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I Heart Shakey Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Father-daughter dog tale swings from sweet to over the top.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that I Heart Shakey is an independent 3-D family comedy aimed at elementary-aged kids. Although the movie has a simplistic plot, the story does offer some positive lessons about just vs. unjust rules, the importance of family pets, and the necessity of standing up for your rights (in this case, the right to own a dog in an apartment building). There's some mild language (mostly insults like "moron" and "imbecile"), as well as a few scenes of slapstick violence and general dog-induced havoc, and a little bit of drinking by adults (one character also has a cigar). Fathers will appreciate how the comedy centers on the bond between a dad and his daughter.

  • Families can talk about the popularity of dog-centered family films. Do you prefer animal movies in which the animals talk or more realistic depictions? What are your favorite dog movies?
  • How does I Heart Shakey portray the difficulties of moving to a new place? Chandler has to deal with bullies at her new school, but she also makes a new and important friend. Is her school life believable to those who've moved or transferred?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Not an educational movie, but kids will learn a bit about Chicago and its landmarks, as well as the fact that pets aren't allowed in certain buildings.

  • message true3

    Messages: I Heart Shakey focuses on the love between a father and daughter and how their pet dog is an indispensable part of their family. Chandler learns that she can make a difference by helping to change the building manager's mind about pets. The story demonstrates that some rules are unjust and can be challenged. 

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: J.T. is a loving, attentive father who always has his daughter's best interests at heart. Chandler, after making a new friend, figures out a way to rally support for changing the apartment building's unfair "no dogs" rule. She learns not to sit around and pout but to try to make a difference.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence and scariness: Slapstick moments -- a pie in the face, a school food fight, trips and falls -- are fairly common, as is the general mayhem caused by a dog. Chandler deals with bullies at school. A man who fancies himself a soldier has an arsenal of weapons and discusses his love of them. Very young kids might be sad when Chandler's dead mother is brought up and whenever Chandler gets upset about the fact that Shakey isn't allowed in the building.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: Mild insults like "idiot," "loser," "stupid," "moron," and "imbecile," as well as several jibes at Shakey ("mongrel," "mutt," etc.).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Wine and champagne are served at a couple of dinner parties for adults. A man is shown with a cigar.