A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Marvel's Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell is a 2016 animated feature in which The Incredible Hulk and Dr. Strange team up with some scary-looking good guys to do battle with scary-looking bad guys determined to unleash a nightmarish dream reality on Earth. The cartoon violence and demonic imagery is constant and unrelenting -- often this movie feels like nothing more than one violent and/or demonic image after the other. There's some verbal bullying -- a group of tweens peer pressure a tween boy into ringing the doorbell of a haunted-looking house on Halloween. While fans of these characters and fans of superhero cartoons might enjoy this, kids and parents who aren't already fans of these superheroes will be turned off by the nightmarish imagery, the needlessly confusing storyline, and cheesy dialogue.
What's the story?
MARVEL's HULK: WHERE MONSTERS DWELL begins on Halloween in New York City, and a group of tweens dare a boy to ring the doorbell of what looks to be a haunted mansion. When he works up the nerve to ring the doorbell, the door opens and the kids are greeted with the sight of Dr. Strange (Liam O'Brien) fighting monsters from the world of nightmares, trying to keep them contained so they can return to their human forms. Dr. Strange calls on The Incredible Hulk (Fred Tatasciore) to come to New York City to help him stop these emerging monsters. The duo is joined by the Howling Commandos -- Man-Thing, Vampire by Night, Warwolf, and Minotaur -- to guard New York and the waking world as Dr. Strange and Hulk to do battle with Nightmare, the monster trying to escape the Dream Dimension and conquer Earth. Meanwhile, Hulk must do battle with his alter-ego, Bruce Banner (Jesse Burch), who he has split from, convinced that Banner is the reason for the times when he's defeated.
Is it any good?
There are times when this movie feels like little more than a seemingly endless series of violent and/or demonic images. There's a story in this mess somewhere, but there are so many side stories that it's hard for anyone but the most die-hard fans to keep everything straight. Furthermore, the hilariously awful dialogue, especially from Dr. Strange, is so parodic, it sounds like something Will Farrell would exclaim in Elf ("Great Odin's beard!").
Even the overarching message in Marvel's Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell -- that it's ok to be different -- has been done so many times in the X-Men franchise alone, and done so much better. The only remotely interesting side story concerns the Hulk's battle with his alter-ego Bruce Banner. But one side story out of four or five, in addition to the main story, hardly sustains interest over the course of a 75-minute feature. The end result is a jumbled mess of tangled storylines and demonic imagery.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in cartoons like Marvel's Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell. Does it make the stories more exciting or entertaining? Is it always necessary?
Why do comic-book companies and toy manufacturers produce kids' entertainment in which their products are prominently featured?
How have characters like The Incredible Hulk and Dr. Strange managed to remain popular among kids (and adults) for so many years?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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