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NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE

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NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE

* * ½

(Mediocre animated sequel)

I guess there are supposed to be some life lessons for the kids in this sequel, which actually sends them some mixed messages.

The hour and a half animated feature becomes with the squirrels and chipmunks discovering a closed nut shop, content to get fat and lazy with not having to seek, store and save anymore.

Andy (voice of Katherine Heigl) knows that hard work is necessary, while Surly, the leader of the group (voice of Will Arnett), is content to live off someone else's misfortune.

When the nut shop is destroyed by fire, the animals look for other ways to obtain food without foraging for it, all to no avail. Then the greedy Mayor seeks to destroy Freedom Park, eliminating any hope for the animals to survive. The bulldozers start tearing up the land to build an amusement park as the animals try to stop them. They can't do it alone, so they team up with their enemies, the city mice, rebelling against evil and protecting the environment.

The characters are fairly interesting, including the bratty daughter of the mayor, a couple of bull dogs, Mr. Feng, the cute little mouse who hates being called "cute" and Buddy the silent mouse.

The movie is loaded with clichés, violence and lack of any clever plot, but the kids will probably like the animals.

Rated PG.

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