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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
"There is a first time to do everything. Give it a try." Don't run away from what you fear. You may escape the first time, but what will you do when you have to face fear the next time and the time after that? Be brave. Value what's left of our environment and do what you can to protect it.
Positive Role Models
Motu and Patlu are two friends who try to be helpful. Even when they're afraid, they try to face their fears. Guddu is a selfish and cowardly circus lion who is tired of being told what to do. Eventually he learns that it's important to help friends when they're in trouble.
Violence & Scariness
A greedy villain wants gold so badly he's willing to mow down trees, set off explosives, and otherwise endanger the jungle habitat of animals who are getting in the way of his quest. His henchmen shoot guns at the animals, and several other evil emissaries attack the jungle inhabitants and their lion king. Chased by the villain's men, the king, Singa, falls off a cliff and dies.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Motu Patlu: King of Kings is part of a Nickelodeon animated TV series based on a Hindi comic strip that originated on Indian television. Motu and Patlu are great friends who get into adventures that tend to result in positive messages; in this case: Don't be afraid, save the environment, and keep trying. Motu gets energy from eating samosas the way Popeye did when he ate spinach, and these surges of energy sometimes catapult the character into flight. Although the two friends are household names in certain regions of India, the fact that the cartoons are in a strange mix of both Hindi and English and also feature English subtitles may make this a tough match for kids in the United States. Those young enough to enjoy it may not be old enough to read the titles quickly. Expect cartoon violence and scary villains. Henchmen shoot guns at animals, and several other evil emissaries attack the jungle inhabitants and their lion king. Chased by the villain's men, the king, Singa, falls off a cliff and dies. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is strange and overlong but not completely without its charms. Its oddness may derive from cultural differences between the way Indian TV and American TV approach topics. Motu is bent on helping those who don't necessarily seem to want his help, and kids might find that confusing. The circus lion Guddu wants to stay in the jungle, but Motu insists that he remain caged until they can transport Guddu to a National Forest, where humans will preside over him. You can't help wondering why Motu can't just honor Guddu's wishes. This pudgy, balding little button of a man is prone to producing profuse tears if he so much as sees someone else cry, but is also surprisingly combative and committed to exposing himself to danger. He takes risks to help those in need, even if outright mortal combat is involved. The mixed messages in Motu Patlu: King of Kings are a bit strange, and the violence seems a little heavy for a children's story.
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.