Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly Are Rock Dog and My Life as a Zucchini?

by | February 24, 2017 | Comments

Both of the movies Christy covers in this week’s Parental Guidance are animated features, but while one of them is a zippy kid’s movie with familiar touches, the other is an Oscar-nominated stop-motion film that might be a little too mature for younger audiences. Read on for details on both.


NOW IN THEATERS

 

Rock Dog (2017) 47%

Rating: PG, for action and language.

Children of all ages should be fine watching this animated comedy about a dog (voiced by Luke Wilson) who dreams of being a rock star. Adults, meanwhile, will find it vaguely more than tolerable – although the soundtrack featuring songs from Radiohead, Beck, and the Foo Fighters is solid. Wilson lends his voice to a Tibetan Mastiff named Bodi, who’s forced to follow in the footsteps of his father (J.K. Simmons) in protecting Snow Mountain – with its wool-making sheep — from the threat of wolves who’d like to devour them all. But Bodi has dreams of musical greatness, which he pursues when he visits the big city to track down Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), an egotistical cat who’s a reclusive rock legend. The wolves are predatory but bumbling, and the possibility of real danger is brief and played for laughs. There’s a slight bit of mild language from Angus, a saucy British cat. (Izzard’s performance is the best part of the whole movie.) But the idea of being true to yourself and following your dreams – while trite – is worthwhile. Fine for the whole family.


My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) (2017) 98%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements and suggestive material.

This incredibly beautiful, deeply moving film is nominated for the Academy Award for best animated feature. But despite the cute title and the pleasingly colorful, rough-hewn look of the characters, My Life as a Zucchini really isn’t for little kids. It’s about children who’ve suffered greatly in their young lives, with parents who’ve died or are incapable of caring for them because they’re in prison or addicted to drugs. But it’s also about these kids’ resiliency, the sweet way they look out for each other and the possibility of finding new families. I saw the original version of Swiss director Claude Barras’ stop-motion animation film in French with subtitles, but a dubbed, English-language version starring Nick Offerman, Ellen Page, and Will Forte is in theaters this weekend. A 9-year-old boy who goes by the nickname Zucchini ends up at a foster home after his mother’s death, for which he blames himself. He meets and befriends other kids who are there for a variety of reasons, but he also must endure the cruelty of a bully. There’s some language and adolescent sexual humor. But overall, the thematic sadness might be too much for some young kids to handle. Still, it’s an inspired film with a message that’s ultimately hopeful. Fine for kids around 9 and older.

Tag Cloud

social media Martial Arts unscripted Set visit MTV biography 007 PaleyFest BBC America Superheroe Fall TV E3 Marvel ITV Star Wars Interview Paramount Network DC Comics Nominations Election El Rey Cosplay Kids & Family Opinion Amazon GIFs Creative Arts Emmys TCA 2017 cats Netflix Musical Reality 20th Century Fox Pirates justice league Comic Book cults comiccon Valentine's Day docudrama singing competition war CNN dc TNT Summer Nat Geo aliens Starz TIFF psycho Holidays political drama Nickelodeon Showtime YA Premiere Dates Super Bowl TBS NBC Comedy Central composers Biopics CMT transformers supernatural Sundance Now YouTube Red Animation The CW Dark Horse Comics Western hist finale Winter TV TV IFC BET VICE Warner Bros. Calendar Countdown Horror Esquire Marathons See It Skip It MSNBC FOX festivals zombies Infographic politics Photos medical drama Crackle streaming TV Land TCM Tomatazos vampires ABC Family LGBTQ TLC TCA Logo Winners American Society of Cinematographers dceu Reality Competition police drama thriller Musicals Lucasfilm adventure 24 frames WGN CBS Superheroes boxoffice Country History Awards Oscars crime SXSW A&E travel IFC Films President talk show crime thriller spy thriller TruTV cinemax Shondaland sports Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ESPN Red Carpet binge Food Network romance Sneak Peek Paramount Pixar Emmys Podcast FX VH1 Writers Guild of America Character Guide cops Rocky harry potter CW Seed Acorn TV Freeform Adult Swim Trailer discovery Thanksgiving Star Trek Lionsgate Disney Channel USA Network Rom-Com Year in Review Bravo Video Games Polls and Games CBS All Access crime drama Ellie Kemper technology Box Office crossover Grammys E! serial killer ABC Toys Fantasy APB Certified Fresh FXX Mystery period drama Ghostbusters USA Masterpiece science fiction Extras RT History sitcom cooking PBS Hulu 2016 Pop dramedy HBO Mary Tyler Moore Drama Teen historical drama Mindy Kaling GoT Universal OWN Comedy 45 First Look Fox News DC streaming service 21st Century Fox Tumblr Action what to watch Trivia Britbox National Geographic 2015 zombie Sundance Rock Best and Worst Spike Sci-Fi Syfy BBC diversity SundanceTV DirecTV Watching Series Disney Sony Pictures AMC Schedule 2017 Spring TV Music NYCC golden globes based on movie SDCC ratings The Arrangement DC Universe Christmas Cartoon Network robots X-Men GLAAD Lifetime