Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet Parent Guide
This film is a fine way to introduce your kids to fantasy films - if you can overlook the uneven production quality and poor child actors.
Parent Movie Review
Best friends Scott and Emily are staying at Scott’s grandmother’s mansion when they discover a magical creature named Rufus and a wizard named Abbott. Rufus and Abbott are from another world that has been destroyed by greed and apathy, and in order to restore it, they need to gather ingredients for a spell. The four companions set out on a quest for the items, but they soon discover that they are being pursued by a witch named Lilith, who will stop at nothing to get Abbott’s spell book.
I love fantasy. When I was growing up, I had a rule that I wouldn’t read books unless they had a fantasy or sci-fi element because I didn’t see the point in reading books about real life. That said, I had very low expectations for Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet. The first ten minutes did not bode well. The writers choose to use a grandfather reading a story to his grandkids as a framing device for the actual story in an obvious rip-off of The Princess Bride. The child actors are not good and the CGI is laughably bad. However, once I adjusted to the badly rendered Rufus, and the story’s action kicked in, I started to enjoy myself. I might even admit that I liked it.
What the movie lacks in good acting and realistic effects it makes up for in story. The plot is fairly standard for a children’s fantasy: the protagonists meet a magical creature, go on a quest, overcome obstacles, and defeat evil. There are no major twists or surprises; the writers are not trying to subvert expectations or reinvent the genre. And that’s what makes this film a great introduction to the fantasy genre for a young audience. It has a lot of heart, and a few great messages that I think are important. One of the main themes is that we need to take care of our earth, because it’s the only one we’ve got. Another is the importance of courage in the face of obstacles. It’s refreshing to see a straightforward fantasy story unburdened by trying to build a cinematic universe or sell merchandise. If you’ve been wanting to introduce your young ones to the genre, this is a good option.
I have very few content concerns for this movie. There is fantasy action, of course, which involves some moments of minor peril and fighting (mostly with magic). My three-year-old watched it with me and he said it wasn’t scary, aside from one jump scare. The fire breathing dragon might be a little intense for the more sensitive viewer. I think this production was done with kids in mind, because the action is pretty tame, and never moves beyond what the story needs. I wouldn’t bet on your teen being super into Adventures of Rufus, but for kids this is a fun watch, and it’s decent enough that adults won’t mind sitting through it.
In the words of my three-year-old: “I liked watching the mousey fight the fossil.”Directed by Ryan Bellgardt. Starring Ryan Gellgardt, Cory Phillips, Leah NH Philpott, Evan Assante, Madelyn Kientz. Running time: 82 minutes. Theatrical release May 26, 2020. Updated August 31, 2020
Watch the trailer for Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet
Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet
Rating & Content Info
Why is Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet rated PG? Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet is rated PG by the MPAA for fantasy action and mild language
Violence: Fantasy action. Wizards fight each other with magic, a crocodile lunges at a character, a living dinosaur skeleton attacks several characters, kids are captured and tied with ropes, characters are knocked out by magic, the characters battle a fire breathing dragon.
Sexual Content: A boy kisses a girl on the cheek.
Profanity: A handful of insults including “idiots”, “stupid”, and “turds”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None
Page last updated August 31, 2020
Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet Parents' Guide
Abbott warns Scott and Emily that our world could suffer the same fate as his if we do not take care of it. How can we take care of our earth? What are the consequences if we don’t?
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