Sky High

  • Review Date: January 12, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Cartoony high school superhero drama; OK for tweens.
  • Review Date: January 12, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 99 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Deceits, fights, dirty tricks, and a supervillain's plot to destroy the school.

Positive role models

Will is a good guy, born to amazing parents. Through the course of the film, he learns an important lesson about what's really important.

Violence & scariness

Lots of cartoony action; three major fights involving fireballs, slamming into walls and windows.

Sexy stuff

High school students kiss chastely; women heroes wear form-fitting costumes.


Very mild ("butt" and "sucks").


Band posters on bedroom wall.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One boy lights a cigarette and is told to put it out; at a party, high school kids dance and drink (unknown beverages).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the film includes several scenes of knock-down, spectacular (but cartoonish) violence, where kids with superpowers slam each other into walls and through windows, or zap one another with freeze rays and fireballs. One particular kid is sulky, others are anxious, and several are bullies, dunking one child's head in a toilet, throwing someone's cap in the mud, tripping, harassing, and beating up smaller kids. At the beginning of the film, superparents save the city, while a TV announcers says, "Evil has struck our morning commute," which some sensitive viewers might want to discuss, in relation to the recent London underground attacks. There is some mild profanity.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Fourteen-year-old Will (Michael Angarano) is afraid to tell his superparents -- Commander Stronghold (Kurt Russell) and Josie Jetstream (Kelly Preston) -- that his own powers have not yet appeared. And when he begins high school -- Sky High, which hovers above the earth, "in constant motion as a precaution against those who might have nefarious plans" -- his fears are reconfirmed. The students are divided into two groups: those with powers and those without (sidekicks).

Is it any good?


Brightly colored and extra perky, SKY HIGH makes good fun of the usual high school drama. This cartoony coming out story soon gives way to a cartoony straightening out story, as Will gains his powers after all, falls for conniving Student Body President Gwen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and almost misses the gentle appeal and loyalty of girl-next-door Layla (Danielle Panabaker).

Will also discovers he has a sworn enemy -- sullen, leather-jacketed firestarter Warren Peace (Steven Strait) holds a grudge against Will because Commander Stronghold defeated his supervillain father ("If you ever cross me again," he growls at Will, "I'll roast you alive.") Because this is a Disney movie, everyone eventually learns to play nice. To get from here to there, this initially sprightly film grinds its gears a bit, though Warren Peace maintains a surprisingly light touch, despite being the designated surly boy, haplessly resisting the call to join the good guys.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Will and his parents. Worried that he'll disappoint them, he deceives them concerning his lack of superpowers; once he gets these powers, the father deceives the mother about his punishment of the son for "nearly destroying" the school cafeteria.

  • How do Will's lies to his parents and friends lead to confusion and

  • regret?

  • How does the film challenge the hero/sidekick dichotomy but

  • reaffirm the hero/villain dichotomy?

  • How does Will learn to appreciate

  • loyalty over popularity?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 29, 2005
DVD release date:November 29, 2005
Cast:Danielle Panabaker, Kurt Russell, Michael Angarano
Director:Mike Mitchell
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, High school
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:action violence and some mild language

This review of Sky High was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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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Adult Written byTending Bloom April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

High School with a superhero twist.

This movie is the classic underdog wins the day. It says that you don't have to be in the "in" group to be a winner. It is ok to be who you are and use your differences and those of your friends, to solve a problem. I think more teens need this type of encouragement.
Kid, 9 years old October 19, 2009


Boring. Ive watched it 10 zillion times.
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebma97 April 2, 2011

superhero flick for tweens

It was an OK film. It's typical Disney, although it was a bit edgier (with the smoking, and there was plenty of violence). Tweens may like it, but others may find it cheesy.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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