A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this straight-to-DVD sequel would be age-appropriate for kids of all ages if it weren't for some mild language like "butt" and "stupid" and flirtatious comments (which some families may not appreciate but that small kids also won't understand), as well as some cartoonish violence. Most of it is played for laughs, though in a few scenes characters are "zapped" by a ray gun that disintigrates them (but it turns out they can be retrieved back into existence). There are no over-arching themes other than that friendship and teamwork can save the day.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SPACE CHIMPS 2: ZARTOG STRIKES BACK starts up after the original Space Chimps crew has returned to Earth and become national heroes. Young tech wizard Comet (voiced by Zack Shada), who helped pilot the team home in the original, is now waiting for his chance to go on the second mission to Planet Malgor and meet up with his alien friend, Kilowatt (Laura Bailey). After he's unexpectedly cut from the mission, Comet sneaks onto the spaceship and accidentally launches it, propelling him into space without authorization -- and without the help of veteran space chimps Ham III (Tom Kenny), Luna (Cheryl Hines), Titan (Patrick Warburton), and Mission Control specialist Houston (Carlos Alazraqui). While Comet explores Malgor with Kilowatt, the planet's former evil leader, Zartog (Stanley Tucci), attempts to wreak havoc on Earth. When Zartog manages to take over Mission Control, the Space Chimps must work out a plan to defeat him ... again.
Is it any good?
There's absolutely no reason for this sequel to exist. Space Chimps received terrible reviews (our generous three stars might as well be five by comparison), and neither the story nor the animation was impressive enough to merit a sequel. Much of the cast (including Andy Samberg, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jeff Daniels) apparently couldn't be persuaded to revisit their character, the blindingly colorful palette (especially when on Malgor) is over the top, and the animation is sub-par. Worst of all, the jokes and sight gags are tired and in a couple of cases snoozy -- even by kid-movie standards.
All of the negatives aside, there's an irresistible draw for kids to see talking-animal movies, no matter how awful adults may find them. If you've got kids who will love a bunch of chatty astro-chimps, no matter how hammy the jokes or how uninspiring the story, they'll probably find this sequel amusing. But anyone who found the original movie lacking in any way will definitely want to steer clear of this far-less entertaining installment.
Talk to your kids about ...
- On DVD or streaming: October 5, 2010
- Cast: Cheryl Hines, Jane Lynch, Patrick Warburton, Zack Shada
- Director: John H. Williams
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- Run time: 76 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild rude humor
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