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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High is the second animated Lego movie in this teen hero franchise for kids. Once again, cross-marketing offers ample opportunity to stream/sell movies, toys, and branded merchandise. This entry pits the classic superhero girls (Supergirl, Batgirl, the young Wonder Woman) against a formidable team of teen DC characters (i.e. Cheetah, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn) who've been manipulated by Lena Luthor, younger sister of DC nemesis Lex Luthor. Lego character battles and skirmishes are frequent, but, as is always the case, there are no serious injuries or deaths. Expect laser fire, captures, plummeting, vehicle crashes, swordplay, hand-to-hand combat, and all manner of cartoon danger. Messages about teamwork, competition, and trust are integrated into the action-packed story. Though designed for young audiences, the movie is okay only for kids who clearly understand the difference between real and imaginary violence.
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What's the story?
Lena Luthor (voiced by Romi Dames) is in top villain form as she tries to rule the planet once again in LEGO DC SUPERHERO GIRLS: SUPER-VILLAIN HIGH. This time Lena needs help. To that end, she sabotages certain friendships at SuperHero High School and entices some of its more powerful students to enroll in "Uber High," a school she conveniently built just for that task. Her initial recruiting efforts are successful. Cheetah (Ashley Eckstein), Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn (both voiced by Tara Strong), Frost (Danica McKellar), and Catwoman (Cristina Purcell) are duped into joining Lena, whose identity has been disguised. Lena sends her new recruits out on a series of thefts, which they perceive as school assignments. Back at SuperHero High, however, Batgirl (Ashlyn Madden), Supergirl (Anais Fairweather), and Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin) discover Lena's nefarious plan and set out to foil it. As they use their superpowers to defeat Lena, they must face off against the special skills of their old friends who've been turned against them.
Is it any good?
If derring-do and physical conflict are popular with girls as well as boys in today's marketplace, Warner Brothers, DC Comics, and Lego have created a franchise that continues to build an audience. How enviable that is remains a question that parents and professionals consider. Does the violence go down easier for an 8-year-old when the participants are tiny plastic toys? Lego DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High is filled with scenes of can-do girls battling and outwitting the power-hungry Lena Luthor and her temporary accomplices. The story is easy to follow, has suspense, a few mild twists and turns, and does offer some opportunities for messages about friendship, trust, competition, and teamwork. And, there's some fun as well, as the girls -- in control at all times -- prove to be as unstoppable as they are smart and kind.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cartoon peril in movies intended for kids. What is the impact of such violence on kids? How does your family determine whether or not the kids in your family are ready for movies like Lego DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High?
A significant market strategy exists between toy companies, film companies, and licensing entities. "See the movie, buy the toys. Buy the toys, then see the movie." Why is important to be aware of these joint ventures? How does your family handle this issue?
What do you think is meant by the statement: "When friends fight, other people get hurt?" Have you ever seen this happen?
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