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The Call of the Wild | 2020 | PG | – 1.5.1

content-ratingsWhy is “The Call of the Wild” rated PG? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some violence, peril, thematic elements and mild language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes an embrace and a shirtless man; several frightening scenes in the wild with animals and humans trying to survive against nature, a man is shot and is left with a fatal, bloody wound, an avalanche threatens a team of sled dogs and their humans, a woman and a dog fall through frozen river ice and are trapped briefly, dogs are abused by a man that beats them with a club and whips them, and we hear about the death of a man’s son; and some name-calling and other mild language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


Based on the novel by Jack London: The narrative follows the life of a sled dog named Buck as it moves from one adventure to another during the late 19th century Yukon gold rush. With Karen Gillan, Harrison Ford, Cara Gee, Dan Stevens, Bradley Whitford, Jean Louisa Kelly and Omar Sy. Directed by Chris Sanders. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in French without translation. [Running Time: 1:40]

The Call of the Wild SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A man and a woman embrace and link arms. Dogs nuzzle together in a few scenes.
 A shirtless man bathes in a river (we see his bare chest and abdomen).


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The Call of the Wild VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A man shoots into a cabin breaking a lantern and starting a fire inside where a man tries to take cover; the gunman shoots again and the two men struggle over the gun until one man is shot (we see a bloody wound on his side and he dies later), a dog lunges at the gunman, the gunman swings a club at it and the dog grabs it and pushes the gunman into the burning cabin as it collapses on him (we see the cabin collapse).
 A woman walks gingerly on frozen water, the ice breaks and she is pulled under; a dog jumps into the hole and holds the woman on its back as it swims and breaks up through the ice to get her to the surface; the dog is pulled back under and it seems to have drowned (we see it OK later). A man breaks a crate open and a dog inside barks and lunges out of the opening; the man strikes the dog with a club and the dog falls to the floor, snarls at the man and then cowers and we see the dog tied with a rope and other dogs are seen in cages. A dog team runs next to a mountain as an avalanche bears down on them, the lead dog steers into a cave and through an ice covered area before emerging ahead of the avalanche and they run with the snow crashing behind them. Lightning flashes and thunder rumbles at night while a dog is left outside on a porch; a man calls to the dog and the dog goes toward him, chases a treat into a crate and is taken away, placed on a train and transferred to another train before being unloaded after days without food or water. A dog lunges at another dog and bites it several times, the second dog whimpers and we see it being thrown around and eventually it lies motionless on the ground and the other dog kicks snow on its face; it revives and charges the other dog, lifting it into the air and slamming it on the ground where it presses its paw against its neck until it relents and walks away alone. A dog team struggles to pull a heavy sled up a snow-covered hill and one dog collapses from the strain causing the sled to slide back down; a man holds a gun on the exhausted dog and another man stops him. A man raises a club to strike a dog trying to pull a heavy sled and another man stands between them. A man whips dogs to make them pull harder (we hear them whimper). A man and a dog paddle along a river in a canoe, they go over a waterfall and through rapids (they are jostled around but are OK) and they end up having to abandon the canoe because it sprouts a leak. A dog chases timberwolves and encounters a bear that rears up, roars at it and slaps water with its large paws to scare the dog away. A bear roars at a dog, and the dog does not back down; the dog then barks at the bear causing it to turn and walk away.
 A man punches another man in a saloon and he falls to the floor, where the first man kicks him; a dog charges into the saloon and tackles the attacker snarling and barking at him until the dog is pulled away and the man calls for the dog to be “put down.” A man is thrown out of a saloon and into the snowy road outside. A man with a gun breaks into a man’s cabin and searches through his belongings.
 Several wolves prowl toward a wild boar and one slips on a rock and falls into a rapid running river; the wolf catches onto a fallen tree but slips under the water until a dog pulls the tree out of the water and the wolf is pulled to safety. A dog pulls against a rope tied around its neck and frees it from a wall, it runs through rooms knocking men to the floor and one man out of a hammock, and it charges through a hall and up a flight of stairs to find itself on a boat. A dog new to a sled team runs awkwardly and is bumped by the sled a few times; it runs off the path and pulls the sled and other dogs with it (there are no injuries). A dog walks across a dirt road in front of a horse-drawn carriage and the horses rear up (there are no injuries). A dog chases a man on a bicycle, and the man eventually falls off the bike and declares the dog a menace (there are no injuries). A dog chases a hare into woods and loses it when it can’t fit through a hole in a tree. A man and a dog bump into each other and the man says, “Watch yourself.” The lead dog in a sled team snarls at other dogs in a few scenes and keeps them from drinking from the same place it is drinking in one scene. A dog snarls and pulls a fish away from another dog leaving it only with the tail. A dog chases a hare and pounces on it, and then lets it go uninjured; another dog grabs it and kills it (no blood is shown but it lays in the snow motionless). A man receives word that his mail route has been cancelled and that he should sell his dogs and return to Quebec; we see the dogs in a pen and they seem sad as the man leaves. A trap snaps closed as a dog moves its face toward it (it is unharmed).
 A man writes about the death of his son and that the man and his wife grew apart and he left. A man says that his son was taken by a fever in two days. A voiceover says of a dog, “He was beaten but he was not broken.” A voiceover describes “Gold Fever” as we see a huge line of people walking up a snow-covered mountain in a heavy snowstorm. A man tells another man that the river ice will break under him and his dog team and they will all be lost. A drawing shows men being pulled on sleds by dogs through rough terrain. A man yells when a dog will not cooperate.
 A large banquet table covered with food is shown demolished after a dog has destroyed it; a man is frustrated and leaves the dog outside overnight as punishment. A dog runs through a house, knocking fragile items around, slamming into walls, shaking the floors and walls and bounces on the beds of two children to wake them; the kitchen staff hides a wide array of prepared food to keep the dog from eating it all. A woman pushes a large dog out of a kitchen and closes the door on it. A man drags a dog out of a house and leaves it on the porch. A dog smacks another dog in the face with its tail. A dog tries to get a collar and harness off and gets its paws stuck under the collar causing it to topple over. A dog collapses into snow after pulling a sled for the first time and a woman says, “I think your dog is broken.” A dog pushes a woman out of a tent at night and she wakes up and shoves it out of the tent and into the snow. Several dogs pulling a sled crash into a pile of snow and we see them and the two passengers covered with snow (there are no injuries) and the contents of the sled is strewn around.
 A man on a boat deck is shown being shaved by another man using an axe. A shirtless man bathes in a river and exclaims at the frigid temperature of the water. A couple of scenes show dogs lifting their legs (no urine is seen). A man holds a harmonica for a dog to blow into it, and then takes it back (we see the dog’s spittle on the instrument), wipes it on his shirt and blows into it himself. Dogs hunt pheasants and fish and we see a couple dead with bloody spots on them.


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The Call of the Wild LANGUAGE 1

 – 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (menace, lazy mutts, old prospector, fool), exclamations (jeez, son of a …). | profanity glossary |


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The Call of the Wild SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man drinks from a glass of whiskey in a few scenes, a bottle of whiskey is seen on a table next to a man who is drinking, a man holds a bottle of whiskey, a dog takes a bottle of whiskey and sits on it so that a man cannot drink any longer, a man orders whiskey at a saloon and takes a bottle, and a man pours out what’s left of a bottle of whiskey.


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The Call of the Wild DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Adventures, dog and human relationships, gold, greed, family, legends, a sense of belonging, the death of a child, exploring undiscovered places.

The Call of the Wild MESSAGE

 – Find your place and live life to the fullest.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

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