The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Movie Poster Image
Animated comedy is forgettable but promotes teamwork.
  • PG
  • 2017
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids may learn which park animals must store nuts to survive and how they do it in the wild, but otherwise the movie is intended for entertainment, not education.

Positive Messages

Promotes the idea of creating family by choice -- in this case, a community of animals that protect and take care of one another. Teamwork is also a theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the main animal characters are smart, loyal, kind, and brave. They're courageous enough to help their fellow park dwellers. Surly doesn't want to let the community down. Buddy is a faithful and unconditional friend to Surly, and Surly returns that love and devotion.

Violence & Scariness

A few jump-worthy moments that could frighten young/sensitive kids, like when the animal control gang points their dart guns and shoots at the animals or when it temporarily looks like Buddy is dead. Human characters tend to be villains; the mayor has a gun. A shop burns down, and animal control/construction workers threaten the animals' lives. A father and daughter are both sadistic in how they treat animals. An animal is electrocuted. In a flashback, two animals nearly die in a hurricane. Mice do kung fu and threaten to kill Surly and his friends. Some of these moments are played for laughs, but not all.

Sexy Stuff

Surly and Andie kiss and embrace. Frankie and Precious fall for each other and are eventually shown with their puppies.


Insult language includes "no good," "stupid," "vermin," "ugly," "nut job," and the like. There's also a good bit of scatological humor (burp and fart jokes).


No products in the movie itself, but many real-life tie-ins: Blue Diamond Almonds, Frontier Airlines,, The Humane Society of the United States, iFetch, Kika Tech, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wildlife Federation, PB Crave, and Pug Nation all have planned partnerships with the movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink at receptions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is the sequel to 2014's The Nut Job. It continues the story of a squad of park animals who must find a new food source when their beloved nut shop burns down. As in the original, there are a few scatological (i.e., burp and fart) jokes, as well as physical comedy gags in which a character is electrocuted, bonked on the head, or otherwise injured in a way that's played for laughs. But some of the human characters use weapons, particularly the gun-toting mayor. A father and daughter are almost sadistic in the way they treat animals, and a child (albeit a violent, unlikable one) is shot with a dart gun. But there's a clear message about the idea of creating your family by choice -- in this case, a community of animals that protect and take care of one another.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bySenior Casas Adobes March 10, 2018

Good Message, Funny and Heart Warming Story, Beautiful Animation

*Good & Positive Messages: Teamwork, strong work ethic, caring for one another, determination, sustainability, and caring for communities.

*Funn... Continue reading
Adult Written byCatherine C. September 4, 2017

This movie has no redeeming value.

This is one of the worst children's movies I have ever seen. Every single person in this movie is mean, cruel, vindictive, heartless, and violent in one wa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byericcreel August 11, 2017


Teen, 14 years old Written bySaltieChips February 1, 2021

Miserable, convoluted, and a waste of time...

Action/violence and crude humor is unacceptable for most people under the age of eight.

What's the story?

In THE NUT JOB 2, Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), Andie (Katherine Heigl), and their gang of animal friends end up losing a secure food supply when their home, the nut shop, burns down due to their own neglect. At first Andie enthusiastically tries to convince the group that they can just scrounge for food in the park, but Will and Buddy (Tom Kenny) try to find easier, more secure food venues. They come up short and soon learn that the greedy town mayor (Bobby Moynihan) is planning to tear down the park and put up a profitable amusement park instead. When the animal squad tries to sabotage the construction, the mayor hires an animal control specialist to hunt them down. Surly, Andie, and their friends must band together with unlikely allies to save their park -- and one another.

Is it any good?

It's not particularly memorable, but this animated sequel will still appeal to younger viewers who have a low bar for entertainment: talking animals, silly jokes, and sight gags. The plot of The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is slim and unoriginal (and, for that matter, not entirely consistent with the original's ending), but at the very least, there are continued positive themes about teamwork and friendship. Home, these animals believe, isn't about biological instincts to be out in the woods, but rather their commitment to be with one another.

The only good parts are a sweet flashback to how Surly and Buddy became friends and the fact that Jackie Chan voices the leader of a huge crew of adorable white mice with amazing kung fu skills. They're cuddly and wide-eyed -- but never call them "cute," or they will hurt you. Other than that part of the story, when the mice martial artists make themselves known, there's just not a lot to propel the movie beyond the level of mediocrity that parents willingly endure to make their kids happy. But parents -- and kids -- deserve more from family-friendly movies than unnecessary sequels with nothing substantive to contribute or say.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ongoing popularity of talking-animal movies. Why do you think so many movies like The Nut Job 2 have animal main characters? Which are your favorites?

  • What's the movie's message about teamwork, friendship, and community? Does it promote any character strengths?

  • Which parts were scary to you? Why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • Do you think there should be another Nut Job sequel? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animal movies

Themes & Topics

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