A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Otto the Rhino is a Danish computer-animated feature from 2013. While on the whole a sweet and imaginative story, there are some moments of inappropriate humor: a bird is shown defecating on a man's head, and the titular rhino is shown belching long and loud. Also, when the owner of a cafe calls the police to report a rhino wreaking havoc in his building, the chief of police calls the man a "drunken wacko" who is hallucinating "pink elephants" and needs to stop drinking. There is also an older character who is always shown lighting and smoking a pipe. Still, on the whole, this is an enjoyable (if slow-paced) story of imagination and young love.
What's the story?
Topper is a kind boy with an active imagination and a father who he believes has been on adventures in Africa for the past year. He is starting to develop feelings for Silla, who seems to like him back. Topper's whole life turns upside down when he discovers a magical pencil, a pencil that brings to life anything he draws with it. One day, after drawing a rhinoceros on his bedroom wall, the rhino comes to life. Topper names the rhino Otto, and he must figure out how to take care of Otto while they live in the third floor of an apartment building. He also must keep Otto away from cranky adults and a chief of police who are determined to take him away.
Is it any good?
On the whole, OTTO THE RHINO is a sweet movie about an imaginative boy who is starting to come of age. It's slow-paced at times, and almost all of the adults are presented as buffoons, but in spite of this, the story of Topper and his relationship with his faraway father and his first love with Silla is charming.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the movie lies with the titular animal. Otto doesn't really have much personality. He's just big and oafish and eats books but doesn't really do anything to endear himself to the audience. Not that he should smile a lot and sing a song composed by Pharrell or Randy Newman, but a little more personality -- or any personality for that matter -- would have improved the movie. Still, this is an imaginative story that tweens should enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
- On DVD or streaming: February 18, 2014
- Cast: Callum Maloney, Aoibheann Murray, Matthew Boyle
- Director: Kenneth Kainz
- Studio: Phase 4 Films
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 77 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Some rude humor and smoking images.
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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