A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Teamwork and cooperation.
Positive Role Models
Often, 10-year-old Ben acts smug and cocky. A positive moment of representation featuring a same-sex couple.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon violence throughout. Extended fight sequences. Characters thrown around, fall off of high places. Explosions. Fire. Some of the aliens might be too scary for younger or more sensitive viewers.
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"Butt." Kevin calls Ben a "loser."
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Products & Purchases
Based on a popular TV series.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ben 10 vs. the Universe is an animated movie in the Ben 10 universe that follows 10-year-old Ben (voiced by Tara Strong) has he ventures into outer space to save Earth from an archrival determined to destroy it. Expect constant cartoon violence as Ben and his friends and family do battle with a tentacled bad alien named Vilgax (Yuri Lowenthal), among others. Characters get thrown around and fall from high places. There are vehicle chases and explosions. Some of the aliens might be too scary-looking for younger/more sensitive viewers. There's also name-calling, as Kevin calls Ben a "loser," and potty language (i.e. "butts"). Teamwork and cooperation are highlighted, and there's a positive moment of representation featuring a same-sex couple. Overall, the movie is best for those already familiar with Ben 10 and his Omnitrix: The story and backstory may not be easy to follow for those coming into Ben's world for the first time. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While this is an entertaining movie, for those new to the of Ben 10 world, Ben 10 vs. the Universe isn't the most accessible entry. It starts out simple enough: Our young hero Ben is having his mid-life crisis at least 30 years early, jaded and bored of the drudgery of workaday superheroism. When a planet-destroying meteor is discovered to be hurtling through space toward Earth, Ben sees this as his chance to really shine. This is easy enough to understand, but then it gets into Omnitrix-this and Antitrix-that and the tangled web of story and backstory and the shifting relationships of characters, and what should be a engaging story of saving the world becomes confusing for everyone but superfans of the television series and subsequent movies.
That said, superfans should enjoy Ben 10 vs the Universe. There are new developments to the characters, new superpowers, and constant action and peril. There's a wink-wink humor throughout that keeps it fun, and almost fun for everybody else. But that's the problem. Watching this feels like going to a party in a strange town where everyone is conversing about the goings-on of that town, and it's nearly impossible to get up to speed. In this case, the best thing to do is to sit back and watch the characters fight, and take solace in at least knowing the difference between the good and bad guys, even if it's not always clear how we got to this point.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.