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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be open-minded and willing to learn new things. Managing emotions is important. Animals should be treated with respect and dignity.
Positive Role Models
Calvin, though momentarily overwhelmed by anger, is a good kid. He learns to manage his anger over the course of the movie and also takes to his new tasks well. He's great with the animals and works hard to fulfill his community service without ever really complaining.
Kyle and his family are Asian-American, but nearly all other characters are White.
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Violence & Scariness
Animals are put in danger during a prank (a turtle is tied to balloons, etc). Skateboarding falls and some bullying. A character throws a cell phone through a car window in anger.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A turtle makes a joke about mating season.
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"Hell," lots of insults from the turtles.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Turtle Tale is a family movie about a teen who finds himself doing community service at a Florida wildlife conservatory. Turtles are in peril during a cruel prank, but don't get hurt. Language includes "hell" and lots of talk about animal poop, which is also shown, and a comic scene finds Calvin smearing bird poop on his head accidentally. A fiesty wisecracking turtle makes a "your mom" joke while another looks forward to "mating season." It's also worth nothing that while there are lots of positive messages and lovely footage of animals, the film may disappoint little kids looking for a turtle movie, as this one is mostly about grown-up people and their relationships. 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 hybrid drama/nature film is a well-intentioned experiment that simply doesn't work due to a bad script, too many characters, and amateurish acting. It's hard to keep track of all the characters (even when some of them are talking turtles) and their various dramas, and the tone swings wildly from poop-smearing hijinx to characters sobbing wildly after a tragedy, then to CGI turtle-mouths cracking wise. And speaking of poop, young viewers might enjoy how often the word "poop" is uttered but it's not done creatively enough to make all the poop "jokes" worth it. The other comedy also falls flat, with this standard level of depth: "You're not such a bad guy...I mean, turtle." That said, it's a pleasure to watch Calvin transport an owl through the park during a musical montage, and all the footage of the animals is simply gorgeous.
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.