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Azur & Asmar Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Foreign fairy tale teaches cultural understanding.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this French production's English-language version tackles issues of race, gender, class, and religion. Despite being set centuries ago, the story deals with more mature themes than many other animated films. The two main characters must overcome dangerous obstacles to save a fairy princess, all the while struggling with discrimination and cultural insensitivity. The majority of characters speak Arabic, and one character loves to point out everything that's "ugly" and "terrible" about the land's language and the people. Violence, while animated, is mostly realistic looking, with characters dueling, falling off cliffs, and facing trials of peril. The language includes mild insults and bigoted/superstitious remarks.

  • Families can talk about the movie's take on cultural prejudice. In what ways do Azur and Asmar have to overcome discrimination? The film takes modern issues of race, class, and gender and applies them to an old story. Is it effective? How does the character Crapoux learn his lesson? Kids: What do you think about the film's twist on the standard "happily every after" ending?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie doesn't shy away from prejudice. At first, Azur and Crapoux talk endlessly about how awful/terrible/ugly the "land across the sea" is and how their country is much better. Azur won't open his blue eyes at first, because people think blue eyes are a curse. Azur's nobleman father is cruel to Jenane and Asmar, firing them and throwing them off his property. But eventually the two main characters, who were raised as brothers despite their different skin color and culture, collaborate and save each other's lives.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Scenes of animated peril include characters being stabbed, falling to their deaths off cliffs, being tied up, fighting with swords, and having to overcome dangerous obstacles.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Azur and Asmar each want to fall in love with the Djinn Fairy. Several couples dance and embrace. While it's not sexual, there is a glimpse of Jenane breastfeeding baby Asmar.

  • language false1

    Language: Mild insults -- "idiot," "stupid" -- and taunting language: "I'm more handsome than you," "Your blue eyes are ugly," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue