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"HEY ARNOLD! THE MOVIE"
(2002) (voices of Spencer Klein, Paul Sorvino) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Heavy *Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Children's Animated Drama: A boy tries to retrieve an important document that could prevent a greedy developer from demolishing his urban neighborhood.
PLOT:
Arnold (voice of SPENCER KLEIN) is the optimistic kid with the football-shaped head who loves his old, urban neighborhood and living there with his grandparents (voices of DAN CASTELLANETA and TRESS MacNEILLE) and hanging out with his friend Gerald (voice of JAMIL SMITH) while putting up with Helga (voice of FRANCESCA MARIE SMITH) who's sweet on him but masks that by acting nasty toward him.

Yet, change has come to the neighborhood in the form of Mr. Scheck (VOICE OF PAUL SORVINO) and his company, Future Tech Industries. It seems that he wants to tear down the neighborhood in an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality and replace it with a gleaming shopping mall. Accordingly, he has put his sleazy right-hand man, Nick (voice of DAN CASTELLANETA), on the scene to take care of any problems.

Everyone is outraged, but soon gives up hope of stopping the developer. That is, except for Arnold. Upon hearing that their neighborhood is actually a national landmark dating back to the Revolutionary War, he and Gerald set out to find a document that can prove that and show it to the Mayor so that she'll stop Scheck.

As the clock ticks down toward the start of the demolition, Arnold - with the help of gear from spy girl Bridget (voice of JENNIFER JASON LEIGH), information from the City Coroner (voice of CHRISTOPHER LLOYD) and a mysterious phone caller known as "Deep Voice" - and his friends set out to find the document and stop Scheck's plan.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the Nickelodeon TV show or animated films in general, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animated characters as role models, but here's a quick look at the characters' major characteristics.
  • ARNOLD is the young boy who sets out to save his neighborhood from being demolished by greedy businessmen.
  • GERALD is his best friend who helps him with his quest.
  • SCHECK is the greedy developer who wants to tear down Arnold's old neighborhood in favor of more modern buildings and attractions.
  • HELGA is the girl who's sweet on Arnold but feels she must act mean toward him to mask that.
  • NICK is Scheck's sleazy right-hand man who does a lot of his dirty work.
  • GRANDPA is Arnold's grandfather who's raising him and encourages the boy to save the neighborhood while also being part of some subversive plotting.
  • BRIDGET is some sort of spy girl who equips Arnold and Gerald with various spy gadgets.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this animated feature that's been rated PG. The rating comes from "thematic elements" and it's hard to tell exactly what that's referring to, but it could involve the following.

    Kids worry about losing their neighborhood to a developer, while a brief trip to the coroner's office has some quick (and animated) views of various cadavers' feet, while such material and other scenes could be unsettling, suspenseful or possibly even scary to younger kids. That all depends, however, on the viewer's age, level of maturity and tolerance for/past exposure to such material.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some brief fighting occurs. Characters also strike/hit others in various ways, while some explosions cause property damage and some slapstick style material is present.

    No profanity is spoken, but some colorful phrases are uttered. Some imitative behavior is present, as is some brief, crude humor (a grandmother being covered in what's presumably sewage and some bird excrement lands on a girl's head). In addition, a character is noted as having a prosthetic leg. Beyond that, the remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of objectionable content.

    Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some people, including Nick, drink in a club.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Some bird excrement falls on Helga's face.
  • Arnold and Gerald go to see the city coroner for historical information and during their visit there they see the feet of several cadavers.
  • Nick has some reddish marks on his arm after a fight (which are presumably supposed to be scrapes or bruises). We later see Helga's dad with a similar mark under his eye.
  • Arnold's grandmother escapes from jail (where she was taken for protesting the neighborhood being torn down) through a sewer pipe and then emerges from a person's toilet. Later, she's covered in what's presumably sewage.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Scheck and Nick have bad attitudes, as they make sure no one can stop their plans (such as Scheck lying about and later destroying the document that Arnold needs to save his neighborhood).
  • Helga's father is only concerned about personal wealth and not how FTI's plans will displace many inner city residents (and tries to convince Helga that's a good thing as she'll be rich).
  • Helga acts like she has a bad attitude toward Arnold, but that's really to mask her true romantic feelings for him.
  • Arnold and Gerald tell a white lie to a government worker to make him help them with their quest (after seeing that the man loves donuts, they say that a donut shop in their neighborhood - that doesn't exist - is going to be torn down).
  • The boys later sneak into a FTI building after being told they can't enter.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible very young kids could be upset by a scene where police show up to break up a party (due to no permit) and the partygoers then flee.
  • Arnold and Gerald go to see the city coroner for some historical information. They enter the dark and foreboding building at night, enter the "cold room" (where the bodies are kept) and see several sheet covered bodies. One of those bodies suddenly sits up under the sheet, but it turns out to be the coroner playing a prank on them. On several occasions after that however, we do see the feet of several cadavers (one on a gurney, the other in a pull-out drawer). The scene could be scary or unsettling for younger kids.
  • Arnold's grandpa leads other adults down into the dark tunnels beneath the city (as a tiny bit of suspenseful music plays) and some of the adults appear nervous (which could cause young viewers to have the same reaction).
  • Gerald lowers Arnold down toward a sleeping Nick in an attempt to retrieve a key on a necklace that's around his neck. A drop of sweat then falls from Arnold and momentarily awakens the drowsy man.
  • Arnold and Gerald try to escape from Scheck's building in an action sequence that could be tense or suspenseful to some younger viewers.
  • After driving his bus over an open drawbridge span, the driver is knocked unconscious when his face apparently hits the steering wheel upon landing. Later, with the driver still knocked out and his foot stuck on the accelerator, Arnold, Gerald and Helga try to steer the out of control bus through the city, nearly hitting a homeless man (but hitting his shopping cart) and run over some street signs before flying through the air over a recently opened and rather large chasm on another bridge.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Helga fires her slingshot at various things and then fires a crossbow of sorts that sends some sort of plunger flying through the air where it sticks to the back of man's head.
  • Dynamite and kegs of what's presumably gunpowder: Set up by Arnold's grandpa and others to blow up some tunnels beneath the city to prevent the construction crews from tearing down the neighborhood. It's later accidentally detonated and damages some buildings.
  • Old rifles and swords: Seen in Scheck's private collection.
  • Explosives: Used by Nick to blow up part of a bridge.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "We got our butts whupped," "Sayonara, suckers," "What am I, a rat fink?" "You are dopier than I thought," "Loser(s)," "Nut" (crazy person), "That is too freaky," "Crazy, lame-brained idea," an incomplete "Pain in the…" (said twice with the second occurrence having a passing bus drowning out the sound of the fourth word), "Yada-yada-yada," "What the heck?" an incomplete "What the..?" "Criminy," "You incompetent moron," "Nutty" (crazy) and "Stupid football-head."
  • The film could inspire (in a good way) kids to take up causes they believe in.
  • Helga fires her slingshot at various things and then fires a crossbow of sorts that sends some sort of plunger flying through the air where it sticks to the back of man's head.
  • Helga blows a raspberry at Scheck while passing by him.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The local butcher mentions not getting along with his son (but we don't see any scenes of that).
  • Arnold lives with his grandparents, but we never learn what happened to his parents.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Standing up for what you believe in and taking action regarding that.
  • Redevelopment of inner cities.
  • Helga masking her affection for Arnold by acting mean toward him (she eventually admits to loving him and plants a kiss on him).
  • Helga's father telling her that they're going to be rich and then asking, "What's more important than that?"
  • A bus driver has a prosthetic leg (made of metal).
  • Arnold lives with his grandparents, but we never learn what happened to his parents.
  • VIOLENCE
  • An older woman whacks a boy on the head with a bouquet of flowers for making a smart aleck remark.
  • Helga fires her slingshot at various things and then fires a crossbow of sorts that sends some sort of plunger flying through the air where it sticks to the back of man's head. She then hits someone in the face with a broom.
  • Arnold's grandfather accidentally sits down on an old pair of shark jaws that snap onto his rear.
  • In a flashback incident to the Revolutionary War, we see local citizens throwing and firing (via catapult) tomatoes that hit and/or knock down the Redcoats.
  • Arnold, Gerald and Helga all accidentally run into each other and are knocked down. This happens again in a later scene.
  • We see Arnold and Gerald land on the sidewalk outside of FTI after they're apparently tossed out.
  • Upset upon learning of the real condition of his business contract with Scheck, Helga's father (Bob) grabs Nick by the neck. Nick then smacks something onto Bob's head to make him let go. They then use various kitchen utensils to hit each other. Bob (who now looks like the Incredible Hulk) races at Nick but slips and Nick hits him with a string of sausages. Nick then slams the refrigerator door onto Bob's head, knocking him out.
  • Scheck purposefully breaks a framed portrait and then burns a document. Arnold and Gerald then escape from his office by hitting some guards with sheathed swords (one is hit on the leg, while the other is apparently hit in the crotch - but we don't see the impact).
  • A person opens a door that accidentally hits Arnold in the face.
  • Scheck punches a video monitor in anger and breaks it.
  • After driving his bus over an open drawbridge span, the driver is knocked unconscious when his face apparently hits the steering wheel upon landing. Later, with the driver still knocked out and his foot stuck on the accelerator, Arnold, Gerald and Helga try to steer the out of control bus through the city, nearly hitting a homeless man (but hitting his shopping cart) and run over some street signs.
  • Nick sets off some explosives that blow up part of a bridge.
  • Arnold's grandma throws a construction man up against a vehicle.
  • A bulldozer flips over some other bulldozers.
  • The above bus crashes and falls on its side (it's pretty beat up).
  • Helga's dad punches Nick (but we don't see the impact).
  • A kid accidentally sits on a detonator and causes a big underground explosion that damages some buildings.



  • Reviewed June 22, 2002 / Posted June 28, 2002

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