The Queen’s Corgi Parent Guide
A dog's breakfast of revolting content including attempted murder, violence against a female character, and attempted sexual assault. This is not suitable for children. And adults won't like it either
Parent Movie Review
This film is currently playing only in Canada. It opens in US theaters on March 27th, 2020.
Rex (voiced by Leo Barakat) is the Queen’s (voiced by Mari Devon) favorite corgi, which gives him the golden collar and title of Top Dog. Pride, as they say, goes before a fall, and Rex soon finds himself homeless and the newest resident of the local animal shelter. Audiences will not be surprised by any of the rest of the plot, which follows the timeworn path of a character undertaking some painful self-assessment, acquiring some humility, and finally returning home with a newfound sense of appreciation.
What will surprise viewers of The Queen’s Corgi is the dog’s breakfast of serious content issues in this film, including sexual assault being portrayed in a comic light, violence against women, and attempted murder.
The innuendo regarding sexual assault comes early in the film. President Donald Trump (voiced by Jon Culshaw) is on a state visit to Buckingham Palace and has brought his corgi, Mitzi (voiced by Sarah Hadland), who is wearing lots of makeup and a very tight, pink pussy bow blouse. To cement the two countries’ special relationship, President Trump thinks Mitzi should “Grab some puppy” and mate with Rex. An excited Mitzi (“Take me, stud muffin”) and horrified Rex are shut up together in a room with Mitzi’s pink passion wagon while Rex does his best to evade her. This is the part of the film that will appall most parents because Rex’s lack of consent is never taken seriously. When Rex runs from her, Mitzi says, “Playing hard to get. I like that.” And when Rex throws thumb tacks in front of her to slow her down, Mitzi’s response is “Wanna play rough? Cuz I sure do.” Even worse, when a desperate Rex plaintively asks, “What part of “No” don’t you understand?”, Mitzi snaps back, “The N and the O.” How this movie got made in the #MeToo era is a mystery to me. Some viewers might argue that it is simply satirizing President Trump and the accusations of sexual assault made against him. But that is fodder for news broadcasts and late night talk shows. The idea that this would be considered suitable for children leaves me both angry and incredulous.
Sadly, the content issues don’t improve when Rex runs away from the palace, after his attempts to flee from Mitzi lead him to accidentally bite President Trump in “the unmentionables”. He is then manipulated by a fellow royal corgi who lures him onto a bridge, pushes him onto the frozen river, and then drops a brick through the ice to make sure Rex drowns. When Rex later returns to the palace, the dog sets fire to the room and barricades the door. Now, while a certain amount of slapstick violence is par for the course in animated movies for kids, the cold murderousness of these scenes is far too much for young viewers.
And the violence doesn’t end with attempted murder. When Rex winds up in the animal shelter, he discovers an underground canine fight club, complete with dog fights. In one particularly chilling scene, Tyson (voiced by Ray Winstone), the bully in charge, tries to throw Rex into a furnace. But the episode that will likely upset parents most involves Tyson and his “girlfriend”, Wanda (voiced by Jo Wyatt). When Wanda decides that she prefers Rex to him, Tyson grabs her, threatens her, and raises his fist to punch her in the face. I can see no justification for exposing children to this kind of relationship violence, especially in a way that normalizes it. This is, at best, irresponsible filmmaking, and at worst, an attempt to distort children’s perceptions of what constitutes healthy, normal relationships.
Given last year’s disastrous release of Show Dogs, and the controversy around teaching a character to accept non-consensual sexual contact, I had hoped that the film industry had learned its lesson. Apparently, it hasn’t. But moviegoers have a chance to give them a repeat lesson by giving The Queen’s Corgi a royal thumbs down and avoiding this execrable production entirely. No pooper scooper is big enough to clean up the mess this movie leaves in the theater.Directed by Vincent Kesteloot & Ben Stassen. Starring Rusty Shackleford, Jo Wyatt, and Leo Barakat.. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release August 23, 2019. Updated January 11, 2020
Watch the trailer for The Queen’s Corgi
The Queen’s Corgi
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Queen’s Corgi rated Not Rated? The Queen’s Corgi is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: There are two scenes of attempted murder: in one a character pushes another off a bridge onto a frozen river and then drops a brick on the ice so his victim will drown. In the other, he sets fire to a room and barricades the door so his victim can’t escape. One character jokes that another should consider suicide. There are frequent scenes of dogs fighting: biting, choking, throwing one another into walls (causing a dog to lose his teeth in one instance). A dog tries to throw another into a furnace. Characters threaten one another with physical harm on many occasions. There is mention of “fight club”. Two animals are in a “girlfriend/boyfriend” relationship in which the male controls and threatens to physically punish the female. There are also frequent scenes of comic mayhem in which dogs fall, trip, fly through the air, and plunge off staircases; people are often involved in the mishaps. A dog bites a human character in the crotch.
Sexual Content: There are serious issues around sexual consent: a character is to be mated to another one without his consent. She is aggressive and refuses to take no for an answer: this is played for laughs. A dog shakes her heart-shaped backside at another dog. Another character sings a torch song and winds around a pole. There are jokes about a “queen” in a scene involving a transgender person.
Profanity: There is virtually no swearing, although “damned” and “bloody” are each used once. There is some name calling.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated January 11, 2020
The Queen’s Corgi Parents' Guide
Resources for protecting kids from sexual assault:
Resources for talking to kids about domestic violence:
Loved this movie? Try these books…
If your young reader loves dogs and loves to laugh, there are numerous books that will combine both. In 101 Hilarious Dog Jokes for Kids, Cesar Dunbar has come up with jokes to keep kids laughing and parents groaning.
Dog Diaries by Betsy Byars contains stories from twelve dogs from around the world and throughout history.
Kids love stories about mischief. In Bad Dog Flash, author Ruth Paul has created an easy-to-read picture book that will keep kids enthralled. Daniel Postage’s Smelly Bill will also get kids laughing with the story of an odoriferous dog who meets his match in a visiting relative.
And, of course, kids always love Gene Zion’s Harry the Dirty Dog about the pet who won’t take a bath. Kids will be happy to know that there are three more books in this series.
Related home video titles:
If you’re looking for a funnier movie about animals that’s full of that inimitable British wit, you will definitely want to watch Flushed Away. This animated classic tells the story of Roddy, a pet rat who gets flushed down the toilet and winds up with a bunch of sewer rats, trying desperately to return home.
Another dog who gets separated from his owner and has to find his way home is the central character in Bolt.
And an aristocratic canine falls in love with a scruffy stray in Lady and the Tramp.