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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As well as providing a great emotional lesson -- about how to cope with grief -- the movie may inspire kids to learn more about Irish mythology, folklore, and traditions.
The movie is primarily about grief, and how to come to terms with it. Also the importance of community and tradition. The film explores the notion that those who may not be the most able, can still prove to be the most capable.
Positive Role Models
Keegan's grandfather is a great role model. After he dies, Keegan wants to do right by him, and honor the legacy left behind. While searching for closure, he learns the value of keeping traditions alive. The Huntsman is a relatively scary villain though, intimidating to the heroes of the story. Both Irish culture and the joy of dancing are celebrated.
Violence & Scariness
There are occasional moments of threat, such as when a character is hanging off the side of a cliff-face above a river. A hunter shoots a deer's antlers clean off. They then capture another and begin to saw off that deer's antlers too. A fight ensues between a young kid and the hunter, with the latter falling into the sea and appearing to disappear. A character falls over while dancing during St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
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A character refers to themselves as an "old fart."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Riverdance: The Animated Adventure is a charming Irish mythical animation that deals with grief in a positive, way. The story centers around Keegan (voiced by Sam Hardy), a young boy who's trying to come to terms with the death of his grandfather (Pierce Brosnan). The film offers strong emotional guidance on how kids can navigate a loved one's death by honoring the memory of the deceased and making your loved ones proud. The movie also celebrates the art of tradition, both culturally and spiritually, and how values are passed down through generations. Strength in community is celebrated, as is teamwork -- which is clearly demonstrated in the group dance sequences -- along with perseverance and hard work. There are scenes of mild threat, such as characters hanging off the side of a cliff above a river. There's also an intimidating hunter (Brendan Gleeson) who shoots the antlers off a deer and in one sequence tries to saw them off another. There's one scene that could frighten very young viewers: A battle on a boat includes the threat of falling and drowning for both Keegan and the hunter. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Following on from the likes of Wolfwalkers and Song of the Sea, this is another animated adventure that thrives in the enchantment that derives from Irish mythology, and folklore. Though Riverdance: The Animated Adventure is a little predictable at times -- as with so many family movies, the story begins with the loss of a parent figure in the opening act -- these tropes don't impact the film's emotional heartbeat. If anything, there is something oddly comforting about the familiarity.
That said, it can feel a little emotionally manipulative. Though needless to say such manipulation works, leading to a number of moving scenes. The animation style is beautiful to look at, and though a little strange at first, watching a collective of Mageloceros Giganteus (a fancy way of saying "massive deer") do the iconic Riverdance does make for engaging and striking entertainment.
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.