A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film contains some violence and bathroom humor, mainly from the animals but a little from the adult characters. The Irwins do put their lives on the line to work with these animals. They also rub their hands in animal excrement and parents should warn their kids not to try this at home, even with the less dangerous creatures they'll run into near their homes. Note: Star Steve Irwin was killed in September 2006 following an encounter with a wild stingray.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
American special agents are sent to retrieve an essential U.S. satellite beacon that fell to earth in Australia -- and was accidentally swallowed by a crocodile. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, believes that they're poachers and tries to save the crocodile. Magda Szubanski (from Babe) plays a farmer who is sick of the crocodile eating her cows and is devising creative but unsuccessful ways to lure it in and kill it.
Is it any good?
This is basically a 70-minute version of Irwin's TV show, with an additional 20 minutes of an instantly forgettable premise that barely rises to the level of the term "plot." That said, the results are often amusing and make an entertaining family film. The film mainly consists of what the television show's fans want to see -- Steve, his wife Terri and their loyal (and very brave!) dog risking their lives with Gila monsters, venomous snakes, bird-eating spiders, kangaroos, and inevitably, crocodiles.
Fans of Irwin's Crocodile Hunter show on Animal Planet will love this movie, while those uninterested will know to avoid it. For those who are entertained by exotic animals, it is undeniably a lot of fun. There's never a dull moment when Irwin fearlessly goes after some wild animal that could kill him in a heartbeat, and his instantly recognizable lingo, upbeat personality, and obvious affection for the creatures give him a lot of appeal, a sort of real-life Hagrid from Harry Potter. While the plot is strictly from the slush pile, it never meanders. It is by no means a great piece of cinema, but it is a worthwhile introduction to another world and not a bad place to spend an hour and a half for anyone just looking for fun and adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: July 12, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: December 17, 2002
- Cast: Magda Szubanski, Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin
- Director: John Stainton
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Wild Animals
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: peril and potty humor
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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