A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Delivered through humor and a likable character, Sonic develops social and emotional competencies including personal responsibility, self management, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills.
Heroes are those who take responsibility for others. For kids who dream of being a hero, a message is clearly delivered to help them understand not to put themselves in harm's way: "You don't choose when to be a hero, your moment chooses you."
Positive Role Models
Sonic wants to help keep his community safe. When he faces an opponent with greater powers, he uses teamwork and compassion as tools to achieve success. He does lie, but in the interest of accomplishing something good. Sonic and Dr. Robotnik's behavior is contrasted to demonstrate what it means to be a friend. Sonic's guardians, Tom and Maddie, exhibit their love for Sonic, whom they see as their child, and show him they're a family.
Tom and Maddie are a positively portrayed interracial couple, and both of their siblings have their own subplot. Supporting Black characters are positively portrayed. It's signaled that Robotnik's henchman is gay.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Considerable fantasy violence with animated characters often in peril, but little realistic impact. Animated characters are hit hard (including by a car) and nearly drown but are only temporarily stunned. One scene shows real-life large vehicles being magically sucked into the air and dismantled, forming a gigantic contraption used for evil -- but it has a silly face, and no one is hurt as a result. Law enforcement officers point and carry "guns" that are shown to be Tasers (a character is shocked, but viewers see that he's fine).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A supporting character is getting married, and there's an expression of romantic feelings and a kiss. Cleavage; men are seen shirtless. References to waxing, a groin attack, and the movie Magic Mike.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes "a-hole," "butt," "crap," "hell," "we're screwed," and "oh my God." Dr. Robotnik uses insults and hints at profanity when he calls something "a piece of shiitake." Implied references to genitals, but not in a sexual way. Fart jokes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The Four Seasons and Oreos (positioned next to Chips Ahoy) are notably featured in what appears to be product placement. A couple of other brands are mentioned as humorous pop cultural references.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking Mai Tais is connected to fun and relaxation in Hawaii, both visually and verbally, including a "Dr. Mai Tai's" drink stand at a resort. Champagne flows at a wedding, and a stressed-out character swigs it from a bottle.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 continues the Sega video game-based film series that began with Sonic the Hedgehog. The sequel depicts Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) as a tween who's determined to build a reputation as a hero in his community. Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are now acting as his parents, trying to rein him in. With Jim Carrey also back as the comically evil Dr. Robotnik, the movie's cartoonish violence clearly isn't real, and most of the constant peril is unlikely to have a lasting impact on kids. But near drownings and real-life machinery that flies through the air could be scary. Sonic's childish outlook and humor (get ready for fart jokes) help make him relatable to kids -- so when he learns important social and emotional and life skills (like teamwork and personal responsibility), they might, too. Law enforcement officers use Tasers instead of guns. Mai Tais and champagne flow freely at a Hawaiian wedding, and when one character is under intense pressure, she drinks from the bottle. The same stressed-out character angrily calls someone an "a-hole," and Robotnik tosses out comical insults. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Transforming a video game character into a hilarious preteen alien who wants to be a superhero is a stroke of brilliance. It's an incredibly effective way to deliver relatability and positive messages to young viewers. That said, the action comedy embodies Sonic's point of view almost too much: It feels like a fifth grader hopped up on sugar, running at full speed in a million different directions. Part of the story focuses on how Sonic's relationship with Tom and Maddie has developed since the first film. They're Sonic's guardians and treat him as their child, and through the story they come to recognize that they're a family. But since Tom and Maddie function as his parents, the writers have to get them out of the way so they don't stop Sonic from going on a wild adventure. They travel to Hawaii for the wedding of Maddie's sister, Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), in a subplot that's meant to tie up loose ends but really creates an unnecessary distraction from Sonic's story.
Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik's mustache has grown along with his insanity while he's been exiled to the Mushroom Planet. As he works to achieve world domination, yet another subplot features his adoring henchman, Stone (Lee Majdoub), trying to reunite with his boss. While it's very funny, this adventure ultimately bites off a bit too much, trying to show kids what it means to be a hero, what it means to be a friend, and what it means to be a family. It all gets swallowed and digested, but it sure takes a long time to chew. Still, the meandering story will likely only be a concern to adults. Kids will probably think this sequel, like Sonic, is out of this world.
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.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids
Best Action Games for Kids
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.See how we rate