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Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With a Kiss Review

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Dave White Profile

… shoddy … Read full review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Low-budget cartoon tells classic story with hopeful ending.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated, musical version of Romeo and Juliet is meant for little kids. Starring seals and other sea creatures, the film sticks to the basic story of the original at least some of the time, but changes the play's tragic ending. Only a few speeches have any relationship to Shakespeare's English; the rest of the dialogue is casual and current. Numerous scenes show the seals fighting, chasing, and threatening one another, falling into the ocean's depths, and isolated in captivity. Several characters are either "missing in action" or appear to be dead; a long time passes before it's revealed that they are still alive and well. There are lots of insults directed at the overweight leader of the seals; he's taunted for his size and called "blubber-butt." Some kids may be put off by the incessant "smooching" of Romeo and Juliet -- they're innocent kisses, but there are many of them.

  • Families can talk about why the Montagues and the Capulets didn't like one another. What did it mean when someone said "What's in a color? A fish of any other color would still smell as sweet."
  • When did the two families realize that fighting was a very bad idea? What did they almost lose?
  • Mercutio made fun of the prince for being fat. Have you ever been teased about something? How did it make you feel?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true2

    Educational value: Introduction to the story of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (with a happier ending). Includes a few famous lines of dialogue from other Shakespearean plays as well (i.e. "To be or not to be").

  • message true3

    Messages: Hatred between families (or cultures or nations or "colors") breeds war, bigotry, and unhappiness.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Romeo and Juliet are examples of tolerance and acceptance. They see past barriers of prejudice and value each other for "who they are," not what group they belong to. The villain is mocked because of his obesity.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Exaggerated cartoon action throughout. The villainous seal prince roars and bears his teeth, bites, and threatens the heroes. The Capulets and Montagues (two seal families) chase each other, bark, bite, and on some occasions fight in the manner of dogs and cats. Characters are swallowed by larger fish, fall from heights, are thrown into the ocean, and banished to the scary "Shark Island." Romeo, Juliet, and Mercutio (Romeo's friend) are all believed to be dead for a period of time. Romeo and Juliet lie unmoving for several minutes. Mercutio disappears in the ocean after a fight. There are no obvious injuries; everyone is alive and well in time for the movie's happy ending.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Romeo and Juliet nuzzle a lot and exchange many chaste kisses.

  • language false1

    Language: "Blubber-butt" and multiple fat jokes are aimed at the leader of the seals.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The Friar makes a potion for Juliet that will make her appear to be dead; in fact, she'll only be sleeping.

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