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The Wild | 2006 | G | - 2.3.1

Animated film about a lion cub in the Bronx zoo that's desperate to experience the wild, after listening to its father talk about incredible adventures. The little lion figures out a way to escape, but does not expect the difficulties it will encounter. Its father, along with a giraffe, an anaconda, a koala, and a squirrel try to follow. With the voices of Kiefer Sutherland, Eddie Izzard, James Belushi, Janeane Garofalo and William Shatner. Directed by Steve 'Spaz' Williams. [1:34]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A giraffe kisses a squirrel, and a squirrel kisses a giraffe.
 A male squirrel swoons when it sees a female giraffe that it likes romantically, and it offers a candy necklace as a gift.
 A female giraffe says to a squirrel, that's admiring it, "Don't stare at my spots, my eyes are up here." A male koala talks about licking itself frequently.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - Wildebeests chase a lion into a tree, they push the tree over a cliff, and the tree and the lion fall to the ground below (we see the lion motionless and pinned under the tree).
 A lion and a wildebeest fight: the lion is thrown over a ledge toward boiling lava, it grabs on, the wildebeest steps on its paw, slips but does not end up in the lava.
 A towering wildebeest with glowing red eyes (it looks demonic) leers at a lion and snorts smoke; the lion roars loudly and the wildebeest is blown away by the sound. Many wildebeests charge a lion, trap it, surround it, and the lion roars and the sound blows the wildebeests back and away (one is thrown into a rock formation and another is blown into it, poking it in the backside with its horns). A wildebeest charges a lion, the lion roars and the sound pushes the wildebeest back against a stone wall, and it falls and many rocks fall on top of it.
 Wildebeests surround two lions and threaten to eat them. Wildebeests talk about wanting to be at the top of the food chain and that they will transform themselves from prey to predators. A wildebeest says to, "prepare them for sacrifice" about several animals.
 A lion holds a small animal in its paw and moves it toward its mouth to eat it, but does not. Several animals hide in a garbage truck, the truck begins to crush the contents and the animals are nearly crushed as well (the crusher stops just in time).
 A wildebeest is hit by a stalactite and falls, but it gets up again. A wildebeest is kicked over a ledge, it hangs on for a moment and then falls (it is OK).
 Three snarling, frothing dogs chase several zoo animals into a dead-end alley and approach them threateningly (the animals jump down a sewer drain and escape). A lion cub is pecked at by vultures (they then stop and fly away). A lion cub is nearly trampled by an elephant that rears up. Two alligators snap and growl at several zoo animals (they do not attack them).
 Many gazelles stampede through many other animals that are gathered around a frozen pond, and the gazelles slide on the ice knocking others down. A lion cub is frightened by jungle sounds, and it runs and hides in a tree where vultures watch with interest. Animals panic and run in circles yelling.
 A hippopotamus tries to sit on a lion cub that's talking to a baby hippo. A lion cub is locked in a large crate that is pulled away by a truck (it cries for help) and loaded onto a large ship. A squirrel falls off the back of a truck and onto the road (it lies unconscious but is OK).
 A giraffe slips on ice and falls on a squirrel squishing it (the squirrel is OK). A penguin hits a koala in the face. A koala hits a giraffe in the head twice. A pigeon is slapped across the face several times when it panics about news of danger.
 A koala is grabbed by several monkeys, which pull on the koala and tease it. A koala punches and head-butts a stuffed koala doll. A squirrel trying to steal candy from a baby is flung into a lion's den and becomes lodged in a lion's nostril.
 A squirrel is slammed into a boat's chimney and slides to the floor. A squirrel is thrown onto a large stone. A koala is knocked into a fence pole and stepped on by a flamingo. A koala falls and straddles a fence railing. A lion eats raw meat shaped like a rabbit.
 An animal talks about a spider eating its mate. People laugh at a lion cub when it is unable to roar loudly. A father and son yell at each other in a couple of scenes.
 An animal uses the bathroom in the jungle and other animals react to the odor. Dung beetles roll large balls of dung and one rolls a squirrel, thinking that it is also dung. A turtle flatulates. A koala asks for wipes after a scary encounter, as if it might have had an accident. A koala sleeps with its finger in its nose.
 At the end of the movie the screen closes to a ring in the center that squeezes around the neck of a wildebeest (it coughs and gags) and a koala hits it in the head to free it. Several animals try to drive a tug boat, and they nearly crash into two very large ships. A volcano rumbles and spurts lava and looks threatening.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 4 mild anatomical terms (bum), name-calling (crazy, stupid).


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SUBSTANCE USE - None.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Disappointment, embarrassments, growing up, parental responsibility, the wild, failure, inter-species relationships, prophecies, animal sacrifice, moral issues, fatherhood, excitement, romance, friendship, inferiority, instincts, danger, taking risks, father/son relationships, truth, honesty.

MESSAGE - Don't be in a rush to grow up. We can't fight what's in our nature.

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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