A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this movie is geared toward kids, it does include some frightening scenes where the titular water creature attacks the movie's two villains and destroys their submarine with a flick of its tail; it's understood that both men don't survive. Also, these two villains are quite dangerous and don't seem to care about harming others who get in their way. They kidnap a boy, vandalize property, attack a boat full of people with a grenade launcher, and harpoon the monster. The movie also touches on a boy's loss of his mother, establishing that she died two years earlier and her death still affects both father and son. Finally, Mee-Shee is essentially a friendly monster, but it may appear scary at first to younger kids.
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What's the story?
An oil company has dispatched engineer Sean Campbell (Bruce Greenwood) to Canada to retrieve an expensive drillhead at the bottom of a lake using his specialized submarine. Sean and his son, Mac, learn of a water monster that's said to inhabit the lake, and is called Mee-Shee by the Native Americans. Mac, who wasn't thrilled over going to Canada because he missed a trip to Disney World, decides to look for Mee-Shee. What he finds is that the creature is a guardian angel of sorts, rescuing people from drowning and instinctively protecting them from two villains who arrive in town. Indeed, a threat looms over the area when a rival oil company hires two thugs to foil Campbell's attempts to salvage the drillhead, and the men will stop at nothing to achieve that goal.
Is it any good?
MEE-SHEE: THE WATER GIANT is a family-friendly movie that should delight kids with its compassionate lake monster, nifty submarines, and scenes of adventure in the remote Canadian wilderness. Meanwhile, its sensitive portrayal of the relationship between a father and his young son provides some tender moments. The movie sinks occasionally due to some overacting by minor characters, but overall it's entertaining and fun to watch.
Some suspense is lost by revealing Mee-Shee too quickly, but this may work better for younger viewers. A gargantuan combination of walrus, dinosaur, and dolphin, Mee-Shee is a little scary at first, but proves itself to be friendly, curious, and even playful. The movie features a number of suspenseful scenes -- underwater and on dry land. And Sean and Mac's experiences with Mee-Shee help them grow closer, probably more than a trip to Disney World ever could.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Mee-Shee seems to instinctively know who the "good guys" and "bad guys" are. How does Mee-Shee protect and rescue people? How does Mee-Shee defend those same people against the movie's villains? Why is it important that the young boy not broadcast the fact that he has seen Mee-Shee? How does the film handle environmental issues, such as animal protection and the oil industry?
- In theaters: October 5, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: July 25, 2006
- Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Daniel Magder, Joel Tobeck
- Director: John Henderson
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some violence, peril and mild language.
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