Ms. Guagua, who wants to find a dog who will win at a prestigious dog show. After the two become fast friends, Loh Loh is kidnapped, sending his two dog trainers and Ms. Guagua on an adventure to get him back. Meanwhile, the scheming Pah Song tries to also find Loh Loh in an attempt to win Ms. Guagua's heart, while the wannabe thieves Poh Sister and her brother hunt for the dog to win the reward money.
Is It Any Good?
LUCKY DOG seems to hit all the wrong notes. None of the characters is very likable, and although some of them are sometimes funny (Poh Sister and her brother are so over-the-top ridiculous that they do get a few laughs), the awkward overdubbing makes it hard to enjoy most of the dialogue. Small children may find it difficult to determine who the good guys really are in this movie, as most of the characters either engage in illegal activity (the somewhat likable Poh Sister and her brother are thieves, and Poh Song is a criminal) or are mostly after making money.
Parents and young children alike also may be disturbed by the way animals are put in peril. Although the film has a happy ending, the story leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. With so many good animal adventures out there, this is definitely one you can skip.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about kids' movies from China. Are they different from American kids' movies? How are they different?
Do you think you can still be a good person if you do things that are illegal, such as stealing? Why, or why not?
What's your favorite talking-animal movie? Why is it your favorite?
- On DVD or streaming: June 24, 2014
- Cast: Charlene Choi, Zong He, Chapman To
- Director: Huayang Fu
- Studio: Phase 4 Films
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: December 7, 2022
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