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Slappy and the Stinkers Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Potty humor, pratfalls as mischief-makers set sea lion free.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that slapstick action and potty humor are the main sources of comedy in this movie about setting an aquarium sea lion free. The adults are all buffoons, created to be laughed at by the kids in the movie and by the audience. There are pratfalls galore: characters tumble, are upended, punched, teased, doused in paint, bird poop, peanut butter, and vomit. There are farts, potty smells, references to peeing, and use of laxatives. Younger kids may be frightened when Slappy the sea lion is captured by villains, chained, and briefly buzzed with an electric prod, though he is never in real danger and never hurt. Two school bullies tease the five young heroes, but there's no actual threat there either. A few mild swear words are heard ("hell," "crap," "farthead"). It's generally preposterous silliness. One adult character smokes.

  • Families can talk about the difference between make-believe live action, animated action, and real action. Are any of the crashes, falls, hits, in this movie meant to be taken seriously? How can you tell?
  • The Stinkers had no adults that could be counted upon to help them. Does that feel like a real situation? If you need help, who can you count on?
  • Slappy tells the kids that he is happiest in his home at the aquarium. There is controversy about whether or not to keep wild things in captivity for education and/or entertainment. What do you think? How could you find out more about this subject?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true1

    Messages: Advocates sensitivity and compassion for wild creatures, in this case a sea lion. There's value in teamwork.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: All the grownups are one-dimensional and portrayed as bumbling, self-absorbed, or clueless. The kids are a stereotypically diverse mix of "fiesty girl," "the leader," "witty African-American," "asthmatic, but cute scared kid," and "problem-solver." The kids do work together with integrity to save an animal, defeat school bullies and an evil sea-lion-napper, and wreak havoc on the dim-witted school principal.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Clownish action from beginning to end. There are only two brief and perhaps disturbing scenes in which the villain tries to train a kidnapped sea lion by chaining him and using an electric prod. Otherwise there are no serious injuries and there is no actual suspense, just lots of slapstick action.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false2

    Language: Potty humor throughout includes: farting, mention of peeing and wetting pants, smelly poop references; characters get hit in the crotch numerous times; the seal lion accidentally eats an entire package of laxative after which the creature is seen on the toilet. Infrequent coarse language including "hell," "pissant," "farthead," "crap."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Lots of products on display: Coca Cola, Morton Salt, Fizzie's, Sharper Image, Laidlaw buses, Johnson & Johnson, and Z LAX, Jr.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The sneering villain is a chain-smoker.