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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of teamwork is shown through example, as the animals work together to stop Bart and Bertha, and the Callahan family does the same.
Positive Role Models
Despite losing their parents, Jory and Tess are kind children who love their grandparents, pets, and each other. Tory and Edna, the grandparents of Jory and Tess, are good-hearted people who work hard to make ends meet on their farm.
Violence & Scariness
An alligator attacks a puppy drinking from a pond. One of the antagonists points a rifle at a trespassing dog, shoots, and misses. Slapstick violence: food fights, characters trip and fall, get hit in the head with a baseball thrown by an elephant. A VW van loses control and crashes into a barn. Later, this van loses control and teeters on the edge of a hill before rolling into a pond.
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No profanity, but several references to defecation. Two talking turtles don't want to take the shortcut through a field because of "cow pies." Later, the two "bad guys" -- Bart and Bertha -- step in animal excrement, crash their van into excrement, sing songs referencing "poop and pee," and in one instance, Bart exits an outhouse while talking about the smell being so bad because of the chili dogs he ate. There's also a mention of "God" when one of the children prays for help.
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Products & Purchases
During a child's birthday party, cans of Orange Crush soda are prominently displayed on the table.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The ill-tempered boss of the county fair walks around the fairgrounds smoking a cigar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rusty: The Great Rescue is a 1998 movie with talking animals, slapstick humor, and several jokes involving defecation. There's also a potentially scary scene for younger viewers when a crocodile nearly eats a puppy. Aside from this, this movie is a light-hearted adventure with animals voiced by everyone from Rodney Dangerfield to Bobcat Goldthwait (among other stars from television past), with some sweetness to go with the pratfalls. 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 movie has a predictable-enough storyline and some questionable scatological humor. Despite that, RUSTY: THE GREAT RESCUE is -- for animal lovers especially -- an enjoyable movie filled with talking animals, and a bit of sweetness to go with all the slapstick comedy and wacky pratfalls. The silliness gets to be a bit much at times, but perhaps this is to be expected.
If this is an above-average animal movie, it's due in no small part to the cast. Hal Holbrook and Rue McClanahan bring their considerable talents to a middle-of-the-road script, and the animals are voiced by, among others, Rodney Dangerfield and Bobcat Goldthwait. While not the most original movie out there, for families who enjoy comedic romps, talking animals, and adventures in the wild, Rusty: The Great Rescue will prove entertaining.
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.