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4 Things Parents Should Know about Sonic the Hedgehog 2

4 Things Parents Should Know about<em>&nbsp;Sonic the Hedgehog 2</em>

Sonic is a young and speedy blue hedgehog who wants what any hedgehog his age wants: to be left alone.

Sonic's desire is to roam the streets of Seattle as a self-made superhero – Blue Justice – and fight crime. After all, Sonic can clock speeds of 300 mph and more!

Sonic's human caretakers, Tom and Maddie, think he's too young.

"You are still just a kid," Tom tells him.

It seems Sonic will have to grow up and mature before he fights the bad guys.

But then Sonic's nemesis, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, enters the scene – and this time, he has a partner, the red-furred creature Knuckles.

They're searching for a mysterious green emerald that gives anyone that possesses it the power to move objects with their mind. And to find it, they have to go through Sonic.

Will Sonic survive?

The new movie Sonic the Hedgehog 2 tells the story of Sonic and his friends as they try to stop Dr. Robotnik from taking over the universe. It stars Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik and Idris Elba as Knuckles.

Here are four things parents should know about the film:

Photo courtesy: ©Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Sonic and Knuckles

1. It's a Sequel to a 2020 Hit

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film didn't win any major awards, but it had the unique distinction of being one of the final movies you could enjoy in 2020 before the pandemic slammed the U.S. Released Feb. 14, 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog told the story of a young, supersonic blue hedgehog who was born on another plant but is sent to Earth for his safety. There, Sonic is befriended by a local sheriff and his wife, who shelter him and protect him from the eccentric Dr. Robotnik -- an evil genius who wants to capture Sonic and harness his power. The film was the third-highest grossing movie of 2020, taking in $146 million.

Photo courtesy: ©Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Jim Carrey in Sonic

2. It's Hilarious and Fun

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is silly enough for the kids but entertaining enough for parents. It has elements of Cast Away (Dr. Robotnik converses with mushrooms and rocks on an alien planet), Indiana Jones (Sonic flees a giant boulder in a temple) and Home Alone (Sonic is left at home, unattended, for 48 hours). We watch Sonic chase robbers in downtown Seattle (as Blue Justice).

We see him speed across the ocean (he does this despite not knowing how to swim). We also watch Sonic's new companion, Tails, form a makeshift helicopter with his two tails (Sonic calls it a "butt-copter"). Jim Carrey's quirky character Dr. Robotnik is half the fun, providing slapstick comedy with plenty of jokes directed at the older generation (he says that a character is as useful as a backstage pass to a Limp Bizkit concert).

Photo courtesy: ©Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Tom and Maddie in Sonic

3. It Spotlights Family, Responsibility and Forgiveness

The film opens with Sonic destroying much of a Seattle city block while chasing – and eventually catching – a handful of robbers. His caretaker/father, Tom Wachowski, applauds his heart for justice but tells him he placed innocent citizens in danger. Being a hero, Tom says, isn't about taking care of yourself but taking "responsibility for other people."

"Right now, whether you want to hear this or not, you are still just a kid," Tom tells Sonic. "You've got some more growing up to do before you're ready to be the big hero."

The rest of the movie spotlights Sonic's determination to learn responsibility. It also focuses on Sonic's relationship with Tom and his wife Maddie and on Sonic's lack of friends.

Tom and Maddie view Sonic as a son, yet Sonic is slow to accept them in that role. ("You're supposed to be my friend, stop trying to be my dad," he tells Tom.) Meanwhile, Tom and Maddie grow concerned about Sonic's loneliness in the world.

Thankfully, both problems are solved before the credits roll. The final few scenes are particularly touching, with Tom and Maddie refusing to abandon Sonic when he is endangered.

In addition to its focus on family and responsibility, the movie touches on forgiveness – or, more specifically, setting aside past differences. Sonic and his nemesis, the red-furred Knuckles, are products of warring tribes from long ago. But in the movie's final moments, they have a chance at reconciliation.

Photo courtesy: ©Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Sonic glowing

4. It's Largely Family-Friendly

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is rated PG and mostly stays in the kid-friendly realm, with no sexuality (apart from a bride saying an unfinished "the woman who waxed my …"). It contains only minor language (details below).

We see plenty of explosions, chases and punches in the vein of Looney Tunes. Dr. Robotnik's character obtains extra powers that allow him to (briefly) levitate and emit green lightning, and, eventually, he forms a Transformers-type robot in an attempt to destroy the good guys.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 contains one mid-credit scene that sets up the next movie in the series. It contains no post-credit scenes.

The film has a few bumps in the road for families, but it's nevertheless fun. And with McDonald's offering Happy Meals tied to the film, it's a sure bet that millions of children will want to watch.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is rated PG for action, some violence, rude humor, and mild language. Language details: Piece of shiitake planet (1), h-ll (2), OMG (5) -- with one of those being said by Sonic, oh G-d (1), my G-d (1), unfinished "son of a" (1), screwed (3), farts (1).

Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Family-friendly rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Photo courtesy: ©Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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