Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Early Man (Spoilers) Adoption Movie Review

Dug’s prehistoric tribe has been displaced by the greedy Lord Nooth, who declares that the Bronze Age has begun. Dug convinces his tribe – and Lord Nooth – to make a deal: the civilizations will play a match of soccer. If Dug’s tribe wins, they get their land back. If they lose, they’ll be lifelong slaves in Lord Nooth’s mines. Dug’s confidence is shaken when he learns that, although his ancestors invented the game of soccer, they were very bad at it.


The Adoption Connection

Dug learns about his (ancient) family history, and struggles to see that it doesn’t define his future.
Some viewers may relate to Dug’s tribe being displaced by a richer, more powerful, “outsider” society. They may also relate to Dug’s confusion when he unexpectedly finds himself in a strange city.

Strong Points

Dug’s tribe is brave. They are inspired by Dug’s courage, and in return, encourage him when he becomes discouraged.

There’s a theme of inclusion in the film. In the Bronze city, soccer is viewed as a sacred game, and is limited to men. Dug’s team benefits from contributions from two different players who wouldn’t have been allowed to play under the Bronze city’s rules.


A cruel character tells the displaced Dug, “You have no home. Your kind are finished on the earth.”
For a brief, sad moment, it seems like Dug’s chief has died on screen.


Early Man is a fun, lighthearted film. Most kids will enjoy it, and it seems likely to be free of triggers for most kids. It’s possible that some kids who have felt displaced due to their involvement with the foster care system might struggle as they see the displacement of Dug’s tribe, and Dug’s overwhelming arrival in a new city, and others might be sad when it appears that Dug’s chief dies. Outside of this, this feels like a pretty safe film for all ages, and it seems most likely to be enjoyed by kids up to age 11 or 12.

Questions for Discussion

What gave Dug the courage to try to win back his home?

How did Dug feel when he found himself in the big city?

What friends did Dug depend on? Who do you depend on?

Have you ever played soccer?

Other Ideas

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