Team Hot Wheels: Origin of Awesome

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Team Hot Wheels: Origin of Awesome Movie Poster Image
Funny, action-packed intro to new Hot Wheels products.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 78 minutes

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Promotes creativity and imagination ("imaginating").

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's all boys, all the time (with the exception of one funny grandma). The four members of Team Hot Wheels begin as traditional "types" (the gadget guy, the speedster, the New Age guru, the Southern stunt man) but morph into distinctive, principled characters. After a few egotistical tiffs between the boys, they realize the value of working together and prove to be resourceful, brave, and loyal. The team is supervised by a white-haired African-American who is the brains behind the operation and encourages cooperation. 

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoon action, intended as comic rather than actually threatening. Speeding cars are crushed, sail through the air over gorges, crash, and are turned into mutants (a scorpion, a shark). An unseen driver in a black car provides the villainy; he careens through the sky unleashing clouds of fuchsia smoke and vast lengths of orange tracks and creating comically scary "monsters" (a humongous pigeon, a tongue-flicking gecko, a giant Abe Lincoln, a rampaging pizza). Phony fangs are bared; people seem to be gobbled up by the mutants, only to be returned within moments without injury.   

Sexy Stuff

Occasional potty humor: "poops," wet underpants, "butt kickers." Some burps and farts.


Team Hot Wheels is the latest addition to Mattel's iconic small-car brand. Toys and products tied into the movie and the newly created characters have been released. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome introduces a new line of characters, cars, and linked products in Mattel's nearly half-century-old Hot Wheels franchise. Much more than a generic toy advertisement, however, this movie's goal is to stand on its own as quality comic entertainment. Only very young kids, not yet fully aware of the difference between cartoon and real action, will find anything scary. The not-so-villainous bad guys are funny rather than evil: for example, a gigantic, rampaging Abe Lincoln and a huge pizza that bites back. Of course, the film has the necessary Hot Wheels features: speedy cars, a fast pace, noisy crashes and booms. And there's some potty humor ("poop," "butt kickers") along with a scattering of burps and farts. Significant, respectful ethnic diversity enhances the comedy. Still, all the main human characters are male. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJillTheADHDGirl June 3, 2017

How do i even describe this

If i could, i'd rate this movie 200/5 stars!

it really teaches a lesson on teamwork and being helpful

at the beginning i thought nothing was going to hap... Continue reading

What's the story?

When a sinister black car shows up in their quiet hometown, releasing endless orange Hot Wheels tracks in the sky along with stifling clouds of fuchsia smoke and mutant monsters, Team Hot Wheels is called into action. The four kid drivers on the Team are classic "types": Gage, the speedster (voiced by Grant George); Rhett, a New Age guru who's in touch with his karmic "chi" (voiced by David Lodge); Wyatt, a full-of-himself Southern stunt man (voiced by Nicholas Roye); and Brandon, a gadget geek-brainiac (voiced by Ben Diskin). Guided by their mentor, adult mechanic Larry (voiced by Faruq Tauheed), the team must quit squabbling among themselves and then band together to stop that black car and save the townspeople from disaster. 

Is it any good?

This movie has distinctive characters and fine performances all around, very funny writing, crisp and inventive animation, and plenty of comic action. The jokes arrive as fast as the cars (for example, a shark receiving the Heimlich maneuver, and a "gator-whisperer"). The mischief makers are wonderfully clever, all familiar-but-mutated animals, people, and objects. Larry, the Team coach, and his robotic sidekick add to the fun. Be forewarned, it's a bit long and the messages may get repetitious, but the movie's virtues outweigh its minor flaws.

It's an interesting concept: selling traditional, well-known, and beloved toys by releasing a very funny, character-driven movie that will appeal to adults as well as kids and that will hold up for repeated viewings. The Lego Movie did it but with a much bigger budget, movie stars, and a major studio launch. TEAM HOT WHEELS: THE ORIGIN OF AWESOME manages to accomplish a similar feat on a smaller scale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the villains (antagonists) in this movie. How are they different from the bad guys in most animated movies? Are they meant to be scary?

  • What is Boss Larry's goal for the team in this movie? How does he accomplish it? 

  • Create your own car and driver who might join Team Hot Wheels. What special skill could your driver have? How would that skill help the Team?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoons

Themes & Topics

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