A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ploey, an Icelandic animated adventure, features a plucky young chick who is separated from his flock when they go south for the winter without him. Like The Jungle Book, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story, this movie emphasizes recovering from setbacks and highlights the difficulties of loss and overcoming loneliness, plus the importance of family and good friends. While it's appropriate for kids, some may worry when the lead character is being chased by predators. A predatory falcon takes down Ploey's father. A fox tries to eat Giron, Ploey, and several mice. A cat grabs a bird, but the bird escapes. Ploey shivers in the cold and nearly starves, falls down cliffs, into rivers, and down waterfalls and, with the help of friends, manages to survive. It looks as if someone has died, but he hasn't.
What's the story?
Title character PLOEY (voiced by Jamie Oram) hatches, to his doting parents' delight, but decides that flying is too risky when his father is taken by a predatory falcon named Shadow in mid-flight. When his flock flies south for the winter, Ploey is left behind and decides to try to walk to the warm and safe haven of Paradise Valley on his own, a trek that will take him through a snowy, frigid field and blizzard-struck mountainous terrain. He meets Giron (John Stamos), a bird who has his own grudge against Shadow. Cynical and world weary, he announces that "nobody cares," as he tries to use naïve Ploey as bait in the effort to lure Shadow into a nasty bear trap. But he quickly becomes fatherly and protective with Ploey, saving him from harm numerous times, a favor Ploey returns when the going gets tough. Giron nudges Ploey to fly for love. Ploey realizes that he can help save his beloved Ploveria (Harriet Perring) from Shadow's attack if he can muster the courage to take to the sky.
Is it any good?
This is a slight, harmless knock-off of numerous, better, animated films aimed at young kids. Ploey is designed to underscore the virtues of determination, loyalty, resourcefulness, and grit. Younger kids may be frightened when the evil falcon Shadow menaces the defenseless birds. It's not the worst animated animal tale for kids, but there are many better options.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how lucky Ploey is to meet a sympathetic grownup to guide him through his troubled journey. Why do you think Giron is so nice to Ploey? Do you think he reminds Giron of his own kids?
Ploey is driven by love to finally get the courage to fly and help save his family and friends. In what ways does love motivate you to do your best?
How does this compare to other animated movies you've seen about animals?
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