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?