A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate.
Family members take care of each other. Bravery and perseverance result in positive change. The movie may start discussions about the treatment of working animals.
Positive Role Models
Mosley is a "thoriphant," a talking animal put to work on the land. He is hard-working, dedicated to his family, and brave. Rue, Mosley's young son, is cheerful and adventurous. Brave and dutiful, he tries to take on his dad's duties while he's away. Human farmer Simon mistreats his animals, overworks Mosley and threatens the other animals. Bemus is a manipulative salesman who auctions animals and convinces others to do bad acts that will earn him money. Warfield is an animal tracker who takes horns as souvenirs. Thoriphant elders are kind and cheerful but at one point, dishonest. There is only one female character, the pregnant Bera, who encourages Mosley to go on his adventure.
Violence & Scariness
The mythical thoriphant creatures are mistreated farm animals, whipped to the point of exhaustion, and pelted with rocks. Some scenes of threat, including falling from heights and intense pursuits. Some slapstick. A tracker shoots animals with arrows; one animal dies. A mother animal cries out in pain while giving birth. A fight between a thoriphant and the hunter is quite rough; the hunter pins them down with their foot and puts a rope around them.
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Character says "shut up." The phrase "serious as a heart attack" is used.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cave painting of an animal smoking a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mosley is a New Zealand-Chinese co-produced animated adventure with some animal cruelty and scenes of threat. Central to the story are mythical farm animals called "thoriphants." They're depicted as being worked hard, even mistreated, by humans. With his family under threat, Mosley (voiced by Kirby Atkins) goes in search of a tribe of thoriphants who broke free from their human masters. There's a parallel with enslavement and emancipation that could prompt discussions among families. Mosley is pursued by a tracker, and some scenes feature threat and violence, including falls from heights and a collapsing cave. The tracker fires arrows at thoriphants, and one dies as a result. There's no strong language, but the phrase "serious as a heart attack" is used. The main thoriphant family is kind, loving, and brave. The tribe elders that Mosley meets are at one point deceptive but overall kind-hearted. There is only one major female character, Mosley's pregnant partner, Bera (Lucy Lawless), who encourages Mosley to go on his journey. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An attractive, well directed adventure movie that naturally creates a discussion point about the treatment of animals without being heavy-handed. It's to its credit that Mosely manages to get just the right balance of depicting animal cruelty without being too explicit for a kids' movie. The cast help bring the world to life and provide a spectrum of characters. Rhys Darby delivers a typically light touch as thoriphant elder, Deaver, while Temuera Morrison is suitably fearsome as the animal tracker, Warfield. It's just a shame there is only one main female character, Mosley's partner Bera (Lucy Lawless), who is given little to do other than being pregnant and encouraging Mosley to start his adventure.
The movie is also ambiguous in its final message and its final act being neatly wrapped up by magic feels a little lazy. Mosley is at its best when shining a light on the conditions of farm animals and what it means to be a compassionate owner. Beyond that, the well-directed, exciting action set pieces and adventurer's journey make it a solid and enjoyable movie with lovingly crafted animation.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.