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Parents' Guide to

The Cave of the Yellow Dog

By Lisa A. Goldstein, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Unique, mild glimpse into nomadic Mongolian kids' lives.

Movie G 2005 93 minutes
The Cave of the Yellow Dog Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 1 parent review

age 7+

Educational about how other children and families live

I watched this with my 6 year old. There was one part -- when the little girl finds a dog in the cave -- that he got scared (he thought a wolf was going to be in there and eat her). But the movie gave us a lot of things to talk about! There was a lot that he didn't understand as a 6 year old, so we paused the movie about 10 different times to talk about what was happening. The movie wasn't very clear about their religion, and he kept asking what they were doing and because I didn't know a lot either, I couldn't explain well. It is good for the educational value about how other children and families live. Afterward, I asked him some questions, like what is one cool thing about the way that they live. I asked about one thing he is thankful for having that they don't have, and he said a house that stays and that he doesn't have to play with poop (dung) but has toys. The movie was great for this educational value -- I would recommend it for 7 years old or older as they will understand more, and the movie is not action-packed so requires patience/maturity on the part of kid viewers. I am still very glad that we watched it even though I think he was a tad young!!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Director Byambasuren Davaa lived with the Batchuluuns, a real nomadic family in Mongolia, and let things unfold naturally to create this thoughtful and beautiful film. We get a no-frills view, with stunning cinematography, of everyday life, which is threatened by the encroaching city and its lure for families like the Batchuluuns. From the scene of two siblings fighting after they wake up one morning to the dismantling of their yurt, the family going about their daily life is fascinating to watch, especially because the rosy-cheeked children rely on their imaginations for play and have more physical and adult responsibilities than their peers might elsewhere.

Between the harsh realities of nomadic life and the scary moments of children being separated from their parents, this isn't always an easy movie for kids to watch. And the movie has a slow feel to it, so some kids might get a bit restless. There are some heavy topics about modern life and its effect on cultures that will raise questions for older kids, but ultimately the universal themes of hope, family, and value of human life will resonate with all.

Movie Details

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