A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie centers on the offspring of the original Marvel Avengers and their efforts to battle the villain who killed their parents and threatens the life of their guardian. As such there are themes of parental death and -- not surprisingly -- avenging their murders. The young superheroes battle a seemingly unstoppable Ultron, though the continuous sci-fi violence depicted is very much in keeping with comic book style.
What's the story?
NEXT AVENGERS: HEROES OF TOMORROW is the fifth in a series of animated films based on Marvel Comics, and this one picks up after Ultron has killed almost all of the original Avengers. Their children were whisked off by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, (voiced by Tom Kane) and isolated from danger in a biodome in the Antarctic. Now, 12 years later, Ultron and his robot armies have taken control of half of planet Earth. Through a series of unfortunate events, the Next Avengers' secret location is revealed, and the neophyte superheroes must defend themselves and fight off an army of Iron Avengers, robotic copies of their own parents. They are joined by a young Avenger named Hawkeye (Adrian Petriw) who was mistakenly left behind to fend for himself.
Is it any good?
For fans of the comic book genre, Next Avengers is a rollicking, fast-paced tale that will entertain adults and kids hardy enough for the nonstop cartoon violence. The individual young Avengers have distinct personalities and hybrid skills handed down from their super-parents, so those familiar with the older generation of Marvel heroes should appreciate the continuity. As seriously as these young teens take themselves, they have grown up as a family and no one is above good-natured ribbing, lending a welcome comic breather to some of the more intense scenes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which of the young superheroes' powers they'd like to have, and why. For fans of James Fenimore Cooper -- what is the significance of Hawkeye's name, and why would that character have it? Would you have made the same decision as Torunn at the end of the movie?
- In theaters: September 2, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: September 2, 2008
- Cast: Fred Tatasciore, Ken Kramer, Tom Kane
- Director: Jay Oliva
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures
- Run time: 73 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: sci-fi action violence and some mild language
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