Story

In Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life Robinson Crusoe (voice of Matthias Schweighöfer) is shipwrecked on a rocky island along with his good friend Aynsley the dog (voice of Doug Stone). Believing they’re the only survivors from their ship, Crusoe and Aynsley set out for the shore. Here some terrified creatures watch, thinking that Crusoe and Aynsley are sea monsters coming to destroy their beautiful paradise. Mack the parrot (voice of David Howard Thornton) is more adventurous than most and sets out to find out more about these ‘monsters’.

Unfortunately Crusoe and Aynsley aren’t the only survivors to reach the island. Two nasty cats, May (voice of Debi Tinsley) and Mal (voice of Jeff Doucette), also reach the shore. While Crusoe befriends the frightened island animals with the help of Mack, who he renames Tuesday, May, Mal and their kittens set out to destroy all life on the island.

Themes

Shipwrecks; survival; animals in peril; death of a pet

Violence

Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life has a lot of violence. Some of it is meant to be funny. For example, slapstick violence in the movie includes the following:

  • Mal tries to get into the chicken cage and gets his head stuck in the bars.
  • Mal and May constantly fight and May often jumps on Mal’s head.
  • Crusoe tries to fire a musket, which backfires on him and knocks him out.

There is also more serious violence in this movie, including the following:

  • A pirate kicks a cat.
  • Pirates shoot pistols indiscriminately and throw knives for fun.
  • Pirates hit Crusoe and the Captain attacks Tuesday with a large knife.
  • A cat attacks and bites Crusoe, who throws the cat down the stairs.
  • The cats are always on the attack. They attack Tuesday and pin him down before Aynsley saves him. This is a constant theme throughout the movie.
  • May, Mal and their starving kittens go on a rampage. They attack all the animals and there is a lengthy scene of fighting between the animals and the cats. It looks like their lives are in danger but no-one dies. At one point all the cats attack Crusoe.
  • Rosy the tapir accidentally knocks Crusoe out while trying to escape. The animals fire the musket at the cats, and the shot hits the treehouse where Crusoe is unconscious inside. The treehouse explodes and it looks like Crusoe is dead.
  • The pirates attack Crusoe with various weapons including swords, knives and axes.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Mal and May are very scary-looking cats. They’re scrawny and mean with evil-looking eyes.
  • The pirates all look scary. They have eyepatches, crutches and so on, and they’re loud and menacing.
  • Robinson Crusoe hangs by his belt from a hook, which is what prevents him from falling to the ground, but this isn’t obvious.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Crusoe vomits several times over the edge of a ship.
  • A huge storm hits the ship and a nearby island. Some animal friends are all scared and try to find shelter from the storm. Some fall off a cliff edge and hang from a tree. They fall but aren’t hurt.
  • The ship is tossed around in the waves and Crusoe slides all over the deck. He’s hit by several objects. He saves Aynsley from being washed overboard. Then Crusoe is hit by the ship’s mast, which knocks him unconscious. He falls to the bottom of the boat. This is quite a scary scene.
  • May starts a fire on the ship while Crusoe and Aynsley are getting supplies. The ship goes up in flames and Crusoe escapes but Aynsley dies in the fire. Crusoe buries him on the island. This is a very sad scene.
  • The scene where Crusoe is unconscious in the burning treehouse is quite scary.

From 8-13
Younger children in this age group could also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above, particularly by the scene in which Aynsley the dog dies.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life shows some use of substances. For example, the Captain and the pirates often drink rum. They force Crusoe and Tuesday to drink some.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life has mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Robinson Crusoe: The Wild Life is an animated version of the classic story. In this version, Crusoe is shown as inept and unable to survive without the help of his animal friends.

Although children are likely to enjoy the animal characters, we don’t recommend this movie for children under six years because of its frequent violence and scary scenes. Also, we recommend parental guidance for children aged 6-8 years.

This movie has some good underlying messages that you could talk about with your children. For example, the movie’s main message is that a community is made up of many different individuals who all depend on each other to survive and must work together. The movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about looking after the environment and the environmental damage that cats sometimes cause to the ecosystem.