A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Justice League vs The Fatal Five is a DC Comics/Warner Bros. animated entry that includes time travel as the heroes battle five villains from a thousand years in the future. This action-packed adventure is filled with all manner of weaponry and armed conflicts. From start to finish, viewers will see bombs exploding, gunfire, buildings destroyed, citizens threatened, bodies piling up, and fierce, deadly hand-to-hand combat. Characters are captured, escape, and experience multiple close calls. A featured character makes the ultimate sacrifice and is mourned. Occasional swearing is heard ("hell," "crap," "bastard," "ass," "s--t," "d--k"). One character, experiencing a distorted reality, runs naked through the streets (full body shown from rear). Reference is made to characters experiencing mental challenges (PTSD, paranoia), and one character from the future is dependent upon a medically-approved prescription drug. This story centers on young and/or female Justice League heroes and recruits in addition to the DC icons (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman). It's the first appearance of the Fatal Five (created by Jim Shooter in 1967) in a DC Universe Original Movie.
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What's the story?
A terrifying battle in the 31st century finds three powerful members of the Fatal Five seizing a time travel capsule in JUSTICE LEAGUE VS THE FATAL FIVE. Their mission -- to capture Jessica Cruz (Diane Guerrero), a young member of the Green Lantern Corps. As the time capsule makes its way to 21st century Earth, the heroic Star Boy, aka Thomas Kallor (voiced Elyse Gabel), holds on, trying to stop them. On earth when the capsule is unsealed, mayhem erupts. The Justice League attempts to thwart the time travelers, but are stymied by their extraordinarily-powerful weapons. Star Boy, helpless in this new environment, exhibits bizarre behavior and is taken into custody. Soon aware that the strange young man may have the answers they desperately need, the Justice League calls upon Miss Martian's (Daniela Bobadilla) telepathy powers to reach him. Events escalate; the remaining members of the Fatal Five join their comrades and the planet is in dire danger yet again.
Is it any good?
Innovative, potent new weapons and dangerous time-travelers landing on earth to do battle with the League (highlighting some of its youngest members) makes this a satisfying entry for DC Comic fans. The fact that the movie is drawn in the style of 1990s' animator Bruce Timm is also a plus for long-time buffs. In an interesting twist, two of Justice League vs The Fatal Five's heroes, Jessica Cruz and Star Boy, have psychological issues that initially hamper their heroic efforts. Clearly not explored in depth, such issues plaguing even powerful superheroes helps keep the characters relatable and contemporary. Another action-packed Sam Liu adventure, the movie is too violent for younger kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the animated violence in Justice League vs The Fatal Five. Do you think kids react differently to real versus animated violence? What, if anything, makes the animated action less troubling? Why is it important to be aware of how exposure to violent media make kids more aggressive?
Have you noticed the expansion of females and characters of color in the Justice League franchise? How does this development reflect the changes in today's society? Do you like this adjustment? Why or why not?
How does your family evaluate a film's suitability for the kids in the house? How do age, maturity, and sensitivity factor into the decision-making?
What makes "time travel" stories so appealing? This adventure involves characters from a thousand years in the future. Create (draw or write) your own character from the year 3000. What will he/she/it look like? Can you imagine what the environment and technology might be like?
- On DVD or streaming: April 16, 2019
- Cast: Diane Guerrero, Elyse Gabel, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg
- Director: Sam Liu
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 77 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sci-fi violence, some bloody images, language, and partial nudity
- Last updated: March 4, 2020
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