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?