Synopsis: Animals gain intelligence and rise up against us, which I’ve been telling you would happen for years but you wouldn’t listen and who’s laughing now??
Would you be able to sit through it?: Yes. It’s actually a pretty engaging plot for a movie about a talking rabbit.
Any scary/violent parts?: There are some explosions and when some of the predators go feral they can be pretty scary. At one point a wild tiger leaped out and my daughter let out a pretty blood-curdling scream. After that, during a scene when another creature is going wild a young kid next to us starting crying and screaming “I WANT TO GO HOME!!” Just like I did the last time I ate at Applebee’s.
Anything that will screw up your kid’s head?: Besides possibly being scared witless, it’s fairly tame. Surprisingly, this may be the first time in Disney history that at least one member of the protagonist’s family isn’t dead. There is one scene set in an animal nudist colony where it briefly looked like they tried to give a female hippo human breasts. But maybe that was just in my head.
Any lessons to be learned?: You can be anything you want to be, hard work pays off, sheep are evil.
Recommended age: 6. Again, some frightening scenes full of jump scares, and also the plot is a little more complex than littler ones may be willing to comprehend.
3D?: Nah. We did see this in 3D and nothing really stood out except for that hippo’s boobs.
Rent it, buy it or avoid it?: Buy. Very solid kids movie that moves beyond “Oh hey look, talking animals again!” to deliver a well-told, layered story. Although that can be a little jarring to those taking their kids to see what they thought would be like Madagascar and ends up being more like Lethal Weapon. But that’s actually a refreshing thing. On top of that, Judy Hopps is another great female lead character from Disney of late, which I appreciate as the dad of a daughter. She doesn’t take anyone’s droppings and works her bushy tail off to get what she wants. Although I didn’t look up the cast before I saw the movie, and was trying to figure out who was doing her voice the whole time, and then the credits revealed it was Ginnifer Goodwin, and I have no idea who that is.
Anyways, it’s a very good movie that’s really gorgeous to look at, something that we’re becoming desensitized to nowadays, but the level of detail from the fur to the environments is pretty stunning when you stop to think about it. But the fact that you don’t have to stop to think about the way the movie looks while your watching it is probably the best praise for its visual appeal. It also does humor well without cramming it down your throat. This is mostly in the form of animal puns, which I never get tired of, but things like Tommy Chong character were done really well, and the Vito Corleone-esque Mr. Big was actually funny, and probably would have been an overdone disaster in something like the Shrek movies.
If you have a kid, you’re basically legally obligated to see this, but even if you don’t, you’ll probably still like it if you go see it. It’s definitely a better option than Gods of Egypt or London Has Fallen.
Score: 8.25 hippo breasts (out of 10)
My Daughter’s Review: “I didn’t like it… I LOVED it! I loved when Mr. Big’s daughter had a baby in her tummy.” Shoot me.