Seriously, if you are offended by the idea that the environment is being polluted and manipulated by people, avoid this film. Animals United is nothing more or less than another mediocre animated film with high aspirations.
The good: Bits of satire and a few characters that work well. The film has a good score, and achieves some dramatic and fun moments as well as a few visually impressive scenes. Probably will keep your kids entertained. But not you.
The bad: Disjointed plot tries to preach a bit too much. The English dub probably destroys what humor and wit there once was in the film. The voices often seem at odds with the character's expressions and movements, and like most European kid's movies, no option for watching it in the original language with subtitles is offered. Many stereotypical characters. Like way too many kid movies, it tries to surf on tried-and-true character and situation themes, leaving you with a sense of déja vu.
A group of animals have lost their homes. A polar bear was displaced due to the ice floes melting, a pair of ancient Galapagos tortoises find their island slimed by an oil spill, a very French rooster escapes from a sadistic chef, and a kangaroo and flatulent Tasmanian devil must leave Australia because...um...motorcyclists burned the desert (I think.)
They end up in Africa later, where they meet the hero of the story (and thereafter become mostly irrelevant.)
The hero is a typical character--a meerkat who is kind of a screwball and slacker, and whose son thinks he's a loser. (Whopping cliché #1) His best friend is a lion who became a pacifist and vegetarian after a hunter shot his brother. So, anyway, one day they notice there's no more water in the water hole. Billy the Meerkat wanders off to find where it went, and discovers that the humans have built a dam so they can have a swimming pool at their resort hotel...where, coincidentally, a bunch of politicians are gathering for their 168th congress to discuss the climate and environment (without doing anything about it.)
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that by the end of the film, the animals all work together, the dam has been smashed, and they are aided by the token 'good' human, a little girl who 'Gets It.'
The film is hurt by the fact that there are way too many pointless or near-pointless characters. The polar bear hardly comes into the story. The Australian animals mainly fart and steal beer. (Or soda. It's clear-colored, but the cans are unmarked and the characters seem more like beer-drinkers!) The old tortoises mainly boringly tell each other how much they love each other, until they tell the other animals about all the destruction they've seen humans do in the past 700 years (admittedly a very powerful and dark scene) and then die to add a little pathos to the story. The rooster gets plenty of screen time, but frankly, he's SO annoying and stereotypical I could have done with less of him. There is an evil hunter who apparently only exists to shoot at animals with a nasty grin on his face.
On the other hand, Socrates the lion is quite likable. There is a chimp, who is clearly a wanna-be human, who I found to be quite the funniest character in the film. There are some visually impressive scenes, like the tortoise's story, the breaking dam, and the blue whale. And every now and then there will be a sequence that wakes you up and makes you feel like you are not completely wasting the time you spend watching Animals United.
But if you are looking for a gentle way to break your kids in to foreign films, PLEASE start them with something better. I can strongly recommend: A Fish Tale (AKA Help, I'm a Fish) (Swedish, I think), the Dragon Hunters movie (French), The Secret of Kells (Irish/Belgian), Spirited Away (or any other Miyazaki movie) (Japanese)