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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Wiener Dog Nationals offers positive messages about trust, family, moving on, and taking chances on new experiences.
Positive Role Models
Characters are largely realistic, but admirable. Parents and kids realistically struggle to do the right thing or put others before themselves, but ultimately make good choices. Minor characters tend toward simplistic depictions of good or bad.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple hugs awkwardly once with romantic overtones.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wiener Dog Nationals portrays a single dad raising three children after the death of his wife. Though her loss is only discussed directly a few times, her absence and everyone missing her is a recurring theme. Also, kids looking for a movie with a lot of dog racing could be disappointed: Here, the majority of the plot centers around the events leading up to trying to get the dog into the big race. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
WIENER DOG NATIONALS is better than it has any right to be, in part because the actors here have a natural ease with the material and each other. Plus, there are some refreshing portrayals of a single-parent family's struggles -- there isn't enough money to travel and the kids have a relatable ambivalence toward each other. Sometimes you leave your oldest in charge not because he's proven to be a great babysitter, but because he's oldest and you've gotta go to work.
Young kids looking for lots of cute dog action may be frustrated for a bit -- they'll have to wait until the movie's third act to see any real action. Until then, it's a more relationship-driven movie about a family coming together that is likely to appeal to older kids. Parents who aren't concerned about the theme of parental loss will find an entertaining film with some funny but refreshingly direct material.
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.
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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