A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain, not educate.
The story sends the message that a resourceful, clever being (in this case, a cat with good intentions) can outwit and overpower even the most powerful villain. Also, being spirited and emotionally true to yourself is better than being "genteel" and living a placid, feeling-free life. On the negative side, deceit and guile win the day, though in the process, a great evil is destroyed.
Positive Role Models
Puss is exuberantly wily and dishonest. He'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants for his master, as long as no innocents are hurt by his actions. The romantic hero and heroine are gentle, trustworthy, loyal, and vibrant. The king and his entire court are gullible and materialistic.
Violence & Scariness
In two cartoonish sequences, spooky music, wailing wind, and fiery lightning signal the presence of The Great Ogre ... an ugly, pallid man with soft spikes for hair and a ferocious laugh. The ogre turns into a roaring lion, a bear ready to pounce, a tiger, and a vicious dog. He only frightens, though -- he never attacks. A clever cat catches two mice and gobbles them up (off camera). A character dies off camera.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One character swims naked in a pond; he's only visible from the waist up. A kiss between the princess and her beloved.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine is consumed at a royal banquet.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know the heroes of this centuries-old fairy tale are schemers and disguisers, but they do have a sense of fair play. Their goal is to make a better life for themselves while outwitting the foolish and ridding the world of villains. There are two potentially scary, storm-filled scenes in which a villain turns himself into a series of ferocious animals (lion, tiger, bear, vicious dog). But they're only threatening, and there are no attacks or battles. In the movie's first scene, the father of three young men is seen on his death bed and dies off camera. A naked young man is seen from the waist up swimming in a pond. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not easy to get past the movie's tacky sets, amateurish direction, amazingly unspecial special effects, and substandard musical numbers. But the always outrageous Walken is a sight to behold. He sings (not well); he dances (with a flourish); he mugs and struts his way through this movie, at times even mimicking the feline mannerisms of a cat. His performance, along with some cunning trickery and a sweet ending, helps save an otherwise shoddy production from oblivion.
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.