Horrid Henry: The Movie



Forgettable British kid comedy is pretty horrid indeed.
  • Review Date: February 22, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable

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).

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.").

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?


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 forgettable, fart-joke-filled adaptation.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 11, 2013
DVD release date:June 4, 2013
Cast:Anjelica Huston, Parminder Nagra, Richard E. Grant, Theo Stevenson
Director:Nick Moore
Studio:Phase 4 Films
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some rude humor

This review of Horrid Henry: The Movie was written by

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old May 14, 2013

Horrid Henry is really funny for kids

I think Horrid Henry is really good.I am a really big fan of it and hope Horrid Henry 2 will come out soon :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
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, 8 years old October 9, 2013

better than the books

this movie is better than the books and has some name calling a bit violence but its awesome definetely no role models it had violence when henry was in the game show and could die and people call nicknames like horrid henry sour susan and brainy brain but its age appropriate


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