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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intended to entertain rather than educate.
Messages about the value of friendship: It's how we survive. Treat others like you'd like to be treated.
Positive Role Models
Deputy Tom Wachowski is the reliable rock of Green Hills but feels he could be of greater value in a big city -- he wants to help people facing life-or-death situations. His wife, Maddie, is the town veterinarian and has a big, kind, understanding heart. Their relationship is depicted as aspirational, supportive, loving and offers positive representation. Dr. Robotnik is a cartoonishly evil villain.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish fantasy violence includes drones that shoot lasers, bullets, and some type of explosive device. Punches are thrown both as a means of escape for main characters (they brag about it) and as a means of aggression for rough bikers. Two people fall off a building but are saved. A tranquilizer gun is used.
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Language is more rude than profane -- words include "butt," "fart," "hell," and "freak." A couple of times, a profane expression is started, but the strongest word gets cut off/out (e.g., "son of a ..." and "what the ... ").
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Products & Purchases
Pop culture references fly; some mentions of brands like Mello Yello and Amazon feel like they're meant as easy jokes; others feel more like product placement. Recurring joke about Olive Garden involves characters saying the restaurant's catchphrase, mentioning a promotional dish, talking about how much they love it. A Toyota Tacoma is also shown in a light that seems like it could be advertising. Other brands mentioned/seen include Volvo, Invisalign. And, of course, the film serves as a long commercial for Sonic video games.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Sonic and Tom go into a bar where Tom drinks what appears to be beer; he drives soon after (without incident).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sonic the Hedgehog is a kid-targeted action/adventure movie starring the iconic Sega video game character. The famous blue hedgehog is also an alien with special powers that put him in danger in his world. While he's being pursued, his mama bird is shot with an arrow (she seems OK). For Sonic's safety, she pushes him through a portal to Earth with a warning that he must hide and stay on the run. Sonic never feels abandoned, but he is lonely. And the movie's messages, such as they are, revolve around the importance of companionship. Language is mostly mild ("hell"); it's more jokes about "butts" and "farts" than any actual swearing. One scene may raise eyebrows: Sonic and human hero Tom (James Marsden) stop at a roadside bar/restaurant where they get into a brawl (mostly punches), and Tom is seen drinking a beer and driving soon afterward, without incident. In general, the movie's violence is cartoonishly explosive, like an unrealistic video game: It's mostly drones shooting fireballs, lasers, and bullets. There are some moments of peril, but the audience is never in doubt that everyone will be OK -- even hysterically evil villain Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Watching Carrey is an absolute delight; his comedic genius exudes more wattage than Sonic's moments of heated emotion -- and Sonic's outbursts cause power outages. Why did it take Hollywood so long to make Carrey a handlebar-mustachioed villain? His Dr. Robotnik is reminiscent of the over-the-top silly characters he famously created in movies like The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Carrey's performance helps take Sonic the Hedgehog to levels of laughing you never expected. The best moment of all is when Robotnik does his Dance of Anarchy. Please, sir, may I have some more?
But as great as Carrey is, this is the story of Sonic, an animated alien hedgehog who's sent to Earth alone for his own safety. He's warned that if anyone sees him, they'll try to capture him for his special powers. So he settles in Green Hills, Montana, and watches those in the small town from the shadows with a wistfulness. Really, Sonic is like a little kid: He loves fart jokes, he can't keep quiet, he's (literally) bouncing off the walls, and he just wants a friend. It's a theme every kid can appreciate. Even if they don't relate to being alone, they can relate to being bored. As Tom, Marsden is a perfect companion to Sonic, popping off "dad jokes" and expressing his love for Olive Garden (the latter screams "product placement," but at least it's funny). The duo's evolving dynamic -- buddies, but really best friends, but really guardian and child, but really father and son -- make Sonic the Hedgehog a laugh-until-you-turn-blue fun film for the family to enjoy together.
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