This Walden Media production builds on the studio’s earlier film adaptation of “Holes” – an intriguing family favorite also based on a popular book for young adults, but which brings a more unusual, quirky sensibility to the genre than the formulaic but still winning “Winn-Dixie.” Those looking for a good double feature are advised to pick up both titles on DVD (distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) and discover their own preferences.

AUDIENCE:  Older children and up

OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Frank discussion of one character’s alcoholic past, and a reference to the role of alcohol in the choice Opal’s mom makes to leave the family
  • Language/Profanity:  A talking bird mimics his human companion, repeating such lines as “Shut up!” and “Idiot!”; Otis says, “I’ll be damned”; Preacher refers to man falling “on his butt”; Opal calls two boys taunting her “booger eaters”; a woman says “war is hell,” and a shocked young girl interjects, “‘Hell’ is a cuss word!” “‘War’ is, too,” the woman responds. On a more positive note, two characters are shown praying, and one explicitly addresses her prayer to the “Dear Lord and Heavenly Father,” and asks her requests “in Your name.”
  • Sex/Nudity:  None, but a buffoonish police officer has his pants stripped off at one point, leaving him in his underwear.
  • Violence:  Animal-control officers capture Winn-Dixie, but the dog is quickly released
  • Family Issues:  Opal’s mother has abandoned the family for reasons that aren’t made clear until late in the film