A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Strong themes of family. Your family isn't just the one you're born into. Kindness. Protecting those who need help and sticking up for the vulnerable. Selflessness. Sharing with others. Connectedness. Accepting others who are different from you. Coming together to work together instead of being apart. Taking care of the jungle and the creatures and plants that live there.
Positive Role Models
The main characters work to help Pokémon and discover where they come from. A Pokémon father figure not only teaches his son how to learn the ways of the jungle, but also learns the things that truly matter: sharing, caring for others, and taking care of your family. An evil scientist lies to try to get his way but eventually faces consequences for his actions. In multiple instances parents are willing to sacrifice themselves to save their child.
Cast includes both male and female characters in various roles. Female characters work as scientists. Not much racial diversity.
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Violence & Scariness
Some of the stronger Pokémon intimidate others into submission. Moments of human peril revealed in flashbacks, including a car accident and explosion. Pokémon are also shown in danger. Pokémon battle each other and the villain (in a robotic suit) in various ways, including punching, kicking, and using special abilities such as rope, fireballs, and electricity.
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A use of the phrase "shut up," "creep."
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Products & Purchases
Though not overtly stated in the movie, the characters are connected to the Pokémon brand of cards, video games, toys, merchandise, and so on.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle is another installment of the popular Pokémon series. It has some violence, but lots of positive messages. This time the story takes place in the jungle, where the territorial Zarudes are selfishly hogging resources. The movie is heavily focused on family, particularly that family goes beyond the one people are born into. There's also a strong message about protecting those who need help, sticking up for the vulnerable, and accepting others who are different. Moments of human peril revealed in flashbacks, including a car accident and explosion. Pokémon are also shown in danger and battle each other in various ways, including yelling, kicking, punching, and using special abilities such as rope, fireballs, and electricity. A villain wreaks havoc on a beloved Pokémon jungle in a giant robotic suit by ripping up trees and terrorizing the Pokémon. This leads to a battle scene some kids might find intense. Despite some action, there are several positive messages delivered at a level easy for young viewers to grasp, including themes of friendship, kindness, interconnectedness, and environmental conservation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This Pokémon tale is worth a watch, especially for new fans of the franchise. It's a familiar tale about a boy raised in the jungle, not realizing he's actually human until an unlikely encounter (see Tarzan and The Jungle Book). Here the story is combined with greedy humans wanting to destroy the jungle (Avatar, The Lorax, and Ferngully). Add some Pokémon, and you get this movie. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the movie somewhat predictable. The nice thing is, those unfamiliar with the Pokémon franchise will still find it enjoyable and easy to follow, and seasoned fans may enjoy the new characters and scenery. It's a positive, visually-delightful film with beautiful 2D animation and an easy-to-grasp message.
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.