Disco Worms

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Disco Worms Movie Poster Image
Musical worm tale is bland, with a bit of name calling.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 78 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Worms, called in this film the "lowest species on the food chain," learn that they can be proud of who and what they are. They also realize how crucial it is to follow their dreams and work hard to attain what may seem to be impossible. Winning should not be considered the only prize in a contest...having fun and doing your best are valuable rewards.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Members of "Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms" a '70's disco band illustrate the value of hard work, self-confidence, and refusal to give up easily. Barry's mother is a stereotypical martyr-hypochondriac who henpecks Barry's dad, but eventually learns a lesson. The corporate types are classic one-note businessmen who abuse the workers. One of the members of the Disco Worms is overweight, subject to teasing fat jokes, and chastises himself with lots of self-deprecatory comments. 


A number of scenes include cartoonish pratfalls: a character is whipped around on a fan; the worms are shoveled out with the trash and momentarily trapped; fishermen's hooks endanger the worms; and Barry is squashed by a boot, but in all instances, no one is hurt or injured. Note: The DVD includes a trailer for another movie that has some scary images.


Some mildly suggestive sexual behavior -- a rock star tries to seduce an ardent fan; a worm makes a subtle reference to being gay and having a crush on a man; husband and wife kiss.


One use of "hell." Several scenes show snooty insects teasing and harassing the worms: "sissy," "dumb brain," "fat," "stupid," "greaseball" and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disco Worms includes several instances of name-calling: "sissy," "dumb brain," "fatty," "stupid greaseball," etc. and one use of "hell." Otherwise it's pretty tame (and bland) stuff. There are some typically cartoonish mishaps with no injuries or consequences. Characters get caught in a zipper, smashed by a boot, trapped in a container meant for live bait, threatened by a rusty hook, and more. A sleazy rock star tries to seduce a young female worm-singer and one member of the worm band makes several vague gay references which could easily go right over the heads of young viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhudaq June 2, 2016


This movie is absolutely flawless, the animation is stunning. The characters are extremely well developed and the character development gives me goosebumps. Thi... Continue reading
Adult Written bymommydaddy678 March 4, 2012

Encourages Stereotypes!

This is a film I regret showing my family because of the subtle messages in regards to sexism and racism. The protagonist is of couse a white male worm with no... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 30, 2021
Shrek the Third premiered at the Mann Village Theatre, Westwood in Los Angeles on May 6, 2007,[4] and was released in the United States on May 18, 2007, exactly... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 25, 2020


The only way you’ll like this movie is if you are 0-7 years old. Otherwise skip it. I saw it when I was REALLY little and forgot all of it. I watched it in 2020... Continue reading

What's the story?

Barry the Earthworm is growing up. He's on his way to a full-time job filing compost reports and settling down. But Barry wants more than that. He's tired of being laughed at because of his lowly status as a dirt-eating worm. When he hears about a TV song contest, he realizes that winning could mean fame, fortune, and a different way of life. So Barry and his overweight, but loving best friend decide to enter the contest with the dance sensation of the 1970s...disco! Gathering an odd assortment of would-be musicians (including Lucy, voiced by Jane Lynch) "Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms" sets out to prove, once and for all, that earthworms are special, that they can boogie.

Is it any good?

The message of the movie is fine: follow your dreams, work hard, earn respect. There are amiable recreations of some iconic disco hits ("Play That Funky Music," "YMCA," etc.). The characters are likeable.

But it's all a bland affair. Neither the story nor the humor is original or clever. Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms can boogie, but they're simply not that special.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the message of this movie. What does it say about the value of winning and losing? Does the movie communicate its message effectively? Does anything detract from its message?

  • What does the expression "bottom of the food chain" mean? How do Barry, Gloria, and the others change the opinions of the other creatures in the yard? What causes misconceptions about others? How can you avoid making incorrect judgments about others?

  • How did you feel about everyone laughing at Tito because of his overeating? How did Tito feel about himself? What are the consequences of bullying?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love watching together as a family

Themes & Topics

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