A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape from Paradise

  • Review Date: September 22, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Undersea adventure takes on bullies, supports teamwork.
  • Review Date: September 22, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn about various kinds of sea life, from sea turtles (both green and leatherback) to blobfish, hogfish, and octopus. The sea turtle's life cycle isn't as prominent as in the first movie, but little kids will watch as older turtles help hatchlings reach the water.

Positive messages

This is a story of friendship and family and of overcoming the odds to save those you love. The movie also stresses that bullies come in all shapes and sizes and aren't always the biggest or most threatening-looking characters.

Positive role models

Sammy and Ray do everything they can to save their grandkids and later to help the entire aquarium full of sea animals to escape their imprisonment. There's some stereotyping with accents -- exaggerated Spanish accents for the hogfish and a bully that sounds like a mafia don.

Violence & scariness

The moment the turtles get caught in the net is rather scary, similar to Finding Nemo. Then, in the aquarium, the seahorse Big D acts like a mob boss and has dissenters "iced" by having them thrown into the freezing waters where the penguins live. An otherwise harmless shark puts a smaller sea animal into his mouth but doesn't kill him. The juvenile sea turtles are chased by an underwater predator.

Sexy stuff

The hogfish couple is very affectionate and kissy-kissy with each other. Ray and Sammy embrace their mates.

Language

Occasional insults include "dumb," "loser," and "stupid."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Most of the movie's action takes place at an upscale aquarium restaurant where adults drink cocktails with dinner and at the bar. Bartenders make a lot of showy cocktails for diners.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Turtle's Tale 2 is the sequel to the Belgian animated adventure A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures and includes some scary scenes and characters, a villainous (albeit small) bully, and a lot more alcohol than is usually depicted in kids' movies. The alcohol is courtesy of the setting: an upscale underwater restaurant/aquarium, where bartenders make lots of cocktails for adult diners. There's also some romance between animal mates, as with the hogfish and the protagonist turtles when they reunite with their wives. Young kids will learn about various sea animals and their life cycles.

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What's the story?

Sage old green sea turtle Sammy (Billy Unger) and his best friend, leatherback turtle Ray (Carlos McCullers II), are protecting their hatchling grandturtles as they make their way to the sea when out of nowhere a group of poachers captures them and two of the baby turtles, Ricky (Carter Hastings) and Ella. The older turtles land in a huge tank that's part of an upscale restaurant's underwater aquarium. They immediately want to find a way to break out, but the tank is "run" by a mob boss-like seahorse, Big D. Meanwhile, Ricky and Ella manage to escape and are left on their own to attempt to save their grandpas.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although the animals are sometimes strangely anthropomorphized (the adult turtles look a bit like bald elderly humans with shells, and the hogfish have overly stereotypical Spanish accents), this story is easy for kids to understand and allows for intergenerational saving of the day. The two grandfather turtles are on a mission to escape their aquarium prison and get back to their hatchlings, and the juvenile turtles are desperate to help free their grandfathers.

The aquarium story line provides a good starting point for discussing bullies -- the one in the movie being a wee but fierce little seahorse, who sounds like a New York City mafia don -- and stressing the idea that, with the right amount of teamwork and persistence, even the very difficult seems doable. This isn't a Pixar-level animated film, but, for a preschool-friendly streaming rental, it has just the right mix of adventure, humor, and a good message.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the messages about friendship, family, and even dealing with bullies. How do Sammy and Ray stand up to Big D? What is their motivation for getting out of the aquarium?

  • What did you learn about the various sea animals? Which human characteristics or traits did they have?

  • How does the movie compare to the original? Does the sequel stand on its own, or do you need to be familiar with the first film to appreciate this one?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 15, 2012
DVD release date:July 9, 2013
Cast:Carter Hastings, Johnny Wesley, Thomas Lee
Directors:Ben Stassen, Vincent Kesteloot
Studio:Studio Canal
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Ocean creatures
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape from Paradise was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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