Story

Adventures in Zambezia is the animated tale of Kai (voiced by Jeremy Suarez), an adolescent falcon eager for adventure. Kai’s overprotective father, Tendai (voiced by Samuel L Jackson), has other ideas. He puts strict limits on how far his son is allowed to go, fearing that Kai will get hurt, as his mother was years earlier. Frustrated by his father’s restrictions, Kai rebels and runs away from home.

Kai travels to the infamous bird metropolis of Zambezia, which dazzles him. Meanwhile, Tendai comes across Budzo (voiced by Jim Cummings), a large and menacing lizard. Budzo is plotting with his allies to get to Zambezia and eat all the birds that live there.

While in Zambezia, Kai finds many colourful friends and has many adventures. He also meets a pretty young bird called Zoe (voiced by Abigail Breslin). But when trouble starts brewing, Kai discovers a hidden secret about his past. He is forced to grow up so he can protect those he loves.

Themes

Death of a parent; running away from home; cruelty to animals; animals killing and eating other animals

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • Some scary birds chase a stork that is trying to save a family of baby birds in the middle of a storm. One of the birds chasing the stork gets into a fight. The bird is pushed off a cliff and falls to his death. His brother is very upset about this.
  • Budzo and his mates capture some cute and helpful weaver birds and force them to weave a bridge. Budzo keeps the birds captive in cages in a dark cave, where Tendai is also a prisoner.
  • An army of lizards enter Zambezia and try to eat all the birds. A fight breaks out between the birds and the lizards. They punch and throw each other around.
  • We hear that Budzo ate Kai’s mother when Kai was a baby.
  • At the end of the movie, Budzo and Zoe fall from a cliff. Everyone is shocked and upset. Kai rescues Zoe at the last minute. Budzo isn’t seen again.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example, Budzo is a very scary and menacing character. He treats those around him very cruelly. 

From 5-8

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by Budzo and upset by Tendai’s imprisonment. 

From 8-13

Nothing of concern 

Over 13

Nothing of concern 

Sexual references

This movie has some sexual references. For example:

  • Kai and Zoe flirt mildly.
  • Ezee chats up two female birds at a hairdressing salon and talks about their beauty. The two birds, however, leer at Kai and ask who the new boy is. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

None of concern 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Adventures in Zambezia is the animated tale of a young bird looking for adventure, who finds more than he bargained for. Zambezia turns out to be a place that holds secrets from his past and endless possibilities for adventure.

Although the movie has a G-rating, some scenes and characters are likely to disturb children under five years and also some older children. Therefore we recommend parental guidance for children under eight years. The evil Budzo and his mates might be particularly scary for young children. The 3D version of the movie makes the violent and scary scenes more intense.

The main messages from this movie are about the value of family loyalty and standing by those you love.

You could also talk with your children about the following issues:

  • How birds really live: is the bird behaviour in the movie true to life?
  • How the food chain works and how the big lizards eat the birds.