Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Short on plot but long on charm, BUDDY will delight animal lovers of all ages. It's based on a true story set in the 1920s about wealthy, childless Trudy Lintz (Rene Russo), who lives with her pediatrician husband, Bill (Robbie Coltrane), on a lush estate with a menagerie of pets - dogs, cats, geese, a parrot and two adorable chimpanzees. When the local zoo calls on Trudy for advice on how to care for a newborn sick gorilla, she decides to bring him home. Placed in a crib beside Trudy's bed, the baby recovers and assumes that Trudy is his mother. She names him Buddy and he becomes a permanent family member, creating laughs and mayhem. He and the two chimps are dressed in children's clothes and live in separate cages, each with a bed, draperies and toys any human child would love. They even eat at the table with mom and dad and have their own nanny, a young man (Alan Cumming) who also loves animals. When Trudy is invited to bring the three primates to the Chicago World's Fair, she has her own pavilion. But Buddy is becoming difficult to handle because of his size and strength, forcing Trudy to make some hard choices. Although Buddy is actually a creation of Jim Henson's Creature Shop, he's so life-like that it doesn't detract from the film. BUDDY is a refreshing alternative to the summer blockbuster action movies.

Bill supports his eccentric wife, never objecting to her obsessive indulgence in her pets. When Trudy finally realizes Buddy must live in the wild, she creates a huge wild life park so that he will be safe and happy. A very subtle reference to Buddha is made when she decides to call the gorilla Buddy, but there is no other mention of any religion. Buddy becomes frustrated and confused with crowds at the World's Fair and breaks away, terrifying onlookers as he races through the throng. From then on, he becomes increasingly moody and angry at being confined, even turning on Trudy. Her arm is broken and furniture and dishes smashed before Buddy is subdued. There's no foul language except for one exclamatory profanity, although in one superfluous scene the pediatrician reassures a parent over the phone that her child's inappropriate touching of himself is normal. Except for the gorilla's two rampages that might upset the very young, BUDDY provides wholesome family entertainment

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Once (Oh my God)
Violence: Few times-Moderate (gorilla terrorizes crowd, breaks woman's arm, causes property destruction)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once (doctor discusses child's inappropriate touching with parent)
Drug Abuse: Some alcohol drinking; chimpanzee and caretaker get drunk
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Ages 5 and older

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