Horrid Henry: The Movie

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Horrid Henry: The Movie Movie Poster Image
Forgettable British kid comedy is pretty horrid indeed.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie will introduce many viewers to the popular British children's books on which it's based.

Positive Messages

Amid the mayhem and rude humor, there's a positive message that even a kid who's supposedly "horrid" can rise above his reputation as a ne'er-do-well prankster and do the right thing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite all his jokes and pranks, Henry does want to accomplish something in the end -- save his school and even get his teacher back in the classroom. His little brother is the stereotypical "good son" who rarely gets into trouble and generally does as he's told.

Violence & Scariness

Slapstick/prank-style violence: Water balloon fights, adults get slimed with goo or a bucket of paint, kids get tripped, etc.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Several insults usually scatological in nature, like "slug bucket," "slug snot," "bogey brain," "cockroach fart," and more. Lots of fart/booger jokes (Henry at one point picks his nose and flicks his "bogey" toward the camera; another time he's trying to be clandestine, but then he farts and everyone turns around to see who caused the smell).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Horrid Henry: The Movie is based on the popular British chapter books by award-winning author Francesca Simon. The main character -- Henry -- is a prankster boy who hates school, dreams of becoming a rock star, and revels in stinky, scatological "boy humor." Families averse to fart/booger jokes will want to steer clear, but otherwise the only thing objectionable is the number of insults that are hurled in the movie ("slug bucket," "bogey brain," "cockroach fart," etc.").

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 6, 8, and 9-year-old Written bymom2fourgr8kids June 22, 2013

Just not worth it!

Save your money... The kids didn't even watch 15 minutes of it. The music was terrible, and there was already a lot of it in that 15 minutes. We rented... Continue reading
Parent of a 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11-year-old Written byDiana K. September 18, 2017

I can't even.

Not ONE of the SIX children living in my home wanted to finish this movie. It is not entertaining and the characters in the movie are annoying. The movie itself... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 8, 2014
Good Good Good, etc...
A bit to predictable and unreal scenes that would never happen in real life.
Kid, 7 years old April 6, 2020

The start good

I have only seen the start it looks pretty good

What's the story?

Based on Francesca Simon's popular series of Horrid Henry books, HORRID HENRY: THE MOVIE follows Henry (Theo Stevenson), a misbehaving English boy who plays pranks, fights with the rule-following girl in his class, and has a hate-hate relationship with his teacher, Miss Battleaxe (Anjelica Huston). When Henry, the leader of the Purple Hand Gang of pranksters, embarrasses his elementary school during a big inspection, Miss Battleaxe gets fired, and the school is put on probation. Forced to attend an all-girls private school (his wealthy great aunt believes he's a girl), Henry finds himself collaborating with his rule-following brother, Perfect Peter (Ross Marron), and his archnemesis neighbor, Moody Margaret (Scarlett Stitt), to save his old school.

Is it any good?

This is a forgettable, fart-joke-filled adaptation. While wildly popular in Great Britain, Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry books haven't found the same kind of success across the pond. Most American audiences, therefore, won't have the built-in familiarity that they have with, say, the Ramona or Wimpy Kid stories. Maybe it's better that way. Perhaps if Henry were a character dear to someone's heart, the movie would deserve one less star.

Henry is your standard Dennis the Menace "problem child"-meets-class clown. But Stevenson's portrayal of Henry is so over the top (as is every aspect of this production) that it seems better suited for a TV special than a full-length film. ER fans will relish a supporting role by Parminder Nagra as Miss Lovely (the sweet and pretty foil to the strict and humorless Miss Battleaxe), and it's always a joy to see Huston work. But even those notable supporting actresses can't elevate this mess of a movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about book-to-screen adaptations. How are your expectations different when you're familiar with the books? Does this movie make you want to read the Horrid Henry books?

  • Do you think all the rude/body humor is funny? Why are movies aimed at young kids -- especially boys -- filled with so many poop/fart/booger jokes?

  • What did Henry learn about school and his school nemesis? Do you think people are more than their reputations?

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