Is Sonic 2 ok for kids? Read the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent guide to the new Paramount Pictures live action video game based film sequel. No spoilers! #SonicMovie2 May contain commissioned links.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
A fast-paced sequel or another movie going nowhere fast?
With a few more characters and a few less hairs on Jim Carrey‘s head, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 races into theaters this April with a sequel promising to delight video gamers and and a new generation of Sonic lovers alike. But with the excitement of Tails, Knuckles and a brand new Sonic adventure, is this Sonic 2 movie worth the wait?
In this Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m talking visuals, the story, a full PG rating breakdown, and sharing whether the sequel is worth a watch for families. A no spoiler parent review – this is the post you want to read before rushing your kids to see Tails, Knuckles and an unhinged Dr. Robotnik in yet another Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Remember those Sonic visual look issues with the first movie? Thankfully the director took a few cues from the fans. The visuals for Tails, Knuckles and our beloved Sonic the Hedgehog do not disappoint in this Sonic 2 sequel. Upping the ante with new characters, new locations and new adventures, the CGI for this favorite Sega video game inspired movie has definitely improved. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 boasts more details, crisp colors and a pretty seamless live action/animation mix.
I encourage folks who absolutely adore the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise to upgrade their experience with IMAX/3D.
Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog), Jim Carrey (Dr. Robotnik), James Marsden (Tom Wachowski), and Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski) are BACK, along with newcomers Knuckles (played by Idris Elba) and Tails (played by Colleen O’Shaughnessey) in the most anticipated Sonic 2 sequel of 2022. And with a ton of new character intros, new adventures and more character build up/conflict to cover in one sequel film, it’s certainly no easy task for returning director Jeff Fowler. But sometimes taking on so much ambition and then packing it all in one movie – it can ultimately hurt the story.
At times I felt that the pacing for Sonic 2 was slow, needing more time to develop the new characters, explain video game jargon/references, and connect the dots. While I enjoyed Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Robotnik and Sonic interactions, most of the returning live action characters (like Tom and Maddie Wachowski and Dr. Robotnik’s sidekick, Agent Stone) took a back seat, and sometimes suffered in poor script writing, extended scenes with no purpose, and what felt like forced live action comedy.
Stuffing so much “new” into the sequel overall hurt the story from a creative perspective. Not flowing as easily as the first Sonic movie (perhaps we can blame pandemic for the creativity lack?), the script felt forced, choppy and sometimes confusing. I was constantly asking myself “why is Sonic doing this?” or “what’s the point of this scene?”
However, that’s not to say that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has no redeeming entertainment value for kids and families. With life lessons surrounding family, friendships, trust and heroism, a ton of laughs (think Drax kind of humor), heart (yes, I even got a little choked up at a non Disney movie), fun pop culture references and a ton of video game Easter Eggs to look for, the intrigue for a blue hedgehog and his animated buddies certainly makes up for the lack of a solid sequel story.
That PG Rating
Adorable cartoon video game character turned live action hero sequel begs me to ask the question, is Sonic 2 safe for kids? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). And as we know, not all PG ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to witness how movie ratings have shifted over the years with G-rated movies a thing of the past. PG ratings now oscillating between Incredibles 2 intense to Christopher Robin calm, there’s a wide range between the age of 0-12 years old to consider. (Most recently, Turning Red had quite the controversy on social media.)
Why is Sonic The Hedgehog 2 rated PG? For this Paramount Pictures family film, I honestly watched this Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids? unfold with lots of uncertainty. Sonic the Hedgehog is rated PG for “some violence, action, rude humor and mild language,” is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 safe for kids to see? Is this film ok for children? We may have had this blue hedgehog trade one red flag for another. We have lots to talk about.
Violence/Suspense. Pretty on par with the original as far as animated violence goes. No blood, guts or gross injuries to the animated characters. However, with Sonic 2 also being a live action film, we should talk about the more realistic side of the violence/suspense.
There are a few human punches thrown in the faces of other humans as well as a couple of minor cuts (no heavy blood or guts in the live action portion). There is one decapitation of a fish that may result in an “ew” response. There are also the use of guns, knives, heavy military machinery, and stun guns. There are 2 mild jump scare/suspense moments that may frighten little ones. And to round the violence out, discussion of murder.
Adult Themes. Cocktail hour just got extended. As far as the live action portion goes, Sonic 2 is very alcohol centric. More than just a background prop, flowing cocktails, champagne poured over shirtless adults, drinking directly from a bottle, and encouragement to drink alcohol by main characters seems a little more extreme than the bar scene in the original film. While no one is acting “drunk” per se (though some could argue that people in this film are passed out versus sleeping), the alcohol consumption and references felt excessive, especially for a kids/family film.
Other adult themes include referencing the “groin” multiple times, a couple of kisses between the live action characters, sleep cuddles, a shirtless dance and some potentially questionable dance moves, and an aggressive sport scene where some of the adults are shirtless as well.
Language. Mild language described for Sonic 2 includes one “h-e-double-hockey sticks” reference (used in correct reference to the place) and one “crap.” There are a few nearly said swear words/bad language phrases like “son of a -,” “a-hole,” and a few play on words like “holy sherbet,” one middle finger gesture (that may be overlooked by younger kids) and an excessive amount of “oh my g-d” and “oh g-d” uses throughout the movie (9 to be exact). Honestly I had more of a problem with the g-d phrases than I did with the actual swear word choices in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
More mild words in Sonic 2 include “butt,” “screwed” (for in trouble), “freaky,” “heck,” “idiot,” “diss,” “poop,” “farted,” and “booty.” Overall, I think the mild language in this film is even MILDER than the original Sonic movie. A cleaner sequel (at least in the language department), for sure.
What Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie age rating is recommended for kids?
Is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 kid friendly? At a runtime of 2 hours 2 minutes, this sequel is very lengthy for little wiggle worm kids, almost 30 minutes longer than the original Sonic (runtime 1 hour 39 minutes). There are some slower, dialogue heavy, extended scenes that could be possibly boring for younger children. However, with the introduction of new animated characters, non-stop action, new adventures and lots of physical comedy, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 continues to captivate young audiences, encouraging families to watch together.
What age is recommended to watch Sonic the Hedgehog 2? With the full PG rating breakdown above, I would not recommend Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie to kids younger than the age of 5-6 years old. While I lowered this Sonic age rating compared to the one I gave for the original Sonic movie, parents will need to weigh in on the increased alcohol and adult content, despite the lack of bad language before allowing kids to watch. I cannot emphasize enough to pre-screen Sonic 2 for any content that may be questionable for your family personally.
Going nowhere fast? At over 2 hours and a vacation for the editing team, Sonic 2 is more of a movie marathon than a sprint. But with enough new characters, lots of pop culture references, video game Easter Eggs, humor, action, and adventures on par with the first movie, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film will definitely have the whole family cheering non-stop. Stay for the mid-credit scene. It certainly resulted in a very loud response from our theater audience.
But bad news travels fast. Is Sonic 2 a waste of a sequel? While lengthy, I anticipated that Sonic 2 was bound to be boring. But while there are definitely some slow moments, head scratching scenes and questionable storyline choices made, the upped new characters, one liners, and constant fast-paced action definitely keeps the attention of even the casual Sonic viewer (even little kids).
I also highly recommend a Sonic the Hedgehog movie re-watch too before jumping into the sequel. Despite knowing the story and characters pretty well, there were some jokes, characters and references that didn’t connect for me until much later. (I would blame mom brain, but my 13-year old son didn’t know some of the references either.)
With intrigue for the young and old alike, the Sonic common denominator cannot be overlooked. Not a perfect Sonic sequel by any means. But there’s something about this little blue devil that grabs all different types of audiences, despite the flaws. Call it nostalgia mixed with childlike excitement, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is an all-around fast grabbing family movie. And he’s already on the fast track for a Sonic 3.
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The all-new video game sequel film, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, races into theaters starting Friday, April 8, 2022. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen this Sonic 2 film in exchange for this Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!