A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While intended to entertain, this film does teach younger children about different animals in the wild.
The film discusses the importance of home, family, and friendship.
Positive Role Models
While a spunky young golden retriever, Napoleon is similar to young kids who wish to be out in the world before their time, and have some growing up to do before they're ready for more independence.
Violence & Scariness
Throughout the film, a scary black cat is shown hissing and threatening Napoleon and the other animals, with these scenes typically accompanied by "horror movie" background music. An owl is shown attacking this cat when the cat is on the verge of attacking Napoleon. As Napoleon floats in a basket carried by helium balloons, a bird pops the balloons and sends Napoleon to a crash landing on rocks; the basket is shown turning over with Napoleon inside.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Napoleon is a 1995 movie about a spunky young golden retriever who thinks he can live in the wild. There are some scary scenes involving a feral black cat who hisses and threatens to kill Napoleon; these scenes are accompanied by "horror movie"-style background music. There's also a scene where Napoleon falls from the sky in a basket and crashes into rocks, turning end over end, among other scenes where Napoleon faces peril. There's some name-calling and mild profanity ("dork," "sucks.") For parents, some of the shriller animal voices might prove annoying over repeated viewings, but there are some humorous references for older audiences -- for instance, Napoleon meets two wild puppies named Sid and Nancy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
NAPOLEON is a mostly-cute talking animal movie best enjoyed by young grade-schoolers, in spite of some of the scarier scenes that tend to lessen the overall cuteness. While the saccharine musical numbers feel a bit cheesy and forced, and some of the voicings of the animals will prove shrill and annoying over repeated viewings, when the movie focuses on the actual adventures Napoleon undertakes, it teaches important lessons about nature, animals in the wild, and what happens when you try to be something that you're not.
What particularly works well in Napoleon is the sheer number of animals Napoleon meets along the way -- everything from porcupines to owls, iguanas to koalas. The movie has much to teach about the behaviors of these animals, and should inspire family discussion and curiosity about their behavior. It's a little too cute for older tweens, but younger kids -- especially those who love puppies and wild animals -- should find much to enjoy in this movie.
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.