A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pixies is a Canadian animated film based on a graphic novel and short film of the same name. Although the overarching message is that war and violence are never the answer, the message gets lost under the unrelenting slapstick violence inflicted on the humans by the pixies. Friends also treat each other badly, calling each other names and hitting and pushing each other when annoyed. There's some innuendo, hand-holding, and kissing -- and vegans and fans of yoga will no doubt be annoyed by the frequent mocking of their lifestyles.
What's the story?
When mechanic Joe (Sean Patrick O'Reilly) misses the garbage pickup and instead dumps his trash in a ravine, he unknowingly attacks a colony of pixies, seriously injuring the son of the pixie king. Vowing to forever curse the human who injured him, the pixie king (Christopher Plummer) sends his other son, Sam (Geoff Gustafson), to torment the clueless Joe. As the unrelenting attacks continue, Joe finds himself demoted from his job for being clumsy and his attempts to woo the vegan artist Michelle (Alexa Vega) continually interrupted. While Joe tries to figure out the cause of his frequent accidents, Sam suffers a crisis of conscience: Should he listen to his father, who promotes vengeance above all else? Or should he listen to his heart, which tells him to forgive?
Is it any good?
Although this odd animated movie tries to push a positive message, the unrelenting attacks on Joe start to weigh on the audience by the end. The majority of PIXIES is spent showing Joe getting hit in the face, being taken to and from the hospital, and being embarrassed, all for a careless mistake. It's depressing and loses its humor pretty fast. Although the film is trying to illustrate the adage "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind," it's hard to stick with it until the message is finally delivered. And the side characters undermine the anti-violence message by constantly pushing and hitting each other, even when it's in jest. Even when the characters are supposed to be likable, they still manage to be moderately cruel or callous. Although Joe is falling for Michelle, he constantly pokes fun at her veganism and alternative lifestyle with jokes and snide remarks that fall flat with the viewer. Even the animation is off-putting, with Michelle sporting reddish under-eye circles that give her an odd, sick appearance.
Ultimately, it's hard to see wom this movie is trying to appeal to. It has the plot complexity of a children's movie, but the jokes, innuendo, and underlying messages all seem geared toward a more adult audience, making it appealing to neither.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about war. Is it ever right to start a war? When, if ever, is war justified?
Sam tries to argue that cursing Joe is not the right punishment for his crimes. Do you think Joe should have been punished for accidentally injuring William? What would have been a proper punishment?
What is the movie's message? Do you think the point is clear? Why, or why not?
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