What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Rabbi's Cat is a subtitled animated film based on books by acclaimed French graphic artist Joann Sfar that delve into the little-known history of Jews in pre-World War II Algeria. With mature themes including faith, family, philosophy, anti-Semitism, and racism, this isn't a light cartoon appropriate for younger kids. There's kissing, implied sex, violence, alcohol, and smoking. The violence -- including two murders and a brief sequence of a pogrom -- results from differences in culture and faith, and the sexuality includes shots of a bare-shouldered, bare-backed couple in bed and kissing passionately.
- Families can talk about what the cat teaches the rabbi and what the rabbi teaches the cat. How do they change each other's lives?
- Even though the movie is about a cat, is it meant for/appropriate for young children? Do animated movies have to be targeted at young audiences?
- What are The Rabbi's Cat's messages about race and religion? Is the historical context of the movie -- pre-WWII, French colonial Algeria -- confusing for those who aren't familiar with it? How could you find out more?