A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain, not educate.
Though messages are not a prime focus of this particular story, the film confirms the Slugterra series values of loyalty, fair treatment of others, and responsibility to community.
Positive Role Models
Members of the heroic Slugterra team are resourceful, courageous, intelligent, and loyal. Trixie, the one female heroine, is smart, watchful, and always an equal partner. Pronto, the funniest hero, has an Hispanic accent and is the group's braggart.
Violence & Scariness
Wall-to-wall cartoon action in a shoot-'em-up sci-fi arena. Sweetly adorable slugs are transformed into fighting machines with superpowers who battle with ferociously comic enemies. They zap, cause colorful explosions, rock slides, electronic storms, bursts of smoke. Characters fall and/or are knocked out, are restored, and fall or are knocked out again.
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No offensive language, but "butt" and "loogie." Villains threaten and name-call ("You make me want to puke").
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Products & Purchases
This is the first direct-to-DVD film in the Slugterra franchise. The brand includes toys, games, products, and a TV series.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that "Ghoul from Beyond" is a 44-minute episode of the animated Slugterra series, being marketed as a single DVD -- "The First Slugterra Movie" is emblazoned on the DVD package. Some familiarity with the Slugterra concept and characters would definitely enhance viewers' connection with this entry; there's very little in the way of introduction or back story here. It's a shoot-em-up from start to finish, with lots of humor, likeable heroes, and assorted slugs from the Slugterra "catalogue." Slugs are the tiny creatures who "morph" from adorable to powerful when they are launched from the blasters that the heroes carry. Villains come in all shapes and sizes: some archly evil, some comic, others simply overpowering -- none really scary for kids who understand cartoon violence versus real. Characters are exploded, set afire, smashed into things, electrified, and, in one important plot element, subject to mind control. Though everyone takes at least one hit in this movie, all the heroes are restored by Boon Doc, a healer-slug. The baddies lose their battles, but it's promised that they'll return for more. Made in Canada, Slugterra sells a line of toys, games, and products, most based on a large number of individual "slugs" (not unlike the Pokemon franchise). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
To truly understand and enjoy this short DVD, it's best to have at least a limited acquaintance with the concept. This "movie," which will most certainly turn up as an episode of the TV series (commercial breaks are already "marked"), continues the saga of Eli Shane and his team. Though it may stand alone enough to entertain new viewers who enjoy watching battle after battle of cute characters and distinctive villains, there's no real context here. Burby, Doc, and a few slugs take part; Eli and company are up to their usual good humor and good deeds; still none of the parameters of the Slugterra universe (or terms like "mega-morph" or "slinger') are explained.
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