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The Lion King 1 1/2
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 movie has a surprising amount of potty humor--everything from Pumbaa's gas problem to jokes about belching, nose-picking and toilet-training. Some kids may get upset that Timon leaves his family and heads off alone in search of happiness and that Pumbaa does not have any family at all. The hyenas may frighten some children--they are constantly trying to kill the meerkats. Also, at one point Timon's mom says of the hyenas "When they die, they become the grass." This comment may need to be explained.
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What's the story?
Is it any good?
For a direct-to-video feature, the animation is impressive, although the new songs are forgettable (mostly we hear snippets of songs from the original movie). The idea of seeing events from another perspective is an entertaining one for kids old enough to understand the concept--young grade schoolers are sure to get a kick out of the scene where King Mufasa presents his young son Simba to the animal kingdom (in the original movie this is a moving scene in which the animals bow down in reverence; here we learn they are really bowing down because the stench of Pumbaa's gas is so pungent). However, Timon and Pumbaa watch the events from a movie theater. The flow of the story is interrupted so they can make snarky comments or jokes, which is disruptive and likely to annoy adults. Even kids are likely to get frustrated when the action is literally stopped for a minute so that Pumbaa can take a bathroom break and the audience is left to look at Timon staring at a blank screen.
Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Ernie Sabella and the original voice cast are all back, and they manage to make their characters interesting. But parents may be disappointed by the surprising amount of potty humor here--it's too bad that the writers thought lowbrow humor was the only way to engage kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: February 10, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: February 10, 2004
- Cast: Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg
- Director: Bradley Raymond
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Music and Sing-Along, Wild Animals
- Run time: 77 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: all audiences
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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.