Pets

  • Review Date: December 23, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Home Alone knockoff has heavy slapstick violence.
  • Review Date: December 23, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Pets espouses positive messages about teamwork, getting along with siblings, and sticking together.

Positive role models

Parents are engaged and concerned, siblings are relatable and antagonistic, and the criminals are cartoonishly evil.

Violence

A dog is accidentally shot in one scene and appears to be dying (but is later OK). There are multiple scenes involving slapstick punches, pratfalls, kicks, or groin injuries, with only minor or cartoonish injuries. Many of the characters are armed throughout, and guns often change hands. Underage children are left unsupervised and are tied up by robbers. Additionally, there are a few high-speed chases with reckless driving. In a brief opening scene, a boy is engaged in a war scene with planes overhead, guns firing, and numerous explosions, later shown to be a daydream. 

Sex

In a brief scene, a younger brother teases his older sister by asking if her breasts have "gotten any bigger" and then grabs her bra, puts it on his eyes, and mimes as if it has given him x-ray vision. A man dressed in drag causes a car accident (with cartoonish injury) when he lifts his skirt to show some leg.

Language

There is a bit of mildly insulting language (an animal is called "dumb").

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In a brief scene, a villainous loan officer smokes a cigar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pets involves a scene wherein the family pet dog is accidentally shot and appears to be dead (but is later OK.) A brother teases his sister about her bra, and a villainous loan officer smokes a cigar. Additionally, the main action is driven by a gold heist and, as such, involves high-speed chases, armed guards, and consistently recurring slapstick violence. Overall, the film is more suited for older kids. 

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What's the story?

When their parents leave them alone for a trip into the city, brother-sister duo Peter (Josh Grolman) and Shannon (Jenna Dover) must look after themselves and stay out of trouble. But trouble finds them when a gold heist takes place nearby and the thieves need a place -- the siblings' farm -- to lay low for a minute, leaving the two kids to work together to stay safe until their parents return.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Even with talking farm animals, PETS doesn't come quite near the achievement of a movie it nods heavily to, Home Alone, but it pays its dues entertainingly enough with incompetent thieves, slapstick violence, and lots of remarkable ingenuity on the part of children left home alone to defend their turf, all with an Australian flavor.

Though this knockoff drags a bit, it has fun with a Dick Tracy-era setting, and, for kids who like adventures and farm animals, there will be lots of silly, pratfall-driven laughs and an all-too-brief but fun evil villain played by George Hamilton. Parents, however, may find themselves longing for a more original version with less filler that hits all the right notes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about working as a team in a pinch. Have you ever had to work with a friend, sibling, or family member to solve a big problem? What happened? What did you do?

  • Do you have siblings? If so, do you get along? What do you do to have fun together?

  • The kids in the movie are very clever at using household items to set traps to stop the intruders. Have you ever made art or toys out of household items? What sorts of contraptions did you make? What materials did you use?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 9, 2002
DVD release date:December 9, 2002
Cast:George Hamilton, Jenna Dover, Josh Grolman
Director:David Lister
Studio:Allumination
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Brothers and sisters
Run time:82 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Pets was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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