The Animal Train

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Animal Train Movie Poster Image
Cute pro-environment story that's best for little kids.
  • NR
  • 2002
  • 30 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

This short animated story highlights the importance of protecting endangered animals from extinction and the necessity of preserving water, land, and skies from pollution.

Positive Messages

It is necessary to preserve habitats where endangered animals live. Without clean air, water, and land, all species -- including humans -- suffer.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As Ben makes friends with different endangered animals on his train ride, he begins to understand their plight, and the global problems pollution is wreaking on the environment.

Violence & Scariness

The idea of animals and humans being in danger could be upsetting to some sensitive kids, though the presentation is very gentle and age appropriate.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Animal Train is a short animated story about protecting endangered species and the environment that is best for younger children. As each endangered animal is picked up on the "Animal Train," they explain their plight in ways that are easy to understand and age appropriate. As imaginative as it is instructive, The Animal Train is a terrific story to inspire young children with thoughts and discussion about the importance of protecting animals and the Earth.

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What's the story?

After watching some of a documentary about endangered species on TV, Ben falls asleep, and goes into a dream where he and his toy stuffed dog, who has come to life, board a train. Together, they encounter different endangered animals, who try and board the train to avoid the destruction of their species and of the habitats they need to survive. They meet an elephant, a tiger, a walrus, a crane, and even a polar bear who is disguised as a snowman.

Is it any good?

THE ANIMAL TRAIN is a cute 30-minute story that is as imaginative as it is informative. The dream sequence, where a boy and his toy dog ride a train together, should hold the attentions of young children, and as each endangered animal is introduced, their plights are discussed in ways that are easy to understand.

It is a simple story, and while it is perhaps too simple for older viewers, The Animal Train's message of protecting endangered animals and the world in which they live should easily resonate with younger viewers, and unlike so many media productions for young kids, this will be a story that can be viewed repeatedly by parents and kids alike.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different animals in the story. What animals hopped onto the train, and what did they escape?

  • When the ticket-taker left the train, why was he unable to find food, water, and shelter?

  • In this story, Ben has a dream in which he rides a train with his toy stuffed dog, who comes to life. What kind of dreams do you have when you fall asleep at night?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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