CyberWorld

Movie review by
Betsy Wallace, Common Sense Media
CyberWorld Movie Poster Image
Episodes create a display of computer animation.
  • NR
  • 2000
  • 48 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
Violence

The cyber host dons battle gear and hunts down the bugs with a machine gun. The Antz segment ends in a barroom brawl.

Sex
Language

In the Antz segment, Weaver tells Z to stop his bitching.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the 3-D effects in this movie could scare little kids -- a sea creature snaps at the screen, objects seem to be coming at you, the photography makes you feel as if you're flying or falling.

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What's the story?

A "cyber chick" hosts a tour of an animation gallery until pesky code-eating bugs cause a software crash. The plot connects eight shorts that show off innovative uses of computer animation. Viewers put on 3-D headsets and jump right into the action, zooming through the portal to CyberWorld, a galleria of computer animation located high on a mountaintop. Once inside viewers meet Phig (voice of Jenna Elfman), our guide through the futuristic museum. She shows the first animated film, but then the galleria starts to malfunction. Phig discovers that three bugs are eating the code and sets off to hunt them down. Phig chases the bugs and stumbles upon doors to more animated films. In one, we swim with fantastic underwater creatures, in another we fly with winged golden heads. We're treated to the dance bar scene from the movie Antz, and the Simpsons episode in which Homer enters the third dimension.

Is it any good?

CYBERWORLD is impressive as a first step in a new direction and should go over well as a family attraction. The video was originally intended for IMAX viewing, with all the accompanying technology with cutting-edge animation. The individual films on display in the galleria are novel and often visually breathtaking, but so different that they almost seem not to make sense as part of one movie. Most of the segments are free-form explosions of animation set to music, but three are structured scenes with talking characters. Many fans will have seen the Antz and The Simpsons spots already.

The original IMAX segments are a cute attempt at fitting everything into one framework and arguably could have been stretched to fill a movie on their own. The connecting bits rely on goofy humor such as tech support not being available to answer Phig's call for a hundred and some hours. The independently produced films are much more intellectual, but IMAX makes a nice stab at pulling it all together by having the black hole that Homer Simpson falls into also suck up the bugs and threaten to destroy the galleria. Kids accustomed to sophisticated effects in video games will probably enjoy the video, but it's not clear how well the IMAX experience translates to the video screen. After the movie, a 7-year-old boy, surprised that it was over so quickly, asked, "Is there more tomorrow?" Let's hope the answer is yes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what types of animation each family member enjoys best. Does anyone in the family enjoy drawing? Viewing the video could be a jumping-off point to a family project in which everyone comes up with their own image, much like the video is broken up into discreet segments.

Movie details

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