Inspector Gadget

  • Review Date: August 12, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 78 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Not nearly as good as the TV show.
  • Review Date: August 12, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 78 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

One race-related joke. An Asian man, running from RoboGadget, screams "This is why I left Tokyo!" Conversely, Penny, Gadget's young neice, is a great role model for little girls.


There are lots of battles between the good and evil Gadget, featuring limbs being ripped out and a disembodied talking head.


No sex per se, but there does seem to be an undue emphasis on leering innuendoes.

Not applicable

The movie boasts blatant commercial plugs for Disney as well as Coca-Cola, Skittles, and M&Ms candy.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has commercial tie-ins, non-stop cartoon violence, and possible bad role models for children. Kids may want to imitate the evil RoboGadget, which scares a little boy by demanding money and threatening him with knives and other weapons. RoboGadget also burns down the town after yelling, "I'm going to kick some butt!"

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

INSPECTOR GADGET, Disney's frenetic version of the popular 1980s cartoon, stars Matthew Broderick as the bumbling cyborg cop. This live action adventure begins with explosion that injures a security guard. Pretty scientist Brenda (Joely Fisher) rebuilds the injured guard using high-tech gadgets. With his new abilities and new name, Inspector Gadget takes on his first case -- trying to find out who was responsible for the explosion that nearly killed him.

Is it any good?


Despite some amusing special effects, the movie is shrill and charmless, featuring (attempted) comical violence and innuendoes inappropriate for young children. Only the renowned Disney marketing and merchandising machine could have turned a movie as routine and uninspired as Inspector Gadget into a $100 million blockbuster. At a slight 78 minutes (including 10 minutes of closing credits), it's both not enough and way too much, featuring a tissue-thin plot and a cacophonous barrage of hyper-kinetic special effects. Gadget is a virtual human Swiss Army Knife and some of the effects derived from that concept are amusing the first time, but after about the 30th time they become tiresome and desperate. Gadget fully earns its PG rating, featuring non-stop cartoon violence, and some smarmy sexual innuendo, and jokey pop-culture references that will go over the heads of most kids. The movie also boasts blatant commercial plugs for Disney as well as Coca-Cola, Skittles, and M&Ms candy. Skip this one, especially if you have a hyperactive child to begin with, and catch an episode of the old cartoon series instead.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to the 1980s TV series on which it is based. Why do you think Penny, Gadget's young neice, is a great role model for little girls?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 23, 1999
DVD release date:June 3, 2003
Cast:Joely Fisher, Matthew Broderick, Rupert Everett
Director:David Kellogg
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Robots
Run time:78 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:whacky violence/action, language and innuendo

This review of Inspector Gadget was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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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Kid, 12 years old February 12, 2010


one word stinks if you want a good show watch kick buttowski it's on disneyXD.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old March 9, 2015

great movie ok for 7

there is some mild violence and some poor humor no language but he likes a girl but nothing to bad
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byRyan H. March 22, 2014

Not for people familiar with the show

This movie does not follow the show that well. THEY REVEAL DR. CLAW DURING THE WHOLE MOVIE. Lots of the editing is poor. @CSM Screen Name, I think that the effects in the movie could have been better. Look at Toy Story, a 1995 movie! There have also been 3D animated commercials in the 1980's! There are several annoying sound effects throughout the whole movie, even more than Jerold Mc. Boingboing! They fail to make one funny joke throughout the movie. They even interrupt the ending credits with cutscenes in the sad hopes of getting a laugh.


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