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"THE WILD"
(2006) (voices of Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Belushi) (G)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Comedy: A disparate group of New York City zoo animals sets out to rescue a lion's son who's been shipped off to Africa.
PLOT:
While he might not quite be the king of the jungle anymore, New York City Zoo lion Sampson (voice of KIEFER SUTHERLAND) often regales his adolescent son Ryan (voice of GREG CIPES) with tales of his time in the wild, including handling dangerous wildebeests with his mighty roar. It's frustrating for Ryan, however, since his signature sound is more akin to that of a housecat, and it doesn't help that most of the other animals and even young human kids laugh at his attempts to sound mighty.

Having heard about the "green boxes" just outside the zoo and believing those cargo crates to be a means of escape, Ryan sneaks out of the zoo and curls up in one. But then, the doors are closed and the cart is trucked away, with the cub's pleas for help drawing the concerned attention of Sampson. Although he can't get out right away to rescue his son, the lion plots his course of action that he knows will lead him to the torch-carrying lady wearing a crown of thorns (the Statue of Liberty).

Accordingly, he sets out on his rescue mission, initially unaware that his friends have come along for the ride. There's Benny (voice of JIM BELUSHI), Sampson's best friend, a squirrel who's in love with Bridget (voice of JANEANE GAROFALO) the giraffe who wants nothing to do with him. Larry (voice of RICHARD KIND) the somewhat dimwitted snake is also there, as is Nigel (voice of EDDIE IZZARD), a koala bear who overestimates his speed and other abilities, perhaps due to hating having inspired a line of stuffed zoo toys fashioned in his likeness.

After a brief adventure through Manhattan, the unlikely group of zoo animals commandeers a boat and takes off after the cargo ship containing Ryan. When they crash onto the shores of Africa, they figure all is well since Sampson is from there.

They begin to wonder, however, when his natural instincts fail to kick in, whether regarding eating prey or dealing with a herd of wildebeests led by Kazar (voice of WILLIAM SHATNER) who's decided they should get off the bottom of the food chain by becoming carnivores. As the antelopes set out to find, capture and eat some lions to prove their change, Sampson and his friends try to locate and rescue Ryan before it's too late.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many younger kids will be enticed by it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
Presumably for not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view non-human, animated characters as role models, but here's a quick look at their major characteristics.
  • SAMPSON is the head lion at the zoo who wants his son to have a mighty roar and is disappointed in him when he can't muster that. He then worries about his son (when he stows away in a cargo crate) and sets out to rescue him. When he ends up in the wild, he must confront a personal secret and find the courage to deal with that as well as with Kazar and his minions.
  • RYAN is his son, an adolescent lion who's upset about living in his father's shadow and having everyone laugh at his meager attempts to roar. Accordingly, he runs away from home.
  • BENNY is Sampson's best friend, a squirrel who takes a licking but keeps going, including in his attempts to woo Bridget.
  • NIGEL is the falsely confident koala bear who hates being teased about his plush toy counterpart, but then lets the wildebeests' idolization of him go to his head.
  • LARRY is the dimwitted snake who uses or has his body used for various purposes.
  • BRIDGET is the giraffe who's not crazy about ending up in the wild or Benny's affection toward her.
  • KAZAR is the megalomaniacal head of the wildebeests who wants to turn the tables on the food chain by making his kind carnivores rather than prey.
  • 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:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated comedy that's been rated G. While no profanity is present, various colorful phrases are, as is some non-explicit, but slightly sexually related dialogue that adults will get but will likely fly over many younger kids' heads. Other potentially imitative behavior is present, including slapstick style hitting or striking of others. Other such slapstick style material (falls, running into things, etc.) is present, as are some violent encounters and battles between a lion and various wildebeests.

    Some of that and other material could be rather unsettling or even scary to some younger viewers, but probably not to older kids or adults. Various bad attitudes are present, as is crude humor and some tense family moments between a father and son lion, including the latter running away.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some brief lightning during a storm at sea scene.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, we see Benny's head over heels, rolling point of view as some dung beetles roll him across the ground (along with balls of dung).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Crude humor includes the following:
  • Benny lands on his head and is then knocked aside, sending him flying through the air where he lands in one of Sampson's nostrils (and some comments are made about what he's doing and finding in there).
  • A turtle used in the sport of curling farts to propel himself forward a bit.
  • Some bird excrement falls down onto a pigeon.
  • After a close call at sea, Nigel looks behind him and states that they're going to need some eucalyptus wipes.
  • We see a small animal sitting on something (presumably going to the bathroom, although we don't see any related activity). After getting up, it farts several times while walking about.
  • Nigel is asleep with his finger up his nose.
  • We see Benny's head over heels, rolling point of view as some dung beetles roll him across the ground (along with balls of dung).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Kazar is the megalomaniacal head of the wildebeests who wants to turn the tables on the food chain by making his kind carnivores rather than prey. Accordingly, he wants his minions to capture Sampson and his son so that they can eat them as proof of his kind's change. A character jokes that Ryan "roars like a school girl" and various characters throughout the film laugh at him when his roar comes out sounding like a meow. Someone also calls him "Ryan the lame."
  • While spinning his finger in a tight circle near his head (in reference to a small creature everyone expects him to eat), Sampson says he's allergic to "nuts" (some viewers might not like the reference).
  • Sampson admits that he's just a phony and never grew up in the wild as he's previously boasted.
  • Nigel twice hits Bridget on the head after letting the wildebeests' idolization of him go to his head.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but probably not to older kids or adults.
  • As Sampson tells his son the story of how he dealt with ferocious wildebeests in the past, we see imagined views of that where the animals look mean (with evil eyes), but Sampson's roar blasts them backwards (including one that smashes face-first into large rocks). Sampson then encounters a monster-sized wildebeest whose breath is like fire and singes some plants, and Sampson ends up on its giant face, but we then just see that Sampson is telling Ryan this story in the safe confines of the zoo.
  • Ryan is enticed by a "green box" (a cargo container) just outside the zoo. He hops the fence and gets inside it, unaware that he's about to be trapped there. Once he is, he panics and starts yelling for his dad, but Sampson can't get out of the zoo and the container is trucked away.
  • Sampson and his friends stow away in a trash truck and when it suddenly comes to a stop, they all keep moving forward in the back and slam into the front side of the compartment. The compactor then activates and they panic, with all getting out except for Bridget. Sampson then sends Larry out onto the truck's hood that causes the driver to panic and flee, thus stopping the compacting just in time.
  • Some regular dogs out on the street chase after Sampson and his friends, eventually cornering them (Sampson would seem able to take care of the mutts, but he's unwilling to tangle with them). The dogs bark, growl and foam at the mouth as the friends manage to escape into the sewer system. There, they encounter two large alligators that waddle in their direction, similarly cornering them, but they turn out to be friendly.
  • While in a small boat at sea, Sampson and his friends barely avoid hitting or being run over by much larger ships (steering out of the way just in time).
  • Sampson and his friends are in a small boat during a bad storm at sea (briefly, with high waves, lightning and thunder).
  • Several large vultures come after Ryan who's up on a tree branch. It breaks and both he and it fall to the ground where it pins him. They laugh at his attempt to roar and start coming for him, but Sampson shows up and chases them away.
  • Some menacing wildebeests chase after Sampson and Ryan.
  • We see a flashback to when Sampson was just a lion cub pushed to perform at a circus by his stern father. Young Sampson can't roar and is terrified by a mechanical wildebeest that comes out from behind a door and races down a track toward him. His father is very disappointed and we then see young Sampson being trucked away to the zoo, never to see his father again.
  • Some wildebeests push a tree that Sampson is in, eventually causing it and him to fall off the edge of a cliff. We then see Sampson motionless on the ground below, and Benny thinks he's dead, but Sampson eventually regains consciousness.
  • The wildebeests have captured Bridget, Benny and Larry and are preparing to eat them.
  • Sampson and Ryan are surrounded by wildebeests.
  • Sampson and Kazar battle, with both delivering blows, including Sampson knocking off one of Kazar's horns. But Sampson then ends up dangling above a lava pool, with Kazar stomping down onto his paw. His friends, however, manage to fire off a rock that ricochets and hits Kazar on the head. Ryan is also fired at Kazar, with the cub then on Kazar's back before being knocked off and ending up dazed. Sampson and Kazar then continue to battle, with the latter kicked aside and knocked silly. Kazar then comes at Sampson who stymies his approach with a bellowing roar that eventually blasts Kazar backwards, slamming him into some large rocks. Sampson and the others then flee a volcanic eruption, with a huge boulder then falling and landing on Kazar (we don't see the impact).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Slow down, Romeo," "Don't stare at my spots," "You little trash picker," "Dude," "He roars like a school girl," "Leave my bum alone," "Just your daily dose of vitamin Benny," "What the..?" "Catastrophic," "Ryan the lame," "I've got paper up my bum," "Do I look trashy in this?" "Freaking out," "I can't imagine starting the day without licking myself," "We're going to need eucalyptus wipes," "You solar twit," "What the heck?" "I'm just allergic to nuts" (crazy people), "I'm just a phony," "We are going to die!" "Back off, I'm not that kind of koala bear," "We better not screw this up," "Holy moly," "You could kick their rumps," "You donkey chickens," "You klutz," "The freaks with the hooves," "For Pete's sake," "Oh you've got to be kidding me," "I will kick your..." "Turkey jerkeys," "Shut up," "Push, you crazy hairy monsters" and "Hootchie, kootchie, kootchie."
  • All of the slapstick style hitting or striking of others might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Some kids may be enticed to try curling (think Olympic winter sport) using turtles (as occurs here as sport).
  • Upset at his father and others, Ryan somewhat runs away (leaving the zoo and curling up in a nearby cargo crate).
  • Sampson and his friends stow away in a trash truck.
  • After Nigel states he doesn't want to run anymore, Bridget says that's good, as he needs a good sports bra.
  • While spinning his finger in a tight circle near his head (in reference to a small creature everyone expects him to eat), Sampson says he's allergic to "nuts."
  • Benny jokes that his mother definitely drank pool water when she was pregnant with him.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Sexually related humor includes the following:
  • Seeing Benny looking her over, Bridget tells him, "Don't stare at my spots, Benny, my eyes are up here."
  • Benny kisses Bridget, causing her to ask what that was, with him replying, "Just your daily dose of vitamin Benny." Later, she kisses him and those lines are reversed (with it being "vitamin Bridget").
  • After ending up in a trash truck, Nigel complains, "I've got paper up my bum," but then asks (about some paper around his waist), "Do I look trashy in this?"
  • While talking about how humans stink and don't lick themselves clean, Nigel says he can't imagine starting the day without licking himself.
  • After Nigel states he doesn't want to run anymore, Bridget says that's good, as he needs a good sports bra.
  • Nigel is asleep with his finger up his nose, mumbling, "Back off, I'm not that kind of koala bear."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's tension between Sampson and Ryan over the latter's inability to roar and Sampson complaining about him cowering when not otherwise causing trouble. Ryan then runs away (and is then carted away), causing Sampson to worry about him.
  • We see a flashback to when Sampson was just a lion cub pushed to perform at a circus by his stern father. Young Sampson can't roar and is terrified by a mechanical wildebeest that comes out from behind a door and races down a track toward him. His father is very disappointed and we then see young Sampson being trucked away to the zoo, never to see his father again.
  • Ryan worries that his dad is dead, while Sampson worries about his son after seeing him dazed by Kazar.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Animals in zoos versus the wild.
  • Ryan trying to grow up in his father's shadow.
  • Sampson admits that he's just a phony and never grew up in the wild as he's previously boasted.
  • Kazar's proclamation that his kind will no longer dwell at the bottom of the food chain and will go from prey to predator.
  • The comment that it's what's in the heart (and not where you're from) that proves who you are.
  • Benny jokes that his mother definitely drank pool water when she was pregnant with him.
  • VIOLENCE
  • As Sampson tells his son the story of how he dealt with ferocious wildebeests in the past, we see imagined views of that where the animals look mean (with evil eyes), but Sampson's roar blasts them backwards (including one that smashes face-first into large rocks).
  • Benny lands on his head and is then knocked aside, sending him flying through the air where he lands in one of Sampson's nostrils (and some comments are made about what he's doing and finding in there).
  • Nigel lands on a fence, crotch first, causing him pain.
  • Various flamingos knock Nigel aside, cause him to fly up and hit his head on a tree branch, and then step all over him as they race by.
  • Benny runs face-first into Bridget's leg.
  • Benny lands hard on the sidewalk.
  • Bridget, Sampson and others land on Benny by accident, and he appears crushed, but is okay.
  • A penguin backhands Nigel.
  • During a gazelle stampede through the zoo, they and various other animals bash into others.
  • Benny slaps a pigeon repeatedly to get him to concentrate on what he's saying.
  • Nigel accidentally knocks Benny from a moving trash truck, with the squirrel bouncing several times on the hard road.
  • Sampson and his friends stow away in a trash truck and when it suddenly comes to a stop, they all keep moving forward in the back and slam into the front side of the compartment.
  • One alligator repeatedly pops the other on the head (slapstick style).
  • After wrapping himself around a boat's steering wheel, Larry repeatedly hits his head on something as he spins around and around.
  • After Benny accidentally lands around Bridget's neck with a necklace, she panics and whips her neck around, sending him crashing into a metal wall on a ship.
  • To demonstrate what Sampson could do to a small jungle animal, Benny grabs and throttles the creature, including banging it on the head (but it's okay and Sampson won't kill and eat it).
  • A small creature turns and smacks face-first into a small plant.
  • Nigel runs into Bridget's leg.
  • Nigel hits Benny on the head with a toy Statue of Liberty torch.
  • Thinking Ryan is going to attack her child (although he isn't), a mother hippo panics and repeatedly tries to slam her large butt down onto Ryan. She eventually jumps into the air and tries to land on him, but he scurries away.
  • Confronted by some menacing wildebeests, Benny charges at them, running face first into one that then kicks him away into a large rock.
  • Kazar steps down onto a vulture's neck with his hoof (but doesn't kill his informant).
  • Several large vultures come after Ryan who's up on a tree branch. It breaks and both he and it fall to the ground where it pins him. They laugh at his attempt to roar and start coming for him, but Sampson shows up and chases them away.
  • Some wildebeests push a tree that Sampson is in, eventually causing it and him to fall off the edge of a cliff. We then see Sampson motionless on the ground below, and Benny thinks he's dead, but Sampson eventually regains consciousness.
  • When trying to kick some dung beetles, Benny flips up in the air and lands hard on the ground.
  • Disappointed in his assistant not bringing him an adult lion, Kazar kicks that assistant in the face (while he dangles from a ledge), sending him falling (but he's later okay).
  • Two chameleons repeatedly whack each other in a slapstick fashion.
  • Nigel twice hits Bridget on the head after letting the wildebeests' idolization of him go to his head.
  • Sampson and Kazar battle, with both delivering blows, including Sampson knocking off one of Kazar's horns. But Sampson then ends up dangling above a lava pool, with Kazar stomping down onto his paw. His friends, however, manage to fire off a rock that ricochets and hits Kazar on the head. Ryan is also fired at Kazar, with the cub then on Kazar's back before being knocked off and ending up dazed. Sampson and Kazar then continue to battle, with the latter kicked aside and knocked silly. Kazar then comes at Sampson who stymies his approach with a bellowing roar that eventually blasts Kazar backwards, slamming him into some large rocks. Sampson and the others then flee a volcanic eruption, with a huge boulder then falling and landing on Kazar (we don't see the impact).
  • Sampson kicks Kazar's former assistant aside so that he can show his dance moves.
  • Nigel hits a wildebeest on the head with a toy torch.
  • Benny lands on a credit (in the end credits) on his crotch.



  • Reviewed April 11, 2006 / Posted April 14, 2006

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