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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Set in Alaska, the movie shows natural beauty and the unique identity of the environment and people.
Encourages being open to new and different ideas, cultures, and people. Reinforces benefit of strong family ties. Values honesty, follow-through, and open-mindedness.
Positive Role Models
Hero is a sunny character who prides himself on his professionalism, honesty, and devotion to his family. Although he learns a great deal from his adventures, his humanness and optimism remain intact. Very diverse cast of characters.
Violence & Scariness
Extensive slapstick cartoon action, coupled with some moments of real suspense. Leading character has numerous encounters with a snarling, seemingly ferocious dog and must escape from an angry bear. Many scenes show him in jeopardy, most of it obvious and comic. He slips, skids, falls, gets lost, is dragged over snow and ice, is socked in the face, nearly falls to his death when his sled goes over the side of a mountain, finds himself trapped on a frozen lake with breaking ice, is chased and bitten (on padded pants) by a dog, crashes through a window, and has a couple of close calls in an airplane. A block of frozen Gatorade is "poured" on a man, who is knocked out.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Women on a beach wear bikinis. Brief, mild sexual innuendo. Leading characters fall in love and kiss a few times.
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Hero yells at his dogs, vehemently tells them to "shut up." A dog pees on a tree.
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Products & Purchases
Visual and/or spoken references to many products, including Crest, Wild Turkey, North Face, Sharper Image, Kawasaki, Ogilvie Flour, TRM Copy Centers, WestJet Air, and others.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen consuming alcoholic beverages in a bar. A character takes a drink from a flask.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Snow Dogs is a farcical "fish-out-of-water" story that finds its hero, a Miami dentist, on an Alaskan adventure filled with exuberant racing dogs, an array of eccentric characters, and extensive amounts of cartoon jeopardy and pratfalls. Kids who watch this movie should be comfortable with the distinction between real and cartoonish danger, as some suspenseful scenes (a possibly tragic fall from a mountain road, then a character being suspended in midair) may be too intense for young or sensitive viewers. The hero is confronted by an angry bear and has numerous face-offs with Demon, who may or may not be a ferocious dog. In addition, there are countless falls, crashes, and scenes in which he is dragged behind a sled. A sweet love story makes its way through this comic mayhem. And, early in the story, it's revealed that, unbeknownst to him, the hero is an adopted child; fallout from this fact continues through the film. There's occasionally some mildly coarse humor (a dog pees on a tree), and product placement is profuse. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Don't expect clever or witty. Don't expect subtlety or nuance. Don't even expect polished filmmaking and performances. It's a slapstick comedy from beginning to end. Everyone plays it broad and one-dimensional. And, especially if you're a kid, it's very funny. Kids will get all the jokes, laugh at all the pratfalls. Some may ask questions about one live mom and one dead mom or be surprised that an African-American man has a white dad he didn't know about or wonder why Ted had to fall in love in what was otherwise a perfect trip to Alaska, but they will enjoy the movie. Dog lovers will not be disappointed either.
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.