Under Wraps Parent Review
Kids’ animations seem to have taken on a darker tone in the recent past. Movies like ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and even Toy Story 3 all include perilous situations and some heavier themes. The direct-to-DVD movie Under Wraps doesn’t go there.
This is the story of a clichéd modern-day family, with two distracted working parents, a teenage daughter tethered to her cell phone and a younger brother who can’t stay out of trouble. They temporarily live in a travel trailer on an archaeological site in the Egypt while Mom and Dad study the inside of an ancient tomb. Eleanor has been tasked with watching her younger brother Danny. But she is preoccupied with finding cell phone reception in the middle of the desert. Without any attentive supervision, Danny gives into his inquisitive inclinations and sneaks into the tomb where he makes off with an amulet.
His thievery sets in motion a series of unfortunate events, beginning with the mummification of his parents. Stumbling upon a spell to reverse the ancient curse, Eleanor and Danny discover they only have a short time to learn to work together before their parents will be forced to remain in wraps forever.
To say this script doesn’t have moments of peril would be untrue. Sure, there’s a gigantic mummified Pharaoh that chases the family through the streets of their hometown. And a couple of police officers (the stereotypically stupid kind) threaten the kids as well. But this is sheer Saturday morning cartoon fare—at least the kind of Saturday morning cartoons I grew up with. While the movie does include a bit of name-calling between siblings, an evil assistant and some moments of rude humor, there’s no heavy agenda in this script or deep, menacing messages about the end of the world.
Instead this is a tale about a family that learns to appreciate one another, the importance of obedience and the unexpected delight of occasionally putting down digital devices and living in the real world.Directed by Gordon Crum. Starring Brooke Shields, Drake Bell, Matthew Lillard. Running time: 48 minutes. Updated October 14, 2014
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Under Wraps here.
Under Wraps Parents Guide
What does Eleanor discover about her family after she gets off of her phone? Does she have any real life friends or only digital ones? Is it important to have a balance between online and off-line activities?
What danger does Danny put his family in when he refuses to obey his parents’ instructions?
One character in this movie plans to profit from stealing ancient artifacts and selling them to the highest bidder. Should private collectors be able to own these items? Who do you think they should belong to? What is the most interesting artifact you have ever seen?