A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Promotes teamwork, perseverance, staying true to oneself, and giving second chances.
Positive Role Models
Female characters are as courageous, smart, and effective as their male counterparts in other superhero stories. Multiethnic (and multispecies) heroes work well together and protect each other. Parental figures are reliable and loving and root for their kids' success.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of cartoon violence: explosions, lasers, falls, captures, hand-to-hand battles, swordplay, scary villains, and life-or-death moments. The heroic teen girls are in jeopardy in multiple sequences. Cackling, power-hungry villains have superpowers and use their slithering, shadowy, sharp-toothed accomplices to threaten everyone. No serious injuries or deaths.
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Products & Purchases
Another entry in the vast DC Comics-Warner Bros. animation franchise. This is the first full-length feature emanating from a 2015–2016 YouTube television series. Toys and related products are sold everywhere.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year is the first feature-length movie based on two seasons of DC Super Hero Girls, very short "webisodes" that aired online in 2015 and 2016. The movie also ties in with the DC Comics-Time Warner-Mattel release of action figures and products related to the high school-age versions of established female comic book characters, both heroes and villains. Audiences meet perennial favorites (i.e., Super Girl, Bat Girl, Wonder Woman) as kids and get a glimpse of their backstories, family relationships, and individual personalities. Though focused on the girls, this film doesn't stint on the superhero action. There are enough battles, explosions, evildoers, and threats to the planet to satisfy cartoon action fans and to keep the story moving swiftly. In this first film installment, the antagonists come from outside of Super Hero High, so the ethnically diverse schoolmates (familiar as "good" guys and "bad" guys) must band together to defeat them. This is OK for kids who are comfortable with pretend vs. real violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With the emphasis here on teen girls in action mode, these superheroes are proactive, competent, courageous, and, best of all, not shopping, flirting, and primping. While the animation is routine and the story sometimes overpopulated and overcomplicated, the performances are upbeat and fun. Younger kids might not be able to follow all the intricacies of broken shields, quick trips to other planets, missing gems, and even a "helicopter" mom, but it doesn't really matter. Rooting interest is strong in DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year. Dependent upon one's viewpoint about violence -- does it go down easier when girls are wielding the weapons and the spells? -- this franchise will find an audience. And it will certainly be another marketing bonanza for DC Comics, Warner Bros., and Mattel.
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.