A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can learn valuable life lessons, like perseverance and courage, from playing video games, but they also need to live in the real world and apply those lessons there. It's not healthy to try to avoid real life by escaping into virtual reality.
Superheroes come in all shapes, colors, sizes. Some kids may try to escape real world by spending more time online. On the downside, there are some weight-based jokes ("chubby," "muffin top").
Positive Role Models
Reid admits that he prefers virtual world because there he doesn't flunk classes, get called names, or get turned down for the prom. He learns to be as brave in the real world as in the virtual one. Melanie has a life plan that includes college and getting married, but she learns to live a little outside her scheduled plans. She has more advanced mechanical and engineering skills than male classmate. A father risks his life and ventures to a new planet to save his children. Majority of heroes are Black.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of animated action, including video game characters who fight with fire, lasers, stun guns, swords, spears, and get tossed around, squeezed, caged, let loose in mazes, hit, shot out of spaceships into space. Dr. Arcannis kidnaps space babies to "harvest" their superpowers, maliciously twists neck of a talking teddy bear. He freezes and shoots up entire U.S. Army units (which use guns, tanks), and blows up an Army plane in plan to dominate Earth. The babies escape, wreak havoc as they uncontrollably wield their superpowers. One almost gets hit by a truck but saves the driver right before truck falls off bridge, explodes. Babies fight off Arcannis and minions, save Reid and Melanie. The teens almost drive a motorcycle into oncoming traffic, take a death-defying jump off a cliff, put their lives at risk fighting Arcannis.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Reid and Melanie grow to like each other and have a date in the final scene, where Reid touches Melanie's hand.
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Taunts about a creature's weight ("chubby," "muffin top") and bad breath. Angry name-calling like "filth," "imbecile," and "you pile of worthless skin cells." The general's swear-substitutes include "Sweet God in heaven," "Mother of all things holy" and "Poop just got real."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fearless is an animated action film about criminal masterminds, space babies with superpowers, and "real world" teens who have to put down the video game to save the day. The action can get fairly violent, but it's animated and generally offset with humor. The moments likely to be scariest are when the adorable babies find themselves in danger -- like when they're kidnapped repeatedly or when one is almost hit by a truck. Characters also fight with fire, lasers, stun guns, swords, spears, tanks, guns, cages, monsters, mazes, and machines to transfer superpowers. Teens almost drive a motorcycle into oncoming traffic, take a death-defying jump off a cliff, and put their lives at risk fighting the bad guys. But the film also has plenty of humor, including in the characters' mutual taunts (some -- "chubby," "muffin top" -- target a creature's weight). Angry name-calling includes "filth," "imbecile" and "you pile of worthless skin cells," while a general uses swearing stand-ins like "Sweet God in heaven," "Mother of all things holy" and "Poop just got real." The diverse group of characters demonstrate courage and perseverance, and there's a clear message about the idea that it's not healthy to try to avoid real life by escaping into virtual reality. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The plot, action, and animation are all engaging, but what really sets this film apart is how much fun the voice actors seem to be having with their many one-liners. Union is especially amusing as General Blazerhatch, the power-hungry commander of the special task force assigned with capturing the errant aliens. Blazerhatch has been gifted with a stockpile of unreasonable demands (like being handed a clipboard every two minutes), a blustery cluelessness, and laughable expressions of wonder like "poop just got real" or putting out an APB on "infants of mass destruction."
In addition to the entertaining characters, the film has a good soundtrack and some fun asides, like that the space babies can only be soothed by the music of "national treasure" Lionel Richie. Though Fearless starts off with an action scene that's a little disorienting until all the characters are properly introduced, the story really clicks about 30 minutes in, when the two teens take off on the run from Dr. Arcannis. The deepening relationship between Reid and Melanie, their care for the babies, and the lessons they learn about themselves on their adventure provide a sweet storyline to balance out the action.
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.