The Wild Parent Guide
A rebellious young lion sneaks out of the zoo to go live in The Wild.
Parent Movie Review
Don’t be surprised if you feel like deja vu at the zoo in the animal epic, The Wild. Like the 2005 film, Madagascar, this script includes a cast of well-fed, pampered beasts who live behind bars in the middle of the city. But lounging in the lap of luxury with ready-made meals and adoring fans has left one teenaged cub longing for more excitement.
Confident that life in the wild would be better than what he has, Ryan (voice of Greg Cipes) ignores the repeated warnings of Samson, his father (voice of Kiefer Sutherland), and climbs into a large, metal box outside the animal compound. Before he knows it, the disgruntled cub is locked in, crated up and shipped off to some remote location.
Intent on saving his son from a long trip overseas, Samson sneaks out of the zoo. But his covert operation is botched when he discovers he has an entourage. Along with his best pal, Benny the squirrel (voice of James Belushi), Samson also has to watch out for Nigel the cranky Koala (voice of Eddie Izzard), Bridget the long-legged giraffe (voice of Janeane Garofalo) and Larry the dim-witted anaconda (voice of Richard Kind).
However, even with his helpers in tow, bringing his boy home proves to be more difficult than Samson supposed. Trekking through the alligator-infested sewers of New York City, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a tugboat, and fighting off depraved wildebeests are only some of the adventures this dedicated dad endures.
While the explosion in computer animation technology allows the film’s creators the chance to focus on the minutest details of these animals, the story has several familiar themes. Ryan’s defiant attitude lands him in a lot of trouble and causes plenty of parent-child angst between the teen and his single father. Yet despite his willful disobedience, he is quick to call Dad to come to the rescue. Like the militaristic hyenas in The Lion King, this film’s secondary characters also include a herd of wildebeest under the command of a deranged leader, Kazar (voice by William Shatner).
Still, if you’re willing to watch recognizable scenarios disguised with new faces and musical scores, The Wild won’t disappoint. Preaching well-known messages on family commitment and courage in the face of danger, it locks up all the essential life lessons in just over an hour.Starring Greg Cipes, Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Belushi. Theatrical release April 12, 2006. Updated September 19, 2014
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Wild rated G? The Wild is rated G by the MPAA
Life in the zoo offers plenty of perks for most of the animals. However, they are also subject to repeated depictions of comedic violence. During a sporting event, several animals are punched, kicked and squashed. Escaping from the zoo, Samson and his pals are chased by a pack of wild dogs and threatened by two alligators. A hippo tries to protect her young by sitting on an enemy. A herd of wildebeest, under the influence of a crazed leader, kidnaps several characters and prepares to sacrifice them. Animals also experience peril when they are pushed over a cliff, knocked into a rock wall and attacked by others. As well, the script includes crude portrayals of bodily functions, some mild sexual comments about body parts and a number of references to a character’s status as a god.
Page last updated September 19, 2014
More parents' guide for The Wild after the break...
The Wild Parents' Guide
Despite all the comforts Ryan and his father experience, why is the cub so unhappy with his situation? Why does he think living in the wild would be better?
How does the father/son relationship change during their adventure? What does Ryan learn about courage and the responsibilities of growing up?