A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages, nearly all characters are crass and cruel.
Positive Role Models
Marvin Mange is disrespected by all until he is implanted with animal parts, taking on their traits. He becomes more confident but is generally driven by crass or aggressive instincts. Rianna is an activist who meets Marvin and becomes his girlfriend. As a character, she is given little personality or intelligence and doesn't question Marvin's behavior. Doug Sysk is a petty, rude, and jealous police officer who hits on women while on duty. A scientist implants animal parts into accident victims without their consent.
A running joke involves the only character of color complaining of "reverse racism." He claims he's unfairly treated well because he's Black and demonstrates it by smoking in an airport and confessing to a crime -- getting away with both. "Joke" about an adult's poetry being mistaken for the work of a "mentally handicapped child." A character's name is Fatty and is bullied with a "Kick me I'm fat" sign on his back. There is one out-of-touch joke about queer people. A Latino gang is suspected of crime, playing into stereotypes.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of slapstick violence, often mean-spirited, with bullying and cruel behavior played for jokes. Kids bully an adult and steal from their workplace. They handcuff them, spray paint their shirt and beat them with a police baton. An elderly person kicks and punches someone. A police officer shoots cadets during training. A car goes over a cliff and is then hit with a giant boulder. A character fights an orangutan with hitting, biting, and nipple twisting. A dog attacks someone after being let out on purpose by its owner. Documentary footage of a lion attacking an antelope.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of crude sex jokes, some involving bestiality. "Blow job" and "hand job" mentioned during a joke. Bare buttocks shown. A character is overcome with lust when they see someone in a skimpy dress in the street, so has sex with a mailbox. A character offers a chimpanzee in a dress to a human to have sex with -- the offer is declined. A human is drawn to a goat in heat to mate with it; kisses it, slaps its behind. When someone hits on their date, a character urinates on the date's chair to mark their territory. Later they urinate on the date's doorstep. The same character goes to the bathroom to masturbate numerous times when they get turned on by their date's dress. Character licks their own crotch. Characters kiss. Character "loses control" when someone's back is to them and slaps their behind. Character is shown in underwear in bed, the morning after having sex.
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Crass humor throughout. Language includes "pee," "piss," "ass," "s--t," "fart," "whores," "bulls--t," and "bitch." Also sexual language such as "blow job" and "hand job."
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Products & Purchases
A character lovingly eats a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Young kids steal pot from an evidence room. Being an "unreliable drunk" is a joke. A character smokes a cigarette and blows smoke into people's faces. A condom of heroin is retrieved from a drug smuggler's butt. Characters drink beer in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Animal is a crude 2001 comedy with "jokes" about race, the LGBTQ+ community, fat people, and bestiality. Following an accident, Marvin Mange (Rob Schneider) is implanted with animal parts and takes on their traits. His instincts are often sexual and lead to jokes with him sexualizing both women and animals. The humor is cruel and characters are unlikable and disrespectful. It has poor gender and race representation, with a misjudged joke about "reverse racism" and women being only sex objects. There is mean-spirited violence, including kids attacking adults. A character is teased for peeing his pants. Many jokes involve sex and some include bestiality, with a running gag involving Marvin being drawn to a goat in heat. During a restaurant scene, Marvin pees on a woman's chair to mark his territory and has to go to the bathroom to masturbate numerous times due to his lust for her. The movie features smoking, drinking, and drugs, with kids stealing pot from a police evidence room and a man retrieving a condom of heroin from a smuggler's butt. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Puerile humor has a place in cinema. But the lazy, mean-spirited jokes that make up The Animal don't prove it. Schneider's silly but bad animal impressions might be OK for a movie for young kids. But the crass, awkward sex and violence -- sometimes combined -- that go with it make for grotty viewing. Maybe 12-year-olds of 2001 loved it, but time's not been kind to this problematic and unfunny comedy. The role of the only speaking female character appears to simply be on the receiving end of sexual advances, some of which are aggressive in tone. But it's not just her behind getting slapped by the beastly Marvin. The goat Marvin wants to have sex with also gets it. Non-speaking female characters, including the one whose short dress makes Marvin hump a mailbox, are just sex objects.
Worst is the movie's take on race. Declaring in 2001 people of color have "reverse racism" privilege is a nasty watch, even if it is in some poor attempt at satire. Most surprising is that a movie about a man who is made up of animal parts is so dull and predictable. It's a series of skits; now he's a cat, now he's a goat, etc. All the characters are tuned to mean and while a couple of surreal gags raise a smile, this is a product of a time best left in the past.
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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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate