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"MY DOG SKIP"
(2000) (Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild Heavy *Heavy Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None Mild Minor Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Children's/Drama: A young boy learns various lessons about life and growing up in WWII era Mississippi thanks to the help of his pet dog.
PLOT:
It's 1942 and Willie Morris (FRANKIE MUNIZ) has just turned nine in Yazoo, Mississippi. A small kid for his age, Willie doesn't have many friends except for his next-door neighbor, Dink Jenkins (LUKE WILSON), the local star athlete who's heading off to Europe to fight Hitler.

As a result, Willie's mother, Ellen (DIANE LANE), decides he should get a dog for his birthday, but his father, Jack (KEVIN BACON), a stern disciplinarian who lost his leg in the Spanish Civil War, doesn't want his son to experience heartache and loss as he believes that dogs often meet untimely fates. Nonetheless, Ellen eventually wins out and Willie receives a Jack Russell terrier puppy that he names Skip.

An adventurous and personable pooch, Skip soon leads Willie through a series of life lessons, including how to deal with a trio of bullies -- Big Boy Wilkinson (BRADLEY CORYELL), Henjie Henick (DAYLAN HONEYCUTT) and Spit McGee (CODY LINLEY) - along with meeting his first "girlfriend," Rivers Applewhite (CAITLIN WACHS), and dealing with a duo of bootleggers -- Junior Smalls (PETER CROMBIE) and his associate, Millard (CLINT HOWARD) -- who are using the local cemetery to hide their stash.

As time passes, Willie is finally accepted by the bullies and Dink returns from the war a changed man, Skip continues to help the young boy grow up and learn about responsibility, love and friendship.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since it's a story about a boy and his dog, it probably will, although many teenagers will probably think it too juvenile for them.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some violent content and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • FRANKIE MUNIZ plays the nine-year-old boy who grows up with the help of the love and friendship of his dog. Other than a brief moment where he punches the dog (after being mad at Skip and himself for being no good at baseball), he's a good kid.
  • DIANE LANE plays Willie's caring mother who does what she can to make sure that her son is happy and at least has one friend in the form of Skip.
  • LUKE WILSON plays the outgoing hometown star athlete who returns from WWII a changed man, a reported coward who barely leaves his home upon his return.
  • KEVIN BACON plays Willie's stern and conservative father who doesn't want his son to face any heartbreak or loss during his early years.
  • BRADLEY CORYELL, DAYLAN HONEYCUTT, and CODY LINLEY play a trio of bullies who repeatedly taunt Willie before eventually accepting him into their "gang."
  • CAITLIN WACHS plays Willie's "girlfriend."
  • PETER CROMBIE and CLINT HOWARD play two bootleggers who store their stash in a cemetery, and threaten Willie and end up hitting Skip with a shovel, nearly killing the pooch.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this PG-rated "family film." As with many other films aimed at kids, this one contains material that may be disturbing, suspenseful or downright scary to some kids, all dependent on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. Such moments include a dog being struck with a shovel and being near death, a boy spending the night in a supposedly haunted cemetery, and a brief encounter with a wounded and bleeding deer.

    Some other more limited violence is also present, including that of some local bullies picking on the protagonist. They obviously have bad attitudes, as do some other characters. Profanity is rated as mild due to a handful of mild profanities (including two slang terms for breasts), while some drinking and smoking also occur (including two characters who are bootleggers).

    Beyond that, some imitative material is present as is a good deal of topics to talk about, including segregation, WWII and the effects it had on changing a young man who returns from the war. Should you still be concerned about this film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, you may wish to take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some bootleggers store their supplies in a cemetery and one of them drinks from a bottle. When the bullies find a bunch of empty bottles around Willie the next morning, they think that he drank them (he didn't).
  • Some men drink beer outside.
  • Willie sees Dink drinking booze from a bottle and appearing drunk (upon returning from war).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a bloody bullet hole in deer that's been wounded by a hunter's shot and Willie then gets some of its blood on his finger after touching it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A trio of bullies repeatedly picks on Willie (although they eventually accept him into their "gang"), taunting him, calling him names, knocking books from his hands, throwing candy at him in a movie theater, etc).
  • One of the bullies tears up Willie's wartime letter from Dink and then pushes Willie to the ground.
  • Although historically accurate for the time, we see signs of the town's segregation.
  • Some bootleggers not only store their illegal booze in a cemetery, but they also threaten Willie and Skip, eventually hitting the latter with a shovel (and nearly killing him).
  • The bullies make fun of Dink for reportedly being a coward during the war.
  • Frustrated that he's no good at baseball and at Skip for interrupting their game, Willie suddenly punches the dog in the face.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some kids, depending on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material, may (or may not) find some of the following material to be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary.
  • Making Willie pass an initiation test of sorts, the bullies have Willie spend the night in an old cemetery (after telling him about a witch who's buried there) while some lighting flashes. Later, that night (and as some scary music plays), Willie sees some images moving through some light and fog/smoke.
  • As a man prepares to hit Skip with his shovel, Willie fires something from a slingshot that hits the man. As that man and his associate then hunt for Willie and Skip in the cemetery (at night), the man says (so that Willie can hear him), that he's going to find him. Once they do find Willie, the man throws a bottle of booze at Willie and it shatters next to his head on a headstone. The main thug then tells Willie that if he tells anyone about them, that he'll wake up with a dead pooch and that a billfold made from dog hide would be real slick.
  • While walking through the woods, Willie and his dad hear a gunshot and duck for cover. After realizing that it came from hunters and identifying their position, Willie and his dad meet the hunters and then see the wounded and bleeding deer (we can hear its labored breathing). As Willie and his dad walk away, they hear another gunshot as the hunters finish off the deer (not seen).
  • Frustrated that he's no good at baseball and at Skip for interrupting their game, Willie suddenly punches the dog in the face. After that, Skip accidentally gets locked in a mausoleum and Willie panics when he, nor anyone else, can find the dog.
  • Back in the cemetery at night, the bootleggers discover that Skip has broken many of their bottles of booze. As a result, the main bootlegger raises his shovel and smacks it down hard onto Skip (the impact isn't seen - it's blocked - but we do see the swing as well as hear the impact and Skip yelp).
  • As a result, kids may be worried that he killed Skip, and then upon seeing him at the vet where everyone is concerned, may again worry that the dog will die.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Guns: Seen being fired in old time movies at a movie theater.
  • Civil war musket: Brought to "show and tell" in school by a boy who causes the teacher and students to duck for cover whenever he spins it around in their direction.
  • Hunting Rifles: Used by hunters to shoot a deer (not seen, but it occurs just off camera).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "T*tty baby," "Sissy," "I think he peed his pants," "Shut your trap," "You can stick it up your big fat butt" and "What the hell?"
  • A trio of bullies repeatedly picks on Willie, taunting him, calling him names, knocking books from his hands, throwing candy at him in a movie theater, etc.
  • During "show and tell" at school, a boy makes farting sounds by placing his hand into his armpit and then flapping his arm.
  • A boy brings an old rifle to school for "show and tell."
  • The bullies convince Willie to sneak out of his house at night and then spend the night in a cemetery to join their "gang."
  • One of the bullies spits several times.
  • Willie sits up against a tree at night during a thunderstorm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The bullies suddenly grab Willie.
  • The sudden sound of thunder might make some kids jump.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful/scary music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*tty"), 9 damns and 3 hells are used as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • A bootlegger smokes a few times, Willie's father smokes a cigar once (and Ellen, his wife, then takes it from him and takes a few puffs) and a few miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Willie's parents disagree about him getting a pet for his birthday, and Willie is then upset when his father takes away the puppy that his mother gave him (with the father being upset at the mother for going behind his back).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The responsibility of owning pets.
  • Bullies and how to deal with them.
  • WWII (including Dink being shipped off, a comment that's made about a man's son returning home in a box, etc.).
  • Why Willie's father initially didn't want him to have a pet (because pets die and he didn't want his son to face loss at such an early age).
  • Segregation: Willie befriends a young black boy and comments (in voice over narration) about the town being segregated and we see that the black folks have to sit in the balcony in the movie theater.
  • Willie sits up against a tree at night during a thunderstorm.
  • Kids might not understand an Army recruiter's comment about one of Skip's (the dog) testicles not being descended and that's why they can't accept him into their canine unit.
  • Why Dink was changed after returning from the war (along with comments of him being a coward during conflict).
  • What the bootleggers were doing in the cemetery (storing moonshine).
  • VIOLENCE
  • One of the local bullies throws a football that hits Willie in the face.
  • A bully pushes Willie to the ground, and then he and his buddies play rough with Willie while making the youngster play football with him (hitting/tackling him hard, etc.).
  • As a man prepares to hit skip with his shovel, Willie fires something from a slingshot that hits the man. His buddy, after finding Willie, throws an empty bottle at Willie that shatters next to his head.
  • Hunters shoot (and wound) and then kill a deer (not seen, but it occurs just off camera).
  • Frustrated that he's no good at baseball and at Skip for interrupting their game, Willie suddenly punches the dog in the face.
  • Back in the cemetery at night, the bootleggers discover that Skip has broken many of their bottles of booze. As a result, the main bootlegger raises his shovel and smacks it down hard onto Skip (the impact isn't seen - it's blocked - but we do see the swing as well as hear the impact and Skip's yelp). Dink then briefly struggles with the thug and pushes him up against a wall.



  • Reviewed February 24, 2000 / Posted Posted March 3, 2000

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