Katak, the Brave Beluga parents guide

Katak, the Brave Beluga Parent Guide

Virtually devoid of the vaguest of plots, this movie is incapable of entertaining a theater full of preschoolers.

Overall C

Theaters: Katak, a young beluga whale, sets off on a journey to the Arctic to fulfill his grandmother's last wish. (Canadian theaters only.)

Release date February 25, 2023

Violence A-
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is Katak, the Brave Beluga rated PG? The MPAA rated Katak, the Brave Beluga PG

Run Time: 82 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Katak (Alexandre Bacon), a curious young beluga whale, still has his grey infant color, while all his peers have turned white. Determined not to let his delayed development slow him down, Katak sets out on a perilous journey to the Arctic to fulfill his ailing grandmother’s last wish.

Sometimes a film comes along that is so bland, so boring, so beyond explanation that I enter a mental state outside of time and space only to emerge, blinking in the bright lights of the theater lobby, unsure of where I am or how much time has passed. That was my experience today. I have never seen a theater full of kids as restless as our fellow audience. Kids were walking around, talking, and just generally fidgeting. I don’t mean that the children were badly behaved; they were just all bored. If you can’t keep young children entertained in a theater, you have no business making movies for kids.

I almost feel like critiquing this film is a cheap shot: it doesn’t stand a chance. But I will. For art’s sake. On a fundamental level, the story structure makes no sense. And I’m being kind by saying there is a story structure. This “story” feels more like a barely connected string of vignettes with no rhyme nor reason relating to the events that take place. The peril is extremely manufactured to the point that I could probably fit an elephant through the plot holes. The screenwriters set up a mystery in the beginning that is never actually solved even though it’s supposedly a big deal. There is zero sense of distance or scale to be found. Characters travel all day, but then are caught up to by other characters who just left the original spot within a matter of minutes.

The one positive aspect to this production is there is almost no negative content to speak of, aside from some mild peril and name calling. But that’s not enough to make this worth your time. There are some general positive messages around being courageous and not judging by appearances, but they’re not strong enough to make up for the film’s multitudinous flaws. I appreciate the effort by a small Quebec-based studio, but I can’t recommend that’s incapable of keeping preschoolers entertained for 80 minutes. A cardboard box can do that – and it’s cheaper and quieter.

Directed by Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay. Starring Alexandre Bacon, Arthur Holden, Wyatt Bowen. Running time: 82 minutes. Theatrical release February 25, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Katak, the Brave Beluga

Katak, the Brave Beluga
Rating & Content Info

Why is Katak, the Brave Beluga rated PG? Katak, the Brave Beluga is rated PG by the MPAA

Violence: There are a few scenes of mild peril.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There is some mild name calling.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.

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Katak, the Brave Beluga Parents' Guide

How does Katak feel about his grey coloring? How do his friends and family treat him because of it? How does this perception change?

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Preschoolers who are fascinated by whales will love Raffi’s book, Baby Beluga. (You can listen to the song version here.) Also appealing to youngsters is Hello, Baby Beluga by Darrin Lunde.

Elementary school readers will find plenty of information in Beluga Whales by Victoria Blakemore. Beluga Whales for Kids by Rachel Smith is also full of information for curious kids.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

If your kids enjoy animated movies about the underwater world, we suggest The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Ponyo, Finding Dory, Luca, Seal Team,