A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Promotes gallantry, having a sense of adventure, and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Canine heroes are brave, resourceful, loyal, and unwavering in their efforts. Stereotypes include a loony villain with a German accent, a stoic Japanese businessman, a snooty aristocrat (in this case, a purebred dog), and nagging females.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon action -- all silly, all the time. A scary comic dog catcher, with an exaggerated Germanic accent, wreaks havoc on the three heroic dogs; he chases them, cages them, and cackles, sneers, and shrieks at them. He also crashes into a train, falls off a moving car, and uses a shovel to knock out Santa, who then knocks him out.
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"Pee," "dog butt."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Three Dogateers (a loosely rooted parody of The Three Musketeers) stars talking dogs; their bumbling master; an exaggerated, villainous dog catcher; and other assorted dull-witted criminals. Frequent cartoon action and mild suspense, all slapstick, includes crashes, chases, falls, and hits with shovels. Only the very youngest or most sensitive kids might have difficulty when the dogs are in "danger": stuffed into a burlap bag, captured, and caged. Laughs also come via farts, burps, and talk about body odor and bad breath; "pee" and "dog butt" are used in conversation. Several scenes include brief comments about whether or not there is a Santa Claus. Stereotyping includes a Germanic bad guy, a snooty purebred dog, and a stoic Japanese businessman. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Another in the "let's save Christmas" pantheon, this film has plenty of feather-brained, over-the-top villains and slapstick action. Stereotypes abound; discussions about body odor and farts announce a reliance on easy and expected laughs. The film invests a lot of screen time on dogs frolicking, dogs running through the desert, and a dog driving a car while on the run. Other than Santa Claus, there's nary a human in the story that rises above the lowest level of goofy humor. The only thing that rescues this amateurish effort is Arfamis, the mixed-breed leader of the Dogateers, whose "I live for valor!" mantra and romantic flights of fancy are inspired. Still, most kids will laugh -- that's guaranteed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.