First of all: It's a metaphor. Secondly, it's not what it appears to be -- a kid's movie. It's also the funniest, kookiest, most inventive thing I've seen since...well I can't remember, but an awful long time. Johnny Depp voices the title character, a pet terrarium lizard who is suddenly bounced into a strange and savage desert world. He then embarks on a classic hero's quest, equal parts Dali, Castaneda, and Hunter S. Thompson -- surreal, hallucinatory, philosophical, full of darkness and absurdity. Full of wink-wink sidetracks and references (oblique and not so much) to other films. The soundtrack is fabulous too, a combined effort between Los Lobos and Hans Zimmer. Highly recommended if you like any or all of the ingredients I've mentioned. Definitely for adults and not kids. It contains profanity etc. but that's not the main reason -- I think the ideas, style, imagery and humor are just too much for most kids. The movie is intense, the themes are dark and the main villain could be terrifying to small children. I love all these elements, but they could easily add up to a less than enjoyable experience for youngsters.