Bubble Guppies: The Puppy and the Ring

 
(i)

 

Delightful adventure has excellent friendship messages.

What parents need to know

Educational value

In addition to illustrating positive examples of problem solving and perseverance, the movie works in a little language lesson when a character pops into scenes to explain the meanings of words such as "quest" and "nocturnal."

Positive messages

Good triumphs over evil with the help of many new friends. Often what appear to be insurmountable challenges reveal opportunities that ease Gil and Molly on their way to repairing a villain's wrong. The characters' willingness to show compassion and friendship to the Night Wizard proves essential to a happy ending for everyone.

Positive role models

Even though the Night Wizard is called "evil," he doesn't come across as threatening and actually is motivated by loneliness rather than a real desire to do anyone harm. His willingness to discuss his feelings and the others' openness to his needs facilitates new friendships. As they travel through different dimensions in Bubbledom, Gil and Molly make new friendships of their own, and each plays a role in the success of their quest.

Violence & scariness

The heroes encounter some mildly perilous situations, including an avalanche, a bridge that crumbles beneath them and sends them plummeting into a ravine, a colony of bats that pursue them, and soldiers who carry staffs that can zap the sea creatures into a deep sleep. Other surprises, such as a hissing possum and some worrisome moments spent in a dark cave, also can be startling for youngsters, but it all comes to an end quickly and with happy results.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The movie features the cast from the popular Bubble Guppies TV series, and the story is inspired by The Lord of the Rings.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 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.

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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?

QUALITY
 

For fans of the popular TV series, The Puppy and the Ring 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.

Families can talk 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? 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? 

This review of Bubble Guppies: The Puppy and the Ring was written by

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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; OK 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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