My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea Movie Poster Image
Edgy high school disaster comedy is memorably offbeat.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 75 minutes

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some iffy behavior on display, but ultimately encourages friendship, teamwork, and perseverance. Some cliquishness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are flawed but well-meaning. Dash is resourceful and persistent in trying to get to safety and convince others to join him. Mary and Verti get over their preconceptions and help encourage each other to do what's necessary to survive. Assaf finds his voice and becomes more courageous and assertive as the movie continues. The lunch lady is brave and helpful.


When the building falls into the sea, high-school students are injured. Some also drown and eventually some are killed by sharks. In one scene, a bunch of students fight and punch one another. Various characters die, usually by drowning, although in one case a character is decapitated.


Kissing and discussion of dating, dying a virgin, having sex, and which girls are hot (or not).


Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "d--k," "ass," "loser."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several of the teens take pills, smoke pot; discussion of drug dealers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea is a sometimes-edgy animated disaster film set in a cliffside California high school. Written and directed by graphic novelist Dash Shaw, the movie features some scenes of violence: Teens are injured, drowned, and killed by sharks (one is even decapitated); they also fight each other. Strong language includes "s--t" and "ass," and teen characters kiss and talk about sex/sex-related topics (dating, virginity, etc.). There's some drug use/references (pill consumption, pot smoking, discussion of dealers etc.). While the characters certainly aren't perfect, many are resourceful and persistent, and the movie has themes of friendship and teamwork. Well-known actors including Lena Dunham, Jason Schwartzman, and Maya Rudolph provide the voices.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byTherealdirtydan December 27, 2018

Strange and fun

Striking animation and an unrealistic yet funny plot and surprisingly heartfelt ending. Definitely worth seeing.
Teen, 17 years old Written byT J May 8, 2018

What's the story?

MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA is an animated disaster story that follows nerdy student journalists/best friends Dash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) and Assaf (Reggie Watts). They're writing partners for their California high school newspaper until their editor, Verti (Maya Rudolph), assigns a cover story just to Assaf. Dash figures out that the principal forged the paperwork for the school's new addition moments before an earthquake pushes the building into a sinkhole in the Pacific. The school is stacked vertically, with the freshman floor on the lowest level and the seniors on top. So Dash -- who's mad at Assaf and Verti's blossoming connection -- leads a small squad, including the lunch lady (Susan Sarandon) and popular cheerleader Mary (Lena Dunham) -- to relative safety on the upper floors. To get there, they must swim and climb their way through occasionally shark-infested, corpse-strewn waters.

Is it any good?

Unabashedly trippy and weird, this animated coming-of-age disaster film is darkly comedic, and, like the catastrophe it portrays, impossible not to get sucked into. Graphic novelist-turned-animator Dash Shaw knows how to create an absurd, hilarious, and unforgettable movie that's likely to become a cult favorite with cool kids, film geeks, and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted, if psychedelic, animated feature. Dash isn't exactly an endearing protagonist at first, but he grows on viewers as he tries to convince others to push their way up to the senior floor -- and possibly to freedom -- before everyone and everything sinks.

Many of My Entire High School Is Sinking Into the Sea's social-status and doomsday jokes might go over the head of younger audiences, but older viewers will find them laugh-out-loud funny. Like most high school comedies, it's probably easier to appreciate when you're done with that stage in life. But there's a lot for teens to enjoy as well, particularly the various cliques, the surprisingly observant lunch lady, and the senior cult that forms around a senior golden boy. But the bloodthirsty sharks and the unmitigated danger of the ocean don't distinguish between the popular and the unpopular. So the unlikely crew of Dash, Assaf, Verti, Mary, the lunch lady, and a few other stragglers prove that, with enough will and resolve, you can overcome even the unlikeliest of disasters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. Is it necessary to the story? Why or why not? How would the impact be different if the movie was live action instead of animated?

  • Who do you think the movie's target audience is? How can you tell? Do you think there should be more animated movies that appeal to high schoolers rather than younger audiences?

  • Are the characters relatable? Are any of them role models? Why? How do they demonstrate perseverance and teamwork?

Movie details

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