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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie encourages kindness and compassion toward those who are different from what society deems as "normal."
Positive Role Models
Kang is a teacher who sees the good and the potential in students that the rest of society has deemed "problem children."
Violence & Scariness
Vicious attack dogs pursue a girl who the dogs' owner believes is actually a five-tailed fox. The female bunkmate of a girl in a special school taunts Yobi because she is jealous of the relationship that is starting to develop between Yobi and the handsome Geum-ee. The bunkmate also slaps and punches Yobi in one instance.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild teen flirtation, as characters come to grips with puberty and first feelings of love.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Yobi, the Five-Tailed Fox is a Korean anime from 2007. While the animation is beautiful, and the movie's overall message of practicing compassion toward those who are different is worthwhile, the complicated and muddled storyline itself, coupled with the fast-paced subtitles, make this best for tweens and older who are already fans of anime. Some of the humor gets literally lost in translation -- a "gas-powered" spaceship is actually powered by flatulence, for instance, or an aspiring teen comedian's material consists solely of a truly bizarre song about the Sphinx. For fans of anime, this almost certainly bears repeated viewings, as much of what's happening is difficult to keep up with while watching for the first time. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's no denying that the animation in this Korean anime is beautiful, but what keeps YOBI, THE FIVE-TAILED FOX from being better are the overly complicated storylines. The first 30 minutes are completely disorienting -- scenes with flying scarecrows, of spaceships powered by the flatulence of nail-eating aliens, of a five-tailed fox on the cusp of puberty, a mysterious "shadowman." It all, somehow, plays into the overarching message of kindness and compassion for those deemed "different," but so much of the complexity seems so, well, complex, that it's hard to tell who to root for early in the movie.
The movie is at its best when it focuses more on the relationships between the kids in the school. It's in those scenes where a simple universality prevails, one that transcends all cultural differences. This, especially the relationship that develops between Yobi and Geum-ee, is what tweens and older are most likely to latch onto. For younger viewers, the difficulty in the confusing storyline, coupled with, for non-Korean speaking audiences, the clunky subtitling, makes this a difficult movie to focus one's full attention.
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.