A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Noah's Ark is an animated comedic retelling of the biblical story that looks like an all-ages family film, but it contains some material that is suggestive, crass, mature, rude, and inappropriate or confusing for younger children. It has some positive messages about teamwork and some nods to the original notions about faith and loyalty found in the original tale, but many of these lessons are muddled by a movie largely driven by constant bickering and murderous plots that are confusing or too explicit for younger kids.
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What's the story?
The world has gone to pot, and it's up to Noah to help God start over by building an ark and loading up two of every animal species he can find. But how will Noah convince the animals, or his bickering family, for that matter, to get on board before the rain starts? And what about the hesitant, vain animal king Xiro -- can he help them all get along if he can't even convince himself to lead? What happens if they run out of food, or worse, everyone turns on each other? Noah's and everyone's limits are more than cosmically tested when he decides to take God up on the ultimate ask.
Is it any good?
NOAH'S ARK is a biblical retelling that manages to potentially alienate both its natural audience of true believers and the secular crowd who might just enjoy a good story. Here, God is a nonchalant, golf-playing roustabout who is more concerned about getting good material for his future book, which he has outsourced writing to an eager-to-please angel, than he is about how the animals and his one loyal guy down below, Noah, will pull off this crazy loyalty test. That premise is amusing enough, but it plays out in a dragging plot overloaded with bickering and some pretty questionable material. The early setup with its references to debt and gluttony and yes, prostitution -- an attempt to show the world as a lost cause in need of a do-over -- will likely cause a bit of confusion for young kids who aren't going to necessarily understand how the price of grain means God needs to send a flood. But if that doesn't do it, the rest of the film will -- animals plot murder (sometimes rather explicitly), while Xiro the undecided has to decide whether he will ever stop chasing a tiger named Panty (not kidding), enough to get his act together and lead. There are some fart jokes, some drinking, a bit of cartoonish violence, and spat where one female cat calls another one fat. For a story out of the bible, there is surprisingly not much here you'd want your kid imitating at school.
But for kids who like animals and big boats, and parents who will take any version of a bible story they can get, there are ultimately positive messages about working together, ostensibly, if you can just lose the avarice, murder, sex, and farting that's holding you back.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the original Noah story. Do you know the tale of Noah's Ark? What happens in the version you are familiar with?
The story of Noah's Ark is really about a big do-over. Is there anything you would do over if you could? What would it be, and why? How would it change things if you could do something over?
Being stuck together with a group of people is sometimes called being a captive audience, like on a family trip. Have you ever been a captive audience? What was it like? Did you get along? Why or why not? How can people get along better when they are stuck with each other for a period of time?
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