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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bubble Guppies: The Puppy and the Ring is a colorful adventure set in the Bubble Guppies' underwater home and loosely inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Central to the plot is a magical wizard who stirs up trouble with some petty theft and a self-proclaimed "evil" plan, but in reality he's more comical than he is threatening. There are a few short-lived moments of tension as the heroes encounter dangers such as an avalanche and a bridge collapse, but these are easily forgotten in light of the characters' engaging adventures and the frequent song-and-dance numbers. Still, the concept of friendship is the real standout in this story, which illustrates for kids how extending the hand of friendship can crack even the toughest of nuts and remedy difficult situations.
What's the story?
THE PUPPY AND THE RING follows Bubble Guppies Gil (voiced by Zachary Gordon) and Molly (Brianna Gentilella) on an aquatic adventure of epic proportions. When the evil Night Wizard (Jeffrey Tambor) threatens the balance of day and night in Bubbledom by stealing the magical Ring of the Sun, Molly, Gil, and their puppy embark on a quest to return it to the king before his nefarious plan can take effect at sundown. Their travels take them through unfamiliar magical realms and introduce them to new compatriots, each of whom helps the heroes on their way as they race the clock to bring the ring home.
Is it any good?
For fans of the popular TV show Bubble Guppies, this special strikes just the right balance between the familiar and the new. Gil, Molly, and Bubble Puppy retain their own personas, but the rest of the much-loved cast -– Deema, Nonny, Ooma, Goby, and Mr. Grouper –- are transformed into new characters that suit the imaginative plot. Then there's the story's crown jewel: the plotting, scheming, but somehow sympathetic Night Wizard, whose chronically ill-fated plans and bumbling subjects are forever upstaged in comical manner by the young heroes.
This enchanting story has it all: rockin' musical numbers, a wealth of colorful characters, and an engaging tale that hints at its inspiration, The Lord of the Rings, in ways that will appeal to adults. Even better is its careful attention to the recurring theme of friendship, which is illustrated not only in the Guppies' relationship but also in their eventual face-to-face dealings with the Night Wizard. Preschoolers will leave the movie with a positive impression of the magical effects of showing compassion and being a good friend, even when it's tough.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the value of forgiveness. Is it difficult to forgive others when they do something you know is wrong? What did the Night Wizard do that was hurtful to the Guppies in The Puppy and the Ring? Did he make up for his mistake? Is an apology always enough to right a wrong?
Is friendship ever hard to give? What are the rewards of being a good friend? How does your friendship make others happy? Does it encourage you to be a nicer person?
The Guppies embark on an exciting adventure in this story. Where would you like to travel if you had the chance? What would you like to see or do there? How would that place look or feel different from your home?
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