Zeus and Roxanne

  • Review Date: October 17, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Predictable and utterly unoriginal.
  • Review Date: October 17, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 98 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animal movie does feature a syrupy romance, but it is without any objectionable material.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

While spending the summer at a rented beach house, widower Terry Barnett (Steve Guttenberg) and his young son, Jordan, befriend their marine biologist neighbor, Mary Beth Dunhill (Kathleen Quinlan). Terry's dog, Zeus, strikes up an immediate kinship with Roxanne, a formerly captive dolphin that Mary Beth is trying to get to adjust to life in the open sea. While Jordan and Mary Beth's daughters plot to get their parents together, Mary Beth applies for a grant on interspecies communication, utilizing Zeus for her research. But her unscrupulous competitor, Dr. Carver, does everything he can to sabotage her work and win the grant for himself. Carver captures Zeus and Roxanne, but Zeus turns the tables and traps Carver in a net while he and Roxanne escape.

Is it any good?


ZEUS AND ROXANNE is pleasantly innocuous when it sticks to such shameless, but effective, family-movie basics as single parents falling in love, precocious kids, and adorable animals. It offers attractive underwater photography and pretty sunsets, a broadly comic villain with a South African accent, and cute scenes of the frisky dog "talking" to the shy dolphin. Unfortunately, it becomes virtually unwatchable when the plot's focus shifts from communicating animals to Terry and Mary Beth's sappy romance.

Australian director George Miller is an old hand at these animal and nature movies, but this one is strictly a dull, by-the-numbers effort. Preteens who are able to get past the syrupy romance will get the most out of this movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about "animal movies." How does this movie compare to other animal-centered films that you've seen? Do these movies have a formula? Is this type of film meant to make you feel a certain way? How did this particular movie make you feel?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 24, 1997
DVD release date:May 21, 1997
Cast:Arnold Vosloo, Kathleen Quinlan, Steve Guttenberg
Director:George Miller
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Ocean creatures
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild thematic elements

This review of Zeus and Roxanne was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay 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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Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 1, 2010
I agree with CS when it says that this movie is unoriginal, but kids will love it. It has a cute dolphin and an adorable dog. The best part of the movie are the underwater scenes.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byWife-mother-law... April 28, 2012

Better than what he says.

Sure, this movie is predictable to adults. But it is very enjoyable for children and just not that hard to sit through. If you have children in the 6-12 range you know it can be challenging to select a film that's not too scary for the little ones and not too babyish for the bigger ones. This one works for the group.


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