Beethoven's 2nd

  • Review Date: April 15, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Near-date rape, teen drinking mar canine sequel.
  • Review Date: April 15, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

At first, the children lie to teachers and parents to avoid going to school in favor of trying to take care of four puppies, but when the lie is found out, they realize they still need to balance school with the huge responsibilities required to take care of pets.

Positive role models

Despite lying to avoid school, the kids eventually learn the responsibility required to take care of pets in the home.

Violence

At a party in a lake house, a teen boy who has been drinking leads a teen girl he goes to high school with to an upstairs bedroom. He locks her in the room and tells her, "Relax. This is going to be an experience you're never going to forget." This seemingly near-date rape is averted when Beethoven rips down a load-bearing beam, causing the house to collapse. The antagonists threaten to drown puppies. Aside from this, comedic pratfalls abound: Characters are frequently slipping and falling in Beethoven's (and his newborn puppies') wake. One of these puppies is thrown off a skateboard and flies high into the air before landing in a garbage can filled with grass clippings. A man gets hit in the groin by a stick. A woman falls off a wooden bridge into mud.

Sex

A little girl asks her father how babies are made; the father goes into a stammering explanation involving "eggs" and "tadpoles."

Language

"Hell," and a boy commands his dog to bite a bully "in the wiener."

Consumerism

A trip to McDonald's by Beethoven and his family is prominently featured, as the family argues over which McDonald's food product to order while Beethoven barks in his own order for a cheeseburger and signs for McDonald's are shown throughout. During a burger-eating contest that matches dogs and their owners at a county fair, signs for Milk-Bone dog biscuits are prominently featured in the background.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

At a lake house, dozens of teens are shown drinking beer and acting intoxicated. Three teen boys are shown pouring beer on Beethoven's head. The lead teen daughter is offered beer at this party by intoxicated teenage boys but turns it down.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Beethoven's 2nd is the 1993 sequel to the hit movie about the comically large St. Bernard who gets into all kinds of wacky situations. Although this film continues the comedic pratfalls of the first, what is very disturbing is a scene in which a teen girl goes to a lake house party filled with other teens drinking beer and acting drunk. She is led upstairs by a boy she has a crush on, and he locks her in the room and tells her, "Relax. This is going to be an experience you're never going to forget." This scene of seemingly near-date rape is averted when Beethoven knocks down a load-bearing beam just in the nick of time, causing the house to collapse. There are other moments of family difficulties and kids not fitting in. Young Ted is poor at sports and unwanted for the team. Mr. and Mrs. Newton are having financial troubles. A young child asks her father where babies come from, and his failure to answer may prompt viewing children to pose the same question. But really, the scene in the lake house with the teens drinking and the near-date rape is so out of place and disturbing, it makes this movie problematic for all ages.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

It's love at first sight when Beethoven meets Missy, a female St. Bernard, in the park. He helps her escape from her owner's ex-wife Regina and her boyfriend Floyd, who plans to use Missy as a tool to negotiate for more alimony. A few months later, the Newton kids track Beethoven to the basement of Regina's building, where Missy has given birth to puppies. The kids get Beethoven and the pups away just before Regina finds Missy. Regina wants the puppies back after she learns they're worth a lot of money. Though the kids try to keep the puppies a secret, skipping school to keep them fed, Mr. and Mrs. Newton find out about them. Reluctantly agreeing to keep them, Mr. Newton takes the family on a Fourth of July camping trip. Little does he know that Regina and Floyd are staying nearby.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If one St. Bernard is cute, how about six of them? That's the idea behind this sequel, which is in some ways better than the first, at least for parents. For one thing, Beethoven isn't quite so sloppy as he was last time. And father George Newton (the typically droll Charles Grodin) isn't treated like such an idiot. An 11-year-old viewer liked Beethoven's 2nd better than the first for the cute romance between Beethoven and Missy.

As in the previous film, BEETHOVEN'S 2ND is thinly plotted, essentially an excuse to put these dogs on-screen. It was in poor taste to include a scene in which daughter Ryce is nearly raped by a drunken boy on whom she has a crush in a movie otherwise suitable for young children.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's adult themes. How did Ryce get away from her attacker? What role did alcohol play in the attack? How would you handle yourself in that situation?

  • What do the kids learn about the responsibilities of taking care of five dogs in their home?

  • Why do you think movies centered on dogs are so popular?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 15, 1993
DVD release date:June 3, 2003
Cast:Bonnie Hunt, Chris Penn, Debi Mazar
Director:Rod Daniel
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, High school
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild language and unsuitable teen behavior.

This review of Beethoven's 2nd was written by

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About our rating system

  • 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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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bymkgs April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

they could have chosen more wisely a few scenes

THINK directors, think. This movie is supposedly for young children. Why then, have a scene where a young teen girl chooses to go to a party without asking her parents, is offered alcohol (which she refuses), is enticed to go "upstairs to see the view", then is kissed and the boy locks the room, insinuating that he was going to force her into something sexual (rape?). Wow, by miracle, the dog helps her escape. What? This is way to important an issue to bring up in this kind of movie.
Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written bykcwitts4 April 15, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Bland comedy marred further by bad editorial choices

Narrowly missed date rape scene is completely out of place in a movie for small children. Also, the "bad guys" in the movie intend to drown some puppies - pretty upsetting for small children.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... November 6, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Re: they could have chosen more wisely a few scenes

I completely agree with mkgs. Also, when Beethoven saves Ryce from getting raped, he does so by accident. Ryce tied him to the post supporting the balcony when she went into the house, and several boys were on top of the balcony pouring beer on him. Finally in anger, Beethoven pulls the leash so hard that the balcony collapses. and the back wall of the bedroom is torn off. What on earth is this doing in a kids' movie? Little children are too young to know about drugs and alcohol, and those who are old enough will not appreciate the juvenile humor of the film.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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