Parents' Guide to

Under the Boardwalk

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Cute musical Jersey crab adventure has mild peril, romance.

Movie PG 2023 83 minutes
Under the Boardwalk Movie Poster: Sea creatures hang off of the pole of a beach umbrella

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 5+

age 5+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

The Garden State's beaches get another moment in the spotlight in this short and surprisingly sweet musical adventure. The premise might make some viewers initially skeptical -- particularly the Jersey Shore references -- but Under the Boardwalk is like a pop-culture reference-filled take on the old 1950s and '60s teen beach movies, with musical numbers, forbidden romance, and class issues all swirling together in a family-friendly animated film. Screenwriter Lorene Scafaria (an Italian American New Jersey native) pokes fun at the Jersey identity, but there's also a palpable pride in the humor ("Holy Bon Jovi" being a favorite among the characters' exclamations).

Cera is ideally cast as the introverted Armen, and Palmer does a fine job as the braver Ramona. Funches, Bobby Cannavale, John Magaro, Steven Van Zandt, Mario Cantone, and Phil LaMarr all voice various supporting characters, with Funches and LaMarr especially noteworthy as Cera's live-in Anemone and a Jersey mobster crab named Big Sal. The songs are catchy and funny, including the big opener, "Welcome to New Jersey" and duet "Look Around." Cannavale's "More than a Meathead" is a silly but tender wish to be seen for more than his crab's big, bronzed muscles. Like that song, the movie is more than meets the eye and makes for a fun family pick.

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