What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this family comedy is filled with animal jokes, pratfalls, and over-the-top sight gags, many of which involve animals provoking Brendan Fraser's character. Most of the violence is limited to skunk spray, animal pee, and bee-sting reactions, as well as the protagonist dad falling and hurting himself in every fashion imaginable. Apple dominates the product placements, with a Macbook, iPhone, or iPod visible in several scenes throughout the film. There's no sexuality outside of mild flirting, a quick kiss, and a couple of hugs -- nothing even remotely inappropriate for a PG movie. The messages of the movie are positive -- people shouldn't sacrifice their beliefs for work, and communities should take care of the animals in their midst -- but they're also secondary to the cartoonish "vengeance" the animals impart.
- Families can talk about the environmental message of the movie. What are the filmmakers trying to say about what it really means to be "green"? Was the real estate development company actually eco-friendly or just pretending to be? How "green" do you think the movie business is?
- In what ways can we help protect animals and their habitats? What is the solution that Dan and his family come up with in the movie? Is it realistic?
- How does Dan's work affect his family? Does he do a good job of juggling his work responsibilities with his family? How does your family manage work, school, and family commitments?