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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will be exposed to a retelling of the biblical story of Noah and the ark.
Positive messages about teamwork, what it means to be a leader, what it means to have faith in someone, the importance of keeping your word, and the importance of respecting life. There is bickering and infighting.
Positive Role Models
Noah is caring, respectful, and optimistic. Kairel is a strong female character -- brave, just, and determined. She sees the value of working together for the greater good of the whole community. God is portrayed as being nonchalant, more interested in writing a book than anything else. Many other characters are selfish, immature, and disrespectful, including the vain lion king, Xiro.
Violence & Scariness
Several instances of cartoonish violence, such as when a pineapple falls on an animal's head or when two characters have a sword fight. Animals slam a door on another animal, but it is unharmed. Two animals fight, exchanging kicks and punches. Character is hit over the head with a wooden plank. Additionally, there are multiple scenes with mild peril, including moments when the ark nearly capsizes and its passengers are fearful of drowning. Elsewhere, there is plentiful animal growling and fang-bearing, and a significant portion of the plot involves animals conspiring to murder and feast on other animals. In one of the more explicitly perilous scenes, hungry animals imagine the fattening of pigs, slaughterhouse-style, then dropping them into pots of boiling water to eat later.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A group of women are seen hanging out a balcony window batting their eyelashes -- it is suggested they are prostitutes in a brothel. In one scene, animals are cut to in a way that implies they've just had intercourse. Another scene has animals canoodling behind a curtain. A recurring tiger (named Panty, no less) exists seemingly for the sole purpose of luring a king to bed by flattering and seducing him. Panty has overtly large breasts and in one scene is dancing provocatively in a cage. A lion has a list of potential partners, referring to them as "hot chicks" and being disparaging and disrespectful. Two animals kiss briefly. In one scene, an animal has cleavage.
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Language such as "imbecile," "idiot," and "stupid" are used. Breasts are referred to as "boobs" and a group of potential female suitors are called "hot chicks." Two animals fight, and one calls the other one fat. There is one reference to the "deep, dark halls of hell." In multiple scenes, killing or murdering and then eating other animals is explicitly discussed. Fart jokes.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Animals are seen drinking from goblets, sometimes raucously, to suggest drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Noah's Ark (or El arca) is an Argentine-Italian (dubbed into English) animated comedic retelling of the biblical story. It looks like an all-ages family movie, 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 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, politics, and murderous plots that are confusing or too explicit for younger kids. Animals fight, discuss eating each other, and there also moments of peril when the ark nearly capsizes. There are also a number of sexually-suggestive scenes that seem inappropriate for the target audience. Animals are sexualized and dance provocatively toward each other. In one scene, the camera cuts to two animals who have seemingly just had sex. A lion refers to a list of potential suitors as "hot chicks" and is both disparaging and disrespectful about them. This review is based on the 2014 DVD version of the movie, which omits some scenes from the 2007 original version. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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 than he is about how the animals and Noah will pull off his 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 in the shape of a flood -- will likely cause a bit of confusion for young kids. But if that doesn't do it, the rest of the film will -- animals plot murder (sometimes rather explicitly), while Xiro the lion king-in-waiting has to decide whether he will ever stop chasing a promiscuous tiger named Panty (not kidding) long enough to get his act together and lead.
There are fart jokes, some drinking, a bit of cartoonish violence, and a spat where one female cat calls another one fat. For a story out of the bible, there are surprisingly few good role models. 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. If you can ignore the greed, murder, sex, and farting jokes.
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.