The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Parent Guide
This mixed assortment of some of the most ingrained stereotypes promoted by media is wrapped up in a painfully ridiculous package.
Parent Movie Review
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is a more-than-nutty sequel that foregoes many of the usual concerns about sex and profanity, but does provide a generous helping of slapstick animated violence. It also presents a mixed assortment of some of the most ingrained stereotypes promoted by media, wrapped up in a painfully ridiculous package and sent gift-wrapped to a young unsuspecting audience.
Perhaps even more bothersome than donut addicted police, evil rich politicians and obnoxious fat kids, is the portrayal of the singular leading female—a red squirrel named Andie (voice of Katherine Heigl). She’s designated as the subservient voice of reason for the protagonist, Surly (voice of Will Arnett), a purple squirrel (apparently there really is one of these) who has led most of the park’s rodent population to embrace the easy pickings in an abandoned nut shop across the street from their urban forest.
Andie insists they must maintain their wild foraging skills. Her advice is proven correct when a handy boiler explosion blasts the retail food supply to smithereens. Yet even this event doesn’t convince Surly that he must use his instinctive skills to find food. He’d still rather take the short cut and steal scraps and goodies from humans.
Cut to the menacing mayor (voice of Bobby Moynihan) and his evil, rotund young daughter Heather (voice of Isabela Moner). Gazing across the street from his dictator-like balcony, the greedy city leader sees a wasted revenue opportunity within the beautiful green space and unleashes his plan to create an amusement park. Hiring a fleet of demolition vehicles straight out of Mad Max, the city leader and his mechanical invasion send the creatures scurrying to find cover and create a plan to take their homeland back. To stop their interference, The Mayor employs an exterminator (voice of Peter Stormare) who has less than humane methods (cages, poisons and tranquilizer darts) to deal with pesky pests.
This little guy vs big guy story includes all the usual elements you might expect. The critters do their best to chew through electrical cables (with much animated shock value) and jam up the equipment and amusement rides. They engage in silly antics to break jail and sabotage the enemy. Pulling a page from Disney’s Pocahontas, they also bridge the gap between the opposing forces with two canines—Heather’s servile French bulldog Frankie (voice of Bobby Cannavale) and Precious (voice of Maya Rudolph), a pug that was owned by two crooks in the first Nut Job movie and has since joined forces with the park animals.
At first glance this film’s biggest crime happened when you paid to see it. Yet even if families hold out against the enticing advertising and their kids’ pleas until the home video release, parents should remember the power of repeated messages. The aforementioned stereotypes, and Andie’s role as a female who is helpless to do anything without Surly’s approval, may be reason enough to say, “nuts to this” and find something better to watch.Directed by Cal Brunker. Starring Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph . Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release August 11, 2017. Updated August 17, 2017
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature rated PG? The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is rated PG by the MPAA for action and some rude humor.
Violent depictions and slapstick antics are pervasive in this film where a group of animals fight against humans to protect their home. Falls, crashes, bites, fist-fights, explosions, burns, electrocutions and weapons use are frequent. Human exterminators try to catch, cage, poison and kill wild animals. Characters are in peril from man and nature, and one appears to die. A political leader engages in shady business deals and take bribes. A spoiled child abuses her pet and her toys. A group of mice use martial arts to defend themselves and to attack enemies. Rules and regulations are ignored so parkland can be turned into commercial enterprises. Animal heads are mounted on a wall. Tranquilizer darts are used to subdue critters and accidentally get used on some humans as well. Property damage occurs.
Characters undress a man, down to his underwear, and steal his clothes. A female character uses her womanly wiles to manipulate a male character. Some mild sexual innuendo is heard.
Name-calling, derogatory remarks and rude slang terms are heard.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Characters drink alcohol in social settings. Tranquillizer darts are used, and the effects on one character are shown in detail.
Dogs slobber and lick. Vomiting is depicted, along with a character eating the regurgitated food.
Page last updated August 17, 2017
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Parents' Guide
How is Surly’s work ethic depicted? Why does he always look for short cuts? How does this strategy pay off for him? What happens to the animals who follow his lead? Why does Andie insist the forest creatures maintain their natural instincts? Why does she have a difficult time convincing them to do things the hard way? In the end, does the easy way end up being less work?
How many stereotypes can you spot? (Consider the portals of the police, the mayor, the spoiled daughter, the mice with the Chinese accents, the male and female characteristics of the squirrels, the dogs, the exterminator, and the reporters.)