A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn a little about different animal species and their different nature, instincts, and eating habits. A character teaches leadership lessons.
The idea of doing things that make you happy, rather than just doing what is expected of you. The importance of an integrated society, although this is undermined by the portrayal of one group of inhabitants as being bad, with no justification.
Positive Role Models
Grey is a wolf who lives in a village with sheep and enjoys the integrated society he lives in. He leads the villagers against an aggresive pack of wolves who believe species should be segregated. He falters a number of times but listens to his mentor, Belgour, and becomes a good leader. Gark is a violent and aggressive wolf who is against unity. A rabbit character is a stereotype fortune-telling traveler character with an eastern-European accent. Bianca is smart and confident, but is referred to as the "she wolf" and accepts her input being dismissed by a male character, causing a disaster. A character betrays his village in the name of segregation but learns he was wrong to do so. Pigs are portrayed as being bad, without any real explanation as to why.
Violence & Scariness
Some slapstick violence. Two aggressive fights between wolves. A wolf is tied up in sheets and hit with baseball bats. Characters casually punch and slap each other. A castle falls down and there is some peril when a wolf is trapped in the rubble. Threats include "I'll kill you."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and mild innuendo. A character romantically pursues another.
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Language includes "loser" and "idiot."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal is a Russian (dubbed into English) comedy-adventure sequel -- to Sheep & Wolves -- and includes cartoon violence, some of which involves weapons. Like the first movie, the story revolves around warring species who must learn to work together. Segregation is a key theme, as main character and wolf, Grey (voiced by Graham Halstead), rallies the peaceful village -- predominantly made up of wolves and sheep -- against a group of rival wolves who want to separate all species. However, the positive message about different species living together is undermined by the cohabiting wolves and sheep's mutual, yet unexplained, dislike for pigs. Nature versus nurture is explored and some characters overcome their urges to follow their true passions, shown by wolves taking up knitting. There are two quite vicious fights with weapons, in between a regular flow of slapstick humor. Characters hit, slap, and grab each other by the throat. There are also spoken threats such as "I'll kill you." There is some infrequent, mild language, which includes "loser" and "idiot." Representation is lacking -- female character Bianca (Kate Bristol) is called a "she-wolf" and her helpful input into a construction plan is dismissed by a male character. She readily accepts the dismissal and then a fortress collapses because she was ignored. One character plays on the fortune-telling traveler stereotype -- complete with eastern-European accent. 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 first movie of the franchise was unremarkable, and this bland and confused sequel follows suit. Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal is the follow-up to Sheep & Wolves, and despite having had the luxury of a first film to find its feet, its contradictory messaging continuously trips it up. Despite boasting a message of unity and tolerance, when it ends with an entire town rolling with laughter because someone's been turned into a pig, its already paper-thin message dissolves.
The shallow plot and slow animation are likely to engage very young viewers. But the occasionally brutal fights and mindless casual violence put it low in the pile of things you'd want them to watch. Especially when other movies featuring anthropomorphic animals working side by side -- such as the far superior Zootopia -- are available. It's not all bad. Its gentle fantasy elements allow for some lighthearted magic potion mishaps. But the labored pacing means some obvious visual gags come much later than expected, making this relatively short movie feel far too long.
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.