Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie Movie Poster Image
Long-awaited sequel sends Arnold on quest to find parents.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Kids see a community pull together to help one of their own when Arnold tries to win a contest. By so doing, they acknowledge the many ways he's helped them over time. Friends show loyalty and courage even in the face of danger, and Arnold's determination to find his parents is admirable. Some potty humor in a reference to going number two, and one incident of boys mooning a camera.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Arnold perseveres through many challenges to find his parents. Adult characters are mostly dim or evil, which opens the door for the courageous kids to be the heroes.

Violence & Scariness

Arnold and his friends face many occasions of peril, including facing river pirates, nearly falling off a cliff, and enduring several booby traps in the jungle. Many characters carry and use machetes, and a villain uses another man as a shield against arrows, presumably causing his death. Others are crushed by falling rocks.


Sexy Stuff

Helga's crush on Arnold results in a kiss.



Helga calls her friends names like "fool," "jerk face," "stupid," and the like.



The movie follows the TV series Hey Arnold!, which newcomers to the story may want to watch after enjoying this show.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie is the continuation of the story of Arnold Shortman from the '90s Hey Arnold! series. It picks up after the events unfolded in the series and in the episodic special The Journal, in which Arnold came by his father's journal that held clues to his parents' whereabouts. In this portion of the story, Arnold and his friends set off for San Lorenzo to try to locate them, facing numerous foes and dangers along the way. Expect some tense moments (kids hanging over a cliff, being shot at by arrows, etc.) and a few minor characters' deaths, but more prominent and impacting themes of friendship, courage, and perseverance.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDalton R. December 29, 2017

The perfect movie

This movie teaches kids valuable lessons about friends and family and also explores an exotic culture that is educational to how different some countries can be... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byAmazing ryder October 24, 2019

Way better than the first

The story was great good animation the tribute of arnold was wonderful the characters were good as the show after a long time of lost media it finally here endi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byT J December 18, 2017

Good, but predictable.

I guess I should start this review off by saying that I’m not a massive hey Arnold fan, I think it’s a good show, I’m just not a super fan of it like some peopl... Continue reading

What's the story?

HEY ARNOLD!: THE JUNGLE MOVIE opens at the start of summer break for Arnold (voiced by Mason Vale Cotton) and his friends, who enter a humanitarian contest and win a trip to San Lorenzo. Once there, Arnold consults his father's old journal for a map to his parents' last known location, and they set off to find them. He encounters their old friend Eduardo (Carlos Alazraqui), who gives Arnold an ancient amulet and tells him of the Green-Eyed People, the citizens of a lost city and possible holders of clues to his parents' whereabouts. Arnold and his friends are thrust into a strange and mysterious quest to find the lost city and save its people, with the villainous Lasombra (Alfred Molina) hot on their trail.

Is it any good?

For fans left hanging after Hey Arnold!: The Journal hinted at an eventual reunion between Arnold and his parents, this movie was a long time coming. Arnold's jungle adventures and quest to find his mom and dad settle into the show's timeline as though no time has passed, let alone the 10-plus elapsed years since new episodes aired. Every bit of what viewers have come to appreciate about the characters and superb writing in this series is on display here, including more of Arnold's kind and humble nature that hides his courage and perseverance. But he doesn't act alone, and ultimately it's an unlikely hero who emerges to save the day with a selfless act.

Its animated style might appeal to young kids, but Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie is a more mature watch than its appearance initially suggests. Arnold wrestles with the loss of his parents and puts himself and his friends in danger attempting to find them. Even though there's much humor to the story, there are also numerous scenes that show the young characters in real danger at the hands of a scheming grown-up with his own selfish agenda, who's eventually responsible for some minor characters' deaths. But there are also positive examples of friendship, especially with regard to Arnold and Helga, and a satisfying ending that celebrates family bonds.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Arnold and his friends solve the problems they face in Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie. How do they approach the problems differently? How does each use his or her strengths to help?

  • In what ways does Arnold stand out as a good role model? How does he personify character strengths like courage and loyalty? Are you inspired by people who demonstrate similar qualities?

  • What examples of bullying do you see on display in this story? How do the victims overcome the pressure? Is bullying a concern among your peers? What do you and your friends do to combat it?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love classic animation

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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