Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a Baby

 
Smart comedy flips the 3 pigs tale on its tail.
  • Review Date: March 3, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 76 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Wonderful parable of unwavering parental love and an examination of what identity means; Lucky is caught between nature and nurture and must make a choice. Also a good representation of the love of adoptive parents, and of a non-traditional family structure. Two characters befriend each other as young outcasts from school and stick together throughout. Includes the occasional fart and baby diaper jokes.

Violence & scariness

Cartoonish threats and violence with a heavy dose of the absurd, like a giant oscillating fan aimed at the brick house.

Sexy stuff

A teen girl wolf uses flirtation to influence Lucky.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, despite its grounding in a well-known fairy tale, this movie is so smartly written that it may be a little intense for the usual fairy tale audience. An adopted baby grows into a typically rebellious teen, with all the normal familial tension of that stage heightened by the real predator/prey relationship of this particular son and his three fathers. There is real suspense in whether Lucky will be true to his family, or to his natural instincts. But the entire movie is leavened with sharp, funny visual humor and dialog.

What's the story?

Told almost entirely in flashback, UNSTABLE FABLES: 3 PIGS AND A BABY flips the story of the 3 Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf on its head with smarts, humor, and a compelling plot. In this version, the wolves are regrouping after the tragic loss of Big Bad, and hatch a nefarious if slow-moving plan: they will imbed a baby wolf with the unsuspecting three pigs and, when the baby has grown up, will use him as an inside operative. What they fail to anticipate is the loving affection that the three adoptive dads have for their new son Lucky (voiced by Jesse McCartney), so strong that it allows them to completely overlook the fact that they are raising a natural predator. When Lucky hits his teen rebellion years, complete with a bad blue hair dye job and heavy metal music with lyrics like "Eat the pigs! Eat the Pigs," the Special Ops wolf force begin to woo him over with promises of acceptance and social stature (in the form of Teen Girl Wolf).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The direct-to-DVD movie from The Jim Henson Company would work on visuals and comedic humor alone, but it hits it out of the park with its all-too-accurate reflection of the dynamics of raising teenagers. Scenes of Lucky and his best porcine friend, Hamlet, bemoaning their thick-skulled parents and the bullies at school make Lucky's flirtation with the dark side believable. Just as believable is the resolute optimism of Lucky's three very different pig parents, whose different approaches to parenting frustrate their son and each other.

The sidebar stories are just as funny as the main event, like the ongoing saga of the straw-house living surfer pig (Steve Zahn) and the effeminate wood-house living pig (Jon Cryer) and their efforts to motivate a bovine construction crew, which is constantly on lunch break because of their multiple stomachs. Other members of the departed Big Bad Wolf's crew include Wide Eyed Pacifist Wolf and Death Metal Wolf. Tweens, teens, and parents will be as amused by the sly verbal humor as the elementary set will be by the storyline and excellent animation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the atypical family structure of Lucky and the three pigs. Do their differences –- not just in appearance, but inward characteristics –- make it easier or harder for them to get along? Hamlet and Lucky come together in trying circumstances and stay loyal friends. Do you have friends in your life like that?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 3, 2008
DVD release date:March 3, 2008
Cast:Brad Garrett, Jon Cryer, Steve Zahn
Director:Howard E. Baker
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Horses and farm animals, Wild animals
Run time:76 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild rude humor

This review of Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a Baby was written by

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Quality

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 16, 2012
age 18+
 

unstable fables 3 pigs and baby

Pacifist Wolf and Death Metal Wolf. Tweens, teens, and parents will be as amused by the sly verbal humor as the elementary set will be by the storyline and excellent animation. Families can talk about the atypical family structure of Lucky and the three pigs. Do their differences –- not just in appearance, but inward characteristics –- make it easier or harder for them to get along? Hamlet and Lucky come together in trying circumstances and stay loyal friends. Do you have friends in your life like that?
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old August 23, 2013
age 10+
 

B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

I seriously think that this is the most boring movie I've seen all year. It's a poorly made movie. Here's the story: wolves keep trying to get into the three pigs' houses, but never succeed, so they put a baby wolf in a basket outside the house of the three pigs, expecting the pigs to take the baby in. They do. They raise the wolf, thinking that it's a pig, until the wolf (named Lucky) is a teenager and rejects them. He runs away and meets a girl etc.
Teen, 13 years old Written byTrevorPickett March 12, 2012
age 11+
 

Lacks any form of redeeming quality, plus offensive stereotypes.

OK, I know (at least from the high rating of 5/5 given by the critic) that some of you might enjoy this film, but in my opinion I couldn't like it. Let alone at all. It's just lacking of any entertaining content, and it can get boring pretty fast. But, the other half I have to complain about is how it offensively portrays teens. The wolf baby turns 13 and 14 and is kind of a stereotype in terms of style and behavior. As a 13 year old, I feel appalled by this stereotype and the fact that the rest isn't worth it either. To make it worse, my 10 year old sibling watched the movie.

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