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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intended to entertain, not educate.
Advocates sensitivity and compassion for wild creatures, in this case a sea lion. There's value in teamwork.
Positive Role Models
All the grownups are one-dimensional and portrayed as bumbling, self-absorbed, or clueless. The kids are a stereotypically diverse mix of "fiesty girl," "the leader," "witty African-American," "asthmatic, but cute scared kid," and "problem-solver." The kids do work together with integrity to save an animal, defeat school bullies and an evil sea-lion-napper, and wreak havoc on the dim-witted school principal.
Violence & Scariness
Clownish action from beginning to end. There are only two brief and perhaps disturbing scenes in which the villain tries to train a kidnapped sea lion by chaining him and using an electric prod. Otherwise there are no serious injuries and there is no actual suspense, just lots of slapstick action.
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Potty humor throughout includes: farting, mention of peeing and wetting pants, smelly poop references; characters get hit in the crotch numerous times; the seal lion accidentally eats an entire package of laxative after which the creature is seen on the toilet. Infrequent coarse language including "hell," "pissant," "farthead," "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Lots of products on display: Coca Cola, Morton Salt, Fizzie's, Sharper Image, Laidlaw buses, Johnson & Johnson, and Z LAX, Jr.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The sneering villain is a chain-smoker.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that slapstick action and potty humor are the main sources of comedy in this movie about setting an aquarium sea lion free. The adults are all buffoons, created to be laughed at by the kids in the movie and by the audience. There are pratfalls galore: characters tumble, are upended, punched, teased, doused in paint, bird poop, peanut butter, and vomit. There are farts, potty smells, references to peeing, and use of laxatives. Younger kids may be frightened when Slappy the sea lion is captured by villains, chained, and briefly buzzed with an electric prod, though he is never in real danger and never hurt. Two school bullies tease the five young heroes, but there's no actual threat there either. A few mild swear words are heard ("hell," "crap," "farthead"). It's generally preposterous silliness. One adult character smokes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is silly, mindless, often crude fun for those who like their humor on the broad side. It's got clueless adults who fall and get banged up a lot, ridiculous pie-in-the-face villains, and oh-so-cutesy kids who grin a lot and utter sassy wisecracks on cue.
Combined with an abundance of fart and poop jokes, it's juvenile humor at best -- a time-waster with a few good laughs and an engaging sea lion.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.