A so-so sophomoric space comedy.
  • Review Date: June 19, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Fred is the equivalent of a 10-year-old boy in maturity level, farting openly, not taking responsibility, and not taking anything seriously. Fred also sacrifices and nearly gives his life for his colleagues.

Violence & scariness

A lot of comic clumsiness that results in injuries: A man gets hit in the head with a toy and suffers a skull fracture. Fred careens out of control and hits a man in a wheelchair. Fred and Bill almost die when they run out of oxygen. Bill gets trapped under a space vehicle. The whole team almost dies when their spacecraft gets hit and starts to freefall to the Mars surface. Ulysees the chimp bites Fred and Fred waves him around, knocking him into things.

Sexy stuff

Fred and Julie dance and kiss once.

Not applicable

A lot of Disney characters are mentioned in the film. Fred sings songs from The Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio. Fred wears a Mr. Peanut t-shirt.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Fred and Bill go to a bar, where Fred drinks lots of shots, gets drunk, and forces Julie to dance with him. Julie tells Bill, "Getting someone drunk like that is wrong."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Fred and a number of other characters do pratfalls that look fun, but could be dangerous if kids attempt them, like running into someone who's injured, breaking a window, etc. The movie also contains some perilous scenes where the main characters nearly die in a space accident, making this movie a better fit for kids 7 and up. There is also some toilet humor.

What's the story?

Fred Z. Randall (Harland Williams) is a man who has dreamed about space travel for as long as he can remember. Now 30 and still living at home with a mother who makes his sandwiches for him, Fred creates software programs for NASA simulations. When the most recent one he created for a mission to Mars seemingly malfunctions and the astronaut scheduled for the trip gets injured in Fred's office (the first of many injuries and pratfalls to come), Fred gets the chance of a lifetime: To train with and travel to the moon with legendary space cowboy \"Wild Bill\" Overbeck (William Sadler) and the beautiful biologist Julie Ford (Jessica Lundy).

Is it any good?


ROCKETMAN looks, from the DVD cover and the beginning of the story, like a warm-hearted, family movie. The more you watch, however, the more you get the sense that this isn't a Disney movie of the Son of Flubber or the classic Shaggy Dog caliber. Instead, it's just another sophomoric fantasy with a little toilet humor to round it out.

The premise should give you the first hint that this film is totally absurd. What's unfortunate is that it isn't absurd in the good, clean way that the original Nutty Professor was. Instead, it's tinged with the immaturity of American Pie and the toilet humor of Dumb and Dumber -- but it's not as good as either of those. Having eaten all the food on the ship, Fred serves his fellow astronauts microwaved toothpaste and hemorrhoid cream. He loses a prized medallion in the space toilet and goes after it. He passes gas in his space suit and it gets transmitted to his fellow astronaut. It's funny, sure -- and your 8-year-old will likely love it. But it's not great. And it's not the kind of movie you keep around for years to come.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why kids like seeing movies where adults act like kids. Do you think it's OK to really act the way Fred does at his job?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 20, 1997
DVD release date:May 17, 2007
Cast:Beau Bridges, Harland Williams, Jessica Lundy
Director:Stuart Gillard
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Space and aliens
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language, crude humor and thematic elements

This review of Rocketman was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byfibrocat March 14, 2010

Good, fun movie for tots 4+

Love this hysterical movie. Right up there with "Airplane" only without the bad language and sexual inuendo. I feel children aged 4+ will find the monkey and Fred Randall's child-likeness fun.
Kid, 10 years old August 19, 2013

familey movie is full of laughter

This movie was awesome I watched it with my parents and we loved it we lent it to gramma and grandpa and guess what they loved it. I think this is a great familey flim no matter how many bad reviews people make.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old February 12, 2011

funny movie

this movie isn't exactly "good", but it is very funny
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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