Vick is a tour operator who’s down on his luck. He’s overjoyed when a former classmate tells him about a fun park called Wild Life and its special challenge. In the challenge, you get to wear a suit and transform into the animal of your choice, then work with your team to get through the elimination round. If you get through the final challenge, one lucky champion has the chance to win a million dollars.
Believing that money will finally solve his problems and make him happy, Vick and his friend meet at Wild Life. But Vick’s friend leaves him for a better group, so Vick quickly puts together his own rag-tag team with his real bear friend, Bramble. Bramble has followed Vick to Wild Life, along with a mysterious stranger named Leon (voice of Chris Boike).
Vick doesn’t realise that Wild Life is Leon’s project and Leon invented much of the technology that creates the transformations. But Leon isn’t there to win the competition. He wants to shut down Wild Life because its technology isn’t safe and might create permanent, scary transformations after the final challenge is complete.
Leon’s former partner and the current face of Wild Life, Tom, wants to keep the contest on track and argues that the technology is safe. But Leon’s only thoughts are of his dead daughter Lily and how his invention had made her happy. In her honour, he wants to help others find the same happiness, and he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Leon’s artificial intelligence is manipulating the show, deceiving people and ultimately trying to destroy them all.
Loss of a child; the dangers of artificial intelligence; fulfilment at any cost; the idea that having money and no human responsibilities will make you happy.
Boonie Bears: The Wild Life has some violence. For example:
- There’s frequent use of animated violence like dangerous and reckless driving where pedestrians are nearly hit. Characters crash into trees and run into each other. They also smash into rocks and fall off cliffs.
- Lightning strikes numerous characters, taking them out of the competition.
- In crazy fits of rage, transformed animals bite, gnaw, slash and attack people and things.
- Animals are shot with guns and enclosed in cubes of ice. They’re kept in a cryogenic lab but break out and cause mass destruction.
- Characters are shot at, headbutted into bushes, repeatedly smashed and kicked in the head, thrown in the air, punched, tackled and beaten.
- Buildings and property are destroyed during aggressive battle scenes in which transformed humans, posing as animals, turn on each other. When the day ends, Wild Life is destroyed.
There are no sexual references in Boonie Bears: The Wild Life.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Boonie Bears: The Wild Life.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s some mild implied nudity in Boonie Bears: The Wild Life. For example, a child notices that Bramble isn’t wearing clothes and says it’s ‘creepy’. A Wild Life employee takes Bramble away to put a suit on him.
The following products are displayed or used in Boonie Bears: The Wild Life: TikTok and WeChat.
There is no coarse language in Boonie Bears: The Wild Life.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Boonie Bears: The Wild Life is an action-packed, animated adventure although its plot is fairly predictable. It’s in Mandarin with English subtitles, so it’s best suited to native speakers or older children who are fast and confident readers of English.
This movie isn’t suitable for children under 8 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 8-12 years because of its frequent, animated violence, which has no realistic consequences.
The main messages from this movie are that true happiness is within everyone’s reach. You can’t buy happiness, but you can find it with yourself.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include teamwork, integrity, persistence, creativity and determination.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- dangerous driving
- linking happiness to what other people want, or to material things, money and fame
- trying to control the happiness and lives of others
- deceiving others and refusing to act in their best interests
- allowing computers or AI to think for us.
You could also talk about the fact that this is a Chinese movie, but most of the characters appear to be western and predominantly Caucasian.