We took the kids to see this movie last weekend. In the winter, I feel like with the lovely weather we get in the Chicago area, that going to see movies is one of the few family things we can do together. It was very refreshing to go see a movie with the kids that was not animated. I think I have seen almost every animated movie that has come out since my son was about 3. The other reason I was excited to see this movie is that it was about animals. I love animal movies (Homeward Bound anyone?) and my 4 year old is completely obsessed with all animals.
I won’t give away any spoilers, just a quick review from a mom’s perspective. The movie followed the well known pattern about animals and their bonds with humans. And how they have to overcome an obstacle to reach the happy ending. It did make me tear up – but then again, I sob like a 2 year old every time I watch the movie Coco. Everyone in my family – kids ages 4, 9, 11, & 13 – enjoyed the movie. They weren’t asking how much time was left or asking to get refills every 5 minutes. Now that is a tell tale sign when your kids don’t like the movie – they consume their weight in popcorn and icee slushies!
Throughout the movie, they touched on the mature theme regarding all the struggles that veterans face after their service, but then seemed to quickly gloss over it. The main character works at the VA hospital and his mom is a veteran. He briefly mentioned her struggle and how she wasn’t able to go back to work yet, but nothing else. There was also a homeless veteran that ended up dying alone by the riverbank and that struck me as a little heavy for a family movie. I don’t think my kids gained a better understanding of what veteran’s go through after they are done serving. It was almost oddly stuck in the movie and wasn’t connected very well to the rest of it.
Overall, it was a great family movie and I am glad we took the kids to see it. I would recommend it if your kids are at least 4/5 years old, or have a huge love for all animals as my 4 year old does. It was cute and funny, with a few tearjerker moments in a neat package.