Saddle Up

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Saddle Up Movie Poster Image
Quirky band learns and sings about the Wild West.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 44 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

While intended to entertain, this short feature also teaches lessons on the geography and cultural traditions of the American West. It also shows some of the ways in which the Okee Dokee Brothers create songs. 

Positive Messages

This short feature shows the cultural traditions of the American West, including the traditions of Mexican and indigenous people. Discusses responsibility in the context of taking care of horses and, during a segment on the art of lassoing, shows that a girl can be just as good as a boy, if not better, in terms of being a "cowboy."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Okee Dokee Brothers display curiosity and an eagerness to learn the geography and cultural traditions of the American West, and they keep a sense of creative play in their songs. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This short feature is a DVD accompanying the CD release of an Okee Dokee Brothers album, and while it is well done, thoughtful, and entertaining, it's still promotional material, with music videos and songs from the album performed by the Okee Dokee Brothers. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Saddle Up is a 2016 short feature chronicling the making of the Okee Dokee Brothers' album of the same name. While this movie is essentially a long commercial for the Okee Dokee Brothers and their music, it's also thoughtful, whimsical, and thoroughly enjoyable. The Okee Dokee Brothers talk to the cowboys, ranchers, and fly fishermen commonly associated with the West, but they also meet with representatives of indigenous cultures and perform with a band that plays traditional Mexican folk music. In a segment on lassoing, a young cowgirl undeniably proves that you don't have to be a boy to good at the things associated with being a "cowboy." There is also an interesting glimpse into the creative process of the Okee Dokee Brothers -- how they use their journals and a sense of creative play to develop new material, which should prove inspiring for kids with artistic inclinations. 

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What's the story?

This short feature chronicles the making of the Okee Dokee Brothers' 2016 album Saddle Up. It shows Justin and Joe learning all about the Great Divide, its geography, and the cultures and traditions of those who have called this region home for generations. They learn to ride horses, fly-fish, and lasso as they camp in tents and use these experiences as material to inspire the songs on the album. The feature celebrates the different cultures of "the Wild West" while also engaging in lighthearted humor that pokes fun at so many of the myths that have come to define the region through Western movies. 

Is it any good?

While SADDLE UP is basically a video promoting the Okee Dokee Brothers' album of the same name, it manages to be much more than that. It teaches kids about the geography and cultures of the Rocky Mountain West, and the brothers do their best to learn by doing, be it fly-fishing, riding a horse, or learning the art of lassoing, as taught by a very talented young girl. We also get a glimpse at Justin and Joe's creative process; as they immerse themselves in the land and its people, they continually attempt to come up with new material, either through their journals or by using their cameras to record them trying (and sometimes) failing at song ideas. For promotional material, Saddle Up manages to be thoughtful, quirky, playful, and educational. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the American West. How does this movie teach viewers about the Great Divide, in terms of both geography and the different kinds of people who have lived there? 

  • How does this short feature both celebrate and play with the traditions commonly associated with the American West? What did you learn?

  • How do the Okee Dokee Brothers use their journals and cameras for coming up with song ideas? How might you use a journal and cameras for your own projects? 

Movie details

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