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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Nominal themes about working together to help keep the city safe, but this is basically one long commercial marketed to kids about Hot Wheels products. Also, driving at excessive speed is shown to be a good thing.
Violence & Scariness
Car chases, car crashes, car accidents, driving at excessive speeds made to look "cool." Pirates pull swords on bus passengers. Pirate hits characters on the head with a wrench.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The top of a character's naked bottom briefly exposed. Reporter standing on side of the road loses all his clothes except his boxers when fast cars race by him.
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Products & Purchases
This is literally nothing but a Hot Wheels commercial marketed to kids. A member of Team Hot Wheels exclaims, "Seems only yesterday we were regular kids. Now, we're heroes! "-- a clear message to kids that if they buy Team Hot Wheels products, they can be just as heroic and "cool."
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Team Hot Wheels: Build the Epic Race is a 2015 short animated feature that's nothing more than a Hot Wheels commercial marketed to kids. Parents with even a passing familiarity with the many ways products are directly marketed to kids will be amazed at the audacity of this Mattel-produced movie designed to show kids how "cool" Hot Wheels is. A member of Team Hot Wheels even says, "Seems only yesterday we were regular kids. Now, we're heroes!" while racing his car at top speed. Unsurprisingly, driving at excessive speed is shown to be a good thing, and there are plenty of car races, crashes, and accidents. Also, the naked top of a kids' bottom is briefly shown, and a reporter loses all his clothes except for his boxers when fast cars race by him. There's frequent cartoon violence -- pirates pull swords on passengers on a bus and hit characters in the head with wrenches. Overall, this movie is tailor-made to create in children what the advertising industry calls "the nag factor," in which kids unrelentingly bug their parents into buying the products they see in media. 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 nothing more than a 44-minute commercial targeted to kids. Early in the film, Gage (Grant George), the leader of Team Hot Wheels, exclaims, "Seems only yesterday, we were regular kids. Now, we're heroes!" The obvious message here is that if your child buys Hot Wheels products, he will be just as "cool" and heroic as the kids of Team Hot Wheels. The fact that there are no girls on Team Hot Wheels makes it even more obvious that this is marketed to boys between the ages of 4 and 9, to say nothing of the occasional forays into puerile humor and cartoon violence and the glamorization of driving at excessively fast speeds.
For parents who grew up with Hot Wheels cars, perhaps none of this is especially problematic. But for parents concerned about how the advertising industry uses methods such as "the nag factor" to market products directly to kids, bypassing any adult say in the matter, the cartoon is as blatant as it gets.
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.