A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Antboy is a 2013 Danish movie about a tween boy who becomes a superhero with the strength and agility of an ant. Although it's mostly a quirky and entertaining movie, there are some moments of iffy humor; for example, when Antboy learns that his urine is now corrosive just like an ant's, he uses this ability to urinate on locks. There's also some bullying from students, and in one scene a PE teacher is verbally and physically aggressive with Pelle/Antboy as they fight in the gymnasium with pugil sticks. There is mild profanity ("damn") and some superhero-style violence and peril. Overall, this based-on-a-book-series film teaches valuable lessons on friendship and doing the right thing for the right reasons.
What's the story?
Pelle Nohrmann is a 12-year-old boy whom nobody ever seems to notice. This all changes when an ant bites him on the neck, and he begins to realize he has the strength and agility of an ant. With the help of a comics-obsessed classmate, Pelle transforms into Antboy, a superhero who stops bullies and rescues those around him who are in distress. Pelle begins to use Antboy as a springboard to attain the popularity he never received before, especially from shrieking girls who worship Antboy, but when a mad scientist known as the Flea takes a girl Pelle has a crush on prisoner because he feels wronged by the girl's wealthy father, Antboy/Pelle must find a way to stop the Flea and learn what it really means to be a superhero.
Is it any good?
Based on a book series, ANTBOY is a quirky and engaging movie that both celebrates and has some fun with the conventions of the superhero story as chronicled in both movies and comic books. Although this is a Danish movie, the character of 12-year-old Pelle Nohrmann is a universally relatable character, and the movie takes full advantage of all the possibilities inherent in him having the strength, agility, and dietary needs of an ant.
It isn't necessarily the most original story -- the quiet misfit kid gets superpowers and attains celebrity -- but as a superhero story, it doesn't really need to be anything but entertaining. It's fun, and the acting and production as a whole are at a high level. Plus, it's the kind of story that the whole family can enjoy on movie night; everyone loves an underdog tale.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about superhero movies. How is this movie similar to and different from other movies in which young people develop superpowers?
Before he becomes Antboy, what problems and issues does Pelle Nohrmann contend with, and how does that make him relatable to tweens?
How is bullying by students and teachers addressed in this movie?
- In theaters: April 16, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: July 22, 2014
- Cast: Oscar Dietz, Amalie Kruse Jensen, Samuel Ting Graf
- Director: Ask Hasselbalch
- Studio: Cinedigm
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Book Characters, Bugs, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 78 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Some action, language, and mild rude humor.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.