A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Legends of Valhalla: Thor -- while a 2011 Icelandic computer-animated feature that's a playful take on a classic tale from mythology -- does include some crass humor and cartoonish violence. In one scene, bored, flatulent giants set their gas on fire, and in another scene, a dizzy hammer is heard vomiting on the ground. Continually, Odin's eye gets knocked out of its head by this same hammer; the eyeball falls and rolls on the ground. In one scene, a character makes a gesture as a way to describe the breast size of a goddess. There are many battle scenes in which characters are left frozen in a block of ice. Overall, however, this is a relatively lighthearted -- and not the most accurate interpretation -- of a well-known mythological story.
What's the story?
Thor (Justin Gregg) is a restless teen who would rather be a warrior instead of a blacksmith. He makes an offering of a roast pig to his father, Odin, who left him and his mother when Thor was very young. Meanwhile, in Valhalla, Odin has been offered a powerful golden hammer, but in a rage, throws it to earth, where Thor picks it up and slowly begins to learn how to use it, in the hopes of being a warrior who can protect his village from the evil giants lurking about. As the giants, led by an evil ice goddess, begin to invade and conquer Thor's village, turning everyone around him into giant blocks of thick ice, Thor assembles a ragtag army to help turn the tide, as Odin begins to realize the errors he has made in abandoning Thor.
Is it any good?
Those expecting an accurate contemporary rendering of the classic mythological tale of Thor are advised to not watch LEGENDS OF VALHALLA: THOR. This computer-animated feature is a more playful take on Thor's story, for better or worse. The violence of battle here is turned into cartoonish, almost slapstick violence, as "wacky" characters walk around with spears in their chests, battleaxes in their foreheads, and decapitated talking heads in their hands. The mood is lightened with "jokes" involving flatulence and vomiting.
Still, despite the liberties taken in the story, and the obvious attempts to align itself with the release of the action movie Thor at the exact same time, this isn't a bad movie, per se. The animation, while not of Pixar quality, is above average, and the character voicings aren't as annoying and obnoxious as other computer-animated movies out there. With the right expectations and attitude, older kids will enjoy this somewhat quirky take on the hero's journey.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mythology. Based on what you know about the original story of Thor, how is this version similar to and different from the legendary story?
How does this compare with other computer-animated features?
Does cartoonish violence lessen the intensity of the battle scenes? Why or why not?
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