A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sammy the Way-Out Seal is 46-minute episode of TV's The Magical World of Disney first aired in 1962 and features an adorable trained seal. That alone should make it a big draw for younger kids. An injured seal's wound is seen briefly. A seal gets loose in a town square and causes a traffic jam. He hobbles through a grocery store, followed by local dogs, and together they turn the place upside down. Adults at a party are thrown into a swimming pool. A seal nuzzles a female swimmer's neck from behind and she thinks it's her husband being affectionate.
What's the story?
During summer vacation, brothers Arthur (Michael McGreevey) and Petey (Bill Mumy) discover an injured seal on the beach, the title's SAMMY THE WAY-OUT SEAL. They dutifully tend to his wound with the family first aid kit, but don't tell their parents (Patricia Barry and Robert Culp). When Sammy feels better, the kids plot to bring him back home with them at vacation's end. Now Sammy's living the life -- eating canned salmon and jumping in the neighbor's pool. Mom and Dad still don't know that a sea mammal is residing in their tool shed, but soon enough everyone learns about Sammy when he causes a traffic jam at the town center and upends the local grocery store, with a battalion of local dogs chasing him. After that, the boys and their dad return Sammy to the beach where he belongs, where he immediately meets a girl seal for the happily-ever-after such a story requires.
Is it any good?
This is typical Disney fare of the 1960s, with not much to offend anyone and lots of silly and implausible situations designed to tickle younger kids. The boys model compassion when they find Sammy and notice he's injured, and they move quickly and responsibly to help him heal. Another plus for kids is that Sammy causes havoc among the grownups, who aren't yet aware that a seal is roaming in their midst. Grownups, who to kids sometimes seem to know everything, clearly know nothing about the cause of their troubles, and therein lies a treasure chest of juvenile humor. The only downside with Sammy the Way-Out Seal is that fans of this story may ask for their own pet seals.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how thoughtful and kind the kids were in Sammy the Way-Out Seal to help a wounded animal. What would you do if you found an animal that was hurt?
What should the kids have done after they found the seal? Why?
Do you think the movie's silliness was meant to look real, or was it just designed to make kids laugh?
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