A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although its primary intent is to entertain rather than educate, kids may be inspired to seek out the original book and other works by the author.
Compassion, teamwork, and integrity are all prominent themes. Following your dreams and ignoring those who say you can't do or be something. Helping others, even if they don't necessarily deserve it.
Positive Role Models
Princess Pearl is a skilled doctor who goes to great lengths to help people and make them better. This includes her mean uncle who also happens to be the king. The king locks up Pearl for, in his eyes, not behaving like a princess should. But when he becomes ill, Pearl doesn't hesitate in helping him. Zog and Gadabout assist Pearl as best they can. In Zog's case, this involves flying the pair around, while Gadabout also helps the sick and injured. However, both Zog and Gadabout are prone to clumsy incidents.
The central character is Princess Pearl who actively rejects the traditional fairytale stereotypes of how a princess should behave and look. She refuses to change her principles despite having her freedom taken away from her. The king shows sexist behavior toward Pearl claiming a princess can't be a doctor and that she should wear a "pretty frilly dress." But he later comes to realize how good a doctor Pearl really is. Most of the main human characters are White, but there is some diversity among the group of guards. Lenny Henry, a Black British actor, narrates the story.
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Violence & Scariness
Some slapstick action and violence with no injury or serious peril. Characters fall from great heights and a dragon repeatedly crashes whenever it tries to land. Characters -- both humans and animals -- become sick, sunburnt, and in need of medical attention. A unicorn has its "second" horn cut off after becoming entangled with some woodland. A sick character mentions the prospect of dying. A character is locked up in a tower. Two characters do battle with a group of guards with spears and punches thrown, kicking, and sword use. They are then tied up but are later freed. A dragon breathes fire on occasion and also lets out a loud roar.
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A character is called a "silly girl."
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Products & Purchases
Based on a kids' book, tie-in merchandise including toys and clothes are available. But none of this merchandise is specifically marketed in the film.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A doctor routinely dishes out and makes medicine for those in need.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zog and the Flying Doctors is an animated sequel adapted from Julia Donaldson's kids' book. The film has some positive messages about not giving up on your dreams despite what others tell you. Princess Pearl (voiced by Patsy Ferran) is a strong role model as she shows compassion and integrity in her work as a doctor. She refuses to go along with traditional expectations of how a princess should behave. This comes at a cost to her when her uncle, the king (Rob Brydon), locks her up in a tower. Despite this, Pearl continues to show compassion, even helping her uncle when he falls ill. There is some slapstick action and violence. This mostly involves Pearl's friends Gadabout (Daniel Ings) and the fire-breathing dragon Zog (Hugh Skinner). The pair fall from great heights and Zog is unable to land without crashing. They also become embroiled in a fight with some guards when trying to rescue Pearl from the tower. But there is no serious injury or any real peril. The film can be watched as a standalone piece, although kids will get more from it if they've seen the first film or read the book. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This TV movie is both a sequel and adaptation of one of Julia Donaldson's popular kids' book. Zog and the Flying Doctors picks up from where the first story ended with the accident-prone, fire-breathing, friendly dragon, Zog, flying Princess Pearl and Gadabout around as they help those in need of medical attention. However, whereas Zog was the main character in the first story, this time it's Pearl who is front and center.
Pearl remains a strong female role model, objecting to those around her who say she should behave more like a princess, and determined to help others in her job as a doctor. She remains compassionate throughout, despite the interference and meanness shown by her uncle, the king. Meanwhile Zog and Gadabout provide the slapstick laughs, crashing and bumping into things, usually each other. Yet despite this repositioning of the characters, Zog and the Flying Doctors fails to move the narrative along. Themes from the first story are revisited and while they are admirable and positive, there's nothing here that the first film didn't do, arguably better.
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.