Is Rescued by Ruby OK for Kids? - Movie Review and Parent's Guide

Rescued by Ruby. Grant Gustin as Daniel O’Neil in Rescued by Ruby. Cr. Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix © 2021

Rescued by Ruby is a true story of a shelter dog turned hero - a definite underdog story about learning to believe in and trust yourself and others.  Rated G, Rescued by Ruby is the newest family film to find on Netflix, but there are a few things parents may want to know about before tuning in with their little ones.  

Rescued by Ruby - Movie Review

Rescued by Ruby. Grant Gustin as Daniel in Rescued by Ruby. Cr. Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix © 2022

Rescued by Ruby is a classic "who rescued who?" tale.  Ruby is a border collie mix at an animal shelter in Rhode Island who is having a hard time finding just the right home.  Being a bit of a free spirit and having difficulty learning to trust humans, Ruby finds herself without a family to take a chance on her and is one night away from being put down.  In walks a young Rhode Island trooper with aspirations of becoming a part of the K-9 team.  Only problem?  He needs a dog.  Ruby and Dan decide to take a chance on each other.  What follows isn't always easy, but along the way the pair learn a lot about family, trust, and confidence. 

The star of the film is no doubt Ruby, who is actually named Bear in real life.  Be sure to stick around for the end credits to see some cute behind-the-scenes footage of the adorable animal actor.  I have to say that I really enjoyed this film.  Netflix has given us some great family films in recent years and the tradition continues here.  Rescued by Ruby has great pacing, solid acting (by both humans and animals!), a compelling story, and unleashes all the feels.  As a G-rated movie, this is one that doesn't feel like it was made just for kids - but for families too.

Rescued by Ruby - Parent's Guide

Rescued by Ruby. (L to R) Teodoro Tanahill as Finn, Kaylah Zander as Melissa in Rescued by Ruby. Cr. Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix © 2022

With a G-rating it should be pretty clear that this one is safe for kids, but there are a few aspects of the film that parents may want to know about before watching with kids.  I tuned in with my 7 year (and our 2 dogs) for movie night.  He was really "into" the movie, asking questions about a few of the topics covered in the movie.  Obviously with Dan and Ruby aspiring to be part of the elite K-9 team, there are discussions about what dogs search for - human cadavers, drugs, missing persons, etc.  Rescued by Ruby also includes a scene where a young boy goes missing in the woods which was a bit scary for my son.

There are also some dog storylines in the movie that may be noteworthy to sensitive kids.  Ruby is just a day away from being "put down."  My son didn't know much about rescues and kill shelters which led to some questions and concerns about why people would kill dogs.  There is also part of the movie where a dog is missing which gets pretty emotional.  He started crying, worried about the dog and feeling every emotion with the owner. . .and I may have shed a few tears as well.  There were definitely scenes where we hugged our dogs a little tighter as we watched. 


Rescued by Ruby. Cr. Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix © 2022

Despite these references, there is nothing overt in the film that makes it inappropriate for children - you don't see any dogs put down (a Sarah McLachlan narrated commercial is actually far worse) and there is only a small amount of blood in one scene.  It's a film we were able to enjoy together for a mommy/son movie night and I know my youngest looks forward to watching it again.  

About Rescued by Ruby (From Netflix)

State trooper Dan (Grant Gustin) dreams of joining the K-9 Search & Rescue team, but no one will give him the chance. Shelter dog Ruby dreams of having a home, but is running out of hope. When fate brings Dan and Ruby together, it's their unshakable bond that helps them face their toughest challenge yet. Based on a true story.

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