Parents' Guide to

Red Dog: True Blue

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Coming-of-age tale has mild action and peril.

Movie NR 2018 88 minutes
Red Dog: True Blue Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

Parents might want to preview this movie

A good family movie but it does have some themes and moments you might want to preview if you have younger children. For example, the theme of parental loss, mental illness and abandonment comes up a few times, with a couple of scenes in which Mick, the boy at the centre of the tale, learns some cold hard truths about what really happened to his mother. Also be prepared for the revelation that two of the minor characters, who otherwise have no real lines or purpose in the movie, are not actually brothers, but lovers. (It's said in a roundabout way to go over the heads of younger kids, but anyone old enough to understand certainly will.) Quite a bit of time is given to Mick's big crush on his very attractive young teacher, and the tense rivalry between him and the older guy she starts a relationship with. There are a couple of scenes where Mick and Blue go into a spooky cave which is associated with a local Aboriginal legend, and a bush fire which Mick attributes to the spirit in the legend. Mick gets spanked by his grandfather off-scene (you hear what's going on while Blue waits for Mick). All of those are the reasons I'd say it's better for tweens than younger kids, but all in all it's an enjoyable coming-of-age drama with the appropriate number of comic moments, and a lovely heartwarming story about a boy and his dog set in the gorgeous Australian outback.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

Movie Details

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