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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Father learns his lifetime of lying to son is not good; son learns to appreciate father; all the animal friends pull together to rescue the cub; the wildebeests, however, are scary soldiers and thugs until the very end. Some stereotypes.
Violence & Scariness
Vultures loom over heroes from tree branches and swoop down; wildebeests are frightening (mechanical/dream version has red eyes and steamy breath); wildebeest attacks accompanied by heavy music; when lion cub is shipped off in container, he's afraid and screams for dad; lion slaps pigeons to get information; garbage truck almost squishes giraffe inside; fierce, foaming-at-the-mouth dog pack menaces heroes (koala hits them with toy torch); shadowy alligators briefly scary in sewer; storm at sea is briefly scary; lion threatens to eat hyrax; hippo tries to squash lion cub; father lion fights off wildebeests with huge roar; volcano blows up at end, injuring the chief wildebeest.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Squirrel with crush on giraffe kisses her ("Your daily dose of Vitamin Benny," which she repeats at film's end), makes "romantic" remarks (slaps his own butt and says he rides a goose "bareback.")
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Some phrases might catch children's attention ("I've got popcorn up my bum," "olfactory insult").
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Products & Purchases
Passing through Times Square, animals see array of product names, including McDonalds, Quaker Oats, Toys R Us, Kodak, TiVo; koala bear and lion are marketed by zoo (via stuffed toys and billboards).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that film includes some scenes where the lion cub is frightened by noises, darkness, and a storm at sea. The primary villains are hostile, shadowy wildebeests who perform "African" ritual dances and chants, with comic choreography, and announce an intention to seize power by becoming "predators" and "carnivores." Their efforts to eat the other characters lead to a conflict. The wildebeests live in a volcano cave, so lighting is red and fiery; eventually the volcano explodes and the friends barely escape (some tension created). A squirrel with a crush on a female giraffe makes a couple of sexual references (he rides a goose "bareback" and uses this moment to make a sexual advance toward her; he considers his size in comparison to the giraffe). The father lion lies to his son about his own past, and must eventually confess and be forgiven. Characters are stereotyped by nationality or ethnicity: a Canadian goose says "Eh"; an "East Indian" pigeon speaks with accent and dances as if in a Bollywood movie; a British koala bear is snobbish. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Been there, done that; this movie recycles trite story lines seen in hit kids' movies, and doesn't nearly do them justice. The Wild follows yet another animated father and son, both wanting earnestly to win over the other. In fact, every element of the movie is recognizable from another, better one: The father must rescue his missing son (Finding Nemo). A group of city zoo animals travel to a jungle (Madagascar, not exactly better, just first). The bad characters perform "tribal" rituals and threaten violence (take your pick, including The Lion King and King Kong).
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Our Editors Recommend
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.See how we rate