Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Movie Poster Image

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

(i)

 

Fun musical adventure includes some innuendo and a death.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: January 25, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 43 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film flips convention by making Dr. Horrible, an evil villain, into the romantic hero of the story, while Captain Hammer, the do-good champion, is a callous and vain womanizer who capitalizes on his reputation to meet women.

Violence

Several scenes feature superhero action, including super-strength fistfights, freeze rays, and other unrealistic feats that have little impact on the participants, though there's one tragic, accidental death.

Sex

Plenty of romance, awkward flirting, some sexual innuendo (talk of giving Penny "the night of her life"), and a few references to sex (including a mention of one character's penis).

Language

Some swearing, including "balls," "kick your ass," and references to being gay.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this short movie is fun and quirky, but includes some sexual innuendo and a suprising death. The movie reverses the standard "hero" model, by focusing on Dr. Horrible, an evil villain bent on world domination who is hoping to win admission to the Evil League of Evil. Though his plans include stealing rare materials for his secret weapon, and attempting to kill his nemesis, the valiant Captain Hammer, inside Dr. Horrible is also a sweet, shy romantic, who has fallen in love with Penny, a girl he met at the laundromat. Captain Hammer, conversely, is a vain egomaniac who uses his hero status to get women into bed. There's some cartoonish violence and mild swearing ("ass"), as well as references to sex and one character's penis.

What's the story?

Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) is an evil villain straight from central casting – mad-scientist laugh: check. Plans for world domination: check. Outlandish weaponry, distinctive costume, and a super-powered nemesis: check, check, and check. And now he's planning one of his biggest heists ever, hoping to impress his fellow bad guys and earn a spot in the Evil League of Evil. Yet he also shows a distinctly non-villainous side, a shy, awkward young man too nervous to ask out Penny, the cute girl he meets at the laundromat. Unfortunately, when Penny (Felicia Day) finds herself in peril, it's Dr. Horrible's arch-enemy, the valiant Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), who saves the day and wins a date with the girl. Can the evil Dr. Horrible find a way to win her over from a true hero?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This clever film plays with convention, by making a villain into the star of the show. Yes, he's cooking up a dastardly scheme, and we even see him pulling off a heist. But his evil deeds pale in comparison to the smarmy Captain Hammer. The hero is the real villain here, a smug, conceited cad who uses his hero-status to charm the ladies. While Dr. Horrible really loves Penny, Captain Hammer just wants to get her into bed, and it's up to the bad-guy to prove that he can sing about being her hero.

Yes, sing. Because not only is this a brilliant send-up of the standard superhero format, it's also a musical. Sure, it might sound like a strange idea, but then, so does the whole concept. On paper, it may be hard to see how all of this comes together. But on the screen, it fits together perfectly. It's a great idea, executed perfectly, and wildly entertaining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the standard hero storyline. Is Dr. Horrible a hero or a villain? How does he differ from traditional heroes? Does Captain Hammer seem like a hero? Is there more to being a hero than fighting crime? How does this film tweak convention? Do you think it's OK to make a criminal into the good guy? Who do you like more, Dr. Horrible or Captain Hammer?

Movie details

DVD release date:December 19, 2008
Cast:Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris
Director:Joss Whedon
Studio:INC.
Genre:Musical
Topics:Superheroes
Run time:43 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byJames Picard January 19, 2013

The Name May Sound Weird, but it's a Great Film

This is proof of what you can do with a low budget, great writing, and great acting. My personal favorite musical (though I haven't seen many, so I'm not the most reliable source), it hits all the right beats. Neil Patrick Harris is hilarious, intimidating, pitiful, and has a beautiful voice, though that's the same across the board. Nathan Fillion is a huge jerk in this movie, once more proving his range (anyone who doubts it needs to watch Firefly). Felicia Day is also a welcome presence, able to effortlessly nail the duets with Neil. The Bad Horse Trio is also very funny, and provides some much needed levity to this dark, sad tale. Once again, Joss Whedon proves he's a genius, managing to combine a superhero farce with a musical tragedy, and it's brilliant. I can't wait for the sequel.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bykaitlynanne November 15, 2011

Fun songs but scary death

(Spoiler alert) The older kids loooved it, have all the songs on their ipods. Penny's death was really shocking and scary for my 6 year old however. But it was zany fun that the older audience can enjoy.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written byparentmj August 19, 2012

Worst film I ever saw with my kids

Gee, we found this offensive, inappropriate, lame and boring. Who at CSM reviewed this? Is there more than one version? we saw a PG-13, or nearly R-rated version. Or perhaps you need to review this again; your review is completely inconsistent with CSM ratings/reviews for other films. Prior to seeing this film, we trusted CSM completely -- no longer.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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