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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Honesty, spending time with family.
Positive Role Models
Single dad, though reliable, loving, and conscientious, struggles with honesty, learns lesson. Some ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Mild suspense: Young boy loses dog; explosion at science exhibit -- kids run; flying dog crash-lands more than once -- no serious injuries; little girl on rooftop is in peril, which is quickly resolved.
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Loud farts; a dog pees.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Robo-Dog: Airborne, a live-action family comedy, is a sequel to Robo-Dog, a distasteful movie in which an inventor dad creates a robotic dog, hoping to replace his son's beloved pet. Same dog and same family here, but with some twists and turns. In this story, the dog is lost; the pet's rightful owners make less-than-effective efforts to get him back; and a single dad is trying hard to please his young daughter. There's less insensitive material than in the original, but the movie is still short on charm, wit, and filmmaking competence. There's enough that's magical about the dog -- he talks, he dances, he flies, he has a good heart -- to engage kids, despite the amateurish special effects. And it's always easy to get laughs out of loud farts, a dog peeing, and a grown-up with the intelligence of a rock. Some scenes with mildly suspenseful moments show a little girl in peril, a flying dog crashing to the ground, a few pratfalls, and a small fire and explosion in a science exhibition hall. This is only for kids who know the difference between real and imaginary jeopardy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The kid-friendly story is barely passable; it needs audiences to overlook a lot of shoddy effects, lame humor, and illogical plotting. Still, this sequel is a breath of slightly fresher air when compared with the original. Jonathan Silverman steps in as the lead grown-up, taking over for Patrick Muldoon, who appears only in a few scenes in Robo-Dog: Airborne. Silverman is a good sport -- a hero having to justify keeping a lost, talking dog away from its owner knowingly and then learning to dance with that dog is hard to sell under the best of circumstances. And when the writing, directing, and producing are so substandard, it's twice the challenge. Still, kids may like to see Robo-Dog having tea, flying in to save the day, and rocking out solo at the "big spring dance" (which is apparently held in the morning in this community). At least there are no villains -- the bumbling doofus character here is a boy-man friend of the family. Cautions: A man farts, a dog pees, and kids should be old enough to endure brief, pretend scares when a little girl and Robo-Dog find themselves in trouble.
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.