A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Values promoted: honesty, courage, determination, plus respect for tradition and ways of other cultures. Promotes flexibility, adapting to change, giving new situations and new people a chance.
Positive Role Models
After the death of his dad and mom's illness, young boy must adapt to a new environment, new set of rules, and different expectations. Living with his grandfather in a rural setting helps him acquire self-confidence, self-control, and responsibility.
Violence & Scariness
Agitated horse chases the young hero several times. Boy moves through a dark, spooky cave with a pond that holds a "cursed" stone; sees a shadowy creature deeper inside. There's a storm and -- spoiler alert -- lightning strikes an animal. A fire rages. Grandfather spanks boy offcamera.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Dog pulls bra and panties from clothesline. Boy mentions liking a girl, but "not in a pregnant way."
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"Christ," "Jesus," "crap," "damn." A dog farts.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Men drink alcoholic beverages in several scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Red Dog: True Blue is the tale of a young boy, a motorbike, and a dog set in Western Australia at an outlying desert cattle station. The movie is the fictional origin story of a legendary dog first seen on film in 2011's Red Dog, a box office and critical success. The original filmmakers have chosen to make this "prequel" a coming-of-age story about a boy forced to live with his grandfather in an environment completely different from his big-city Sydney upbringing. Viewers can expect suspense: A dark, spooky cave with associated Aboriginal myths appears in several sequences, an agitated horse chases the young hero, and a fire threatens, as does a storm and lightning. (Spoiler alert: A horse dies.) A few mild swear words ("hell," "damn," "crap," "Christ") are heard, as is a dog fart. Be prepared for a light flirtation, kissing, and a dog's comic skirmish with a bra and panties. The film highlights significant issues such as grief, adapting to change, finding joy in unexpected places, and accepting responsibility. Fine for kids who are comfortable with mild on-screen scares and violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Solid performances, a stunning look at the Outback, and a pup portraying a legendary Australian hero make this boy-and-his-dog tale engaging and a nice prequel to the 2011 film. Red Dog, a Red Cloud Kelpie, is based on an actual dog whom it's said roamed the wild country, forging strong friendships and bringing people together simply by the force of his personality. Levi Miller is wonderful as Mick. Red Dog: True Blue feels authentic and true to its period (1968).
Though there are some slow moments, director Kriv Stenders doesn't mind as he builds the relationships thoughtfully, and gives his hero a chance to react to events and people that will impact the rest of his life. Setting the core story as a flashback is more routine than affecting. All in all, there's conflict for those who enjoy adventure and enough character development, even a bit of romance, for everyone else.
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.