A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile is a short interactive stop-motion animated feature based on a TV show starring a truck-racing dog and his mechanic ferret friend. Some cartoon violence, gross-out humor, and name-calling are the biggest concerns for parents, especially parents of impressionable younger kids. Buddy and Darnell get into everything from swirlies, dodging a baseball bat-wielding pro wrestler type, and hanging upside down over TNT. As the pair draws from their "maybe pile" of antics, the viewer chooses which of the two options to try by making the selection on their DVD remote control or smartphone screen. It could be "wet willies," "eat a garbage pizza," "get jacked from lifting weights," or other events that could culminate in, say, falling into raw sewage, or drinking radioactive soda, or passing gas. On occasion, bathroom humor and phrases are used, such as "diaperholes," "what the fart nugget is this?" and "suck an iceberg's butt."
What's the story?
In BUDDY THUNDERSTRUCK: THE MAYBE PILE, Buddy (Brian Allen) and Darnell (Ted Raimi) are sick of "terrible ideas" -- activities like hanging upside down near TNT and getting swirlies. They want "awesome ideas," and with nowhere else to turn, they decide to consult their "maybe pile" of ideas and give them a go. They each pick an idea in the pile, and the viewer chooses between the two, thus giving Buddy and Darnell the opportunity to get up to antics such as drinking three espressos as fast as they can, drinking radioactive cola found in a garbage dump, driving their truck blindfolded, and eating garbage pizza. While they are frustrated that the ideas are never as "awesome" as they would have liked, they continue in the hopes that the next round of ideas will be better than the last.
Is it any good?
This is a rambunctious, entertaining short interactive feature that's full of juvenile humor. While young kids are busy laughing at the slapstick pratfalls and mischievous jokes, parents of a certain age will find humor in secondary characters with mullet haircuts and rock tour shirts with words spelled out in Def Leppard lettering. That said, know that words like "diaperhole" and "fart nugget" may enter the lexicon of kids.
Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile doesn't rely exclusively on the interactive aspects of the feature to make it engaging. There's enough creativity at play to make the interactive nature of this an added bonus rather than the only thing sustaining anyone's interest. It's also not any longer than it needs to be; the 27-minute range (27 minutes if every option offered is followed) is just the right amount of time before it becomes tired.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about interactive entertainment. How is it used in Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile? How has it been used in the past, and what are some ways it's used now and could be used in the future?
What are some different kinds of animation? What are the differences between them?
How does this movie compare to other stop-motion animated features?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.