I went to a screening of Alpha and Omega 3D on Tuesday and I’ll start with the positive: My kids thought it was funny and want to see it again. The movie, which opens Friday, is about two wolves, an Alpha and an Omega, who are taken by the forest service and introduced in another park to reproduce. Now here’s what I think. Why couldn’t it have just been a cute movie about two wolves going on an adventure?
It seemed like a perfect follow-up to our family trip to Yellowstone. We saw a wolf midway through our 10 day trip in August. Cars had stopped and dozens of onlookers were watching a wolf through binoculars and zoom lenses. There were other wolves we didn’t see and the rumor was they were hunting an animal.
On our way to the screening I reminded my boys, ages 5 and 6, that we had just seen so many magnificent animals and now we’re seeing a movie (at 7:30, the night before their second day of school. No parenting awards here) about the same animals. But these weren’t the same animals. They were sarcastic animals trying to hook up with each other. It didn’t seem appropriate for the kids the movie was targeting. It was PG, I know, but it seemed overly provocative and not very funny. I’m not a prude, but it’s billed as a cartoon movie not a teen comedy.
One thing I did like was that the toughest characters in the movie were the women. The Alpha wolf Kate, who was competent and smart, must save the day by marrying another alpha from a warring tribe of wolves. Kate’s mother has a strange sickly sweet voice, but makes frightening threats to anyone who messes with her kids.
If my kids were older they probably would have understood more of the jokes about falling in love and mating, but it was over their heads. And like I said, they loved it.