A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain and inspire rather than educate.
"Memories make us what we are. Don't let bad memories stop you from making good ones." Promotes using technological advances for good and fighting against injustice.
Positive Role Models
Spirited but troubled young heroine learns to deal with long-standing anger and hurt, channel her feelings into positive behavior. She becomes effective force for good. Well-intentioned but neglectful parent learns value of being present for her child. Standard bully changes her ways.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent animated violence: robots in heated battle, explosions, gunfire, laser fire, human characters held captive, falls, chases, kids in peril, young bully and her victim fight. Destruction of robots. Villain fiercely threatens humans with death; obliterates one man.
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A small dog is equipped with a profanity-bleeping device. He erupts in angry gibberish to simulate swearing, which is then bleeped.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Next Gen is an animated sci-fi adventure that takes place in a futuristic city where robots play a significant role in citizens' lives. The story centers on the relationship between an angry 12-year-old girl named Young Mai (voiced by Charlyne Yi) and an AI (Artificial Intelligence) called 7723 (John Krasinski), who join together to fight a villain. While relationships are at the core of the story, viewers can also expect lots of cartoon mayhem: robot battles, human fighting, explosions, laser and gunfire, falls, chases, a human held captive, bullies, and threats to the entire populace. A quick-tempered pet erupts in angry gibberish to simulate swearing, which is then bleeped. The film also offers thoughtful messages about dealing with loss, healing, and the importance of memories in each individual's life. Based on friendship, love, grief, evil, and justice, this story has lots of characters and story elements, but kids in middle grades and up who are used to some complexity should be able to follow it. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A warmhearted story lies beneath the vibrant animation and imaginative cartoon mayhem, all made distinctive by the outstanding cast of actors and the original characters they've created. Charlyne Yi's Mai is unique: surly, funny, needy, and smart. John Krasinski is wonderful as 7723, evolving almost magically from robot to almost-human. Jason Sudeikis and David Cross are simply terrific. Next Gen is long and packed with many characters and plot complications that probably didn't need to be as complicated, and it has some striking changes in tone. But it's easy to see why Netflix came up with a lot of money when the film was up for sale in Cannes, France. Recommended.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.