A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Superman: Unbound is a straight-to-DVD feature-length animated movie that contains heavy fantasy/comic book-fighting, as well as terrorist attacks, guns and shooting, bombs, and missiles, plus some explosions (no casualties) and a little Super-blood. Superman and Lois have a relationship in this one, including quarrels and kissing. Lois and Supergirl both wear somewhat sexy outfits. Language is minimal, but Lois uses a double rude finger gesture in one scene.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As our story begins, Superman (voiced by Matt Bomer) already has his hands full with his secret relationship with Lois Lane (voiced by Stana Katic), and with his rebellious, uncertain cousin Supergirl (voiced by Molly C. Quinn). Things get tougher as Superman learns about the villainous Brainiac (voiced by John Noble), who was responsible for capturing the Kryptonian city of Kandor, shrinking it, and keeping it inside a bottle. Unfortunately, Brainiac decides to make the Earth his next target, with Metropolis the next addition to his collection.
Is it any good?
For some reason, the Superman stories that have been coming out of the DC superheroes animated pipeline have been far more thoughtful than the rest, and this one is among the best of them. Superman is often written off as a simplistic hero with no inner demons, but he's certainly the center of some fascinating moral conundrums.
Director James Tucker, who has much experience in animation but makes his feature directorial debut, provides clean appealing lines for the characters and a strong sense of space, clarity, and gravity. Superman's fight scenes really pack a punch here. Tucker deftly balances the story -- which is based on a 2008 series of comic books by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank -- allowing for character development, rich ideas, and slam-bang excitement. It fills out its 75 minutes perfectly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the cartoon violence in this movie. Does Superman still seem like a hero even though he's always fighting and punching bad guys?
Have you ever felt uncertain, like Supergirl does in this story? How does her story compare to yours?
Does Supergirl present an unreasonable model for girls' body image? How are superheroes -- both male and female -- usually represented physically?
- On DVD or streaming: May 7, 2013
- Cast: John Noble, Matt Bomer, Molly C. Quinn, Stana Katic
- Director: James Tucker
- Studios: Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- Run time: 75 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of violence and action, and a rude gesture
- Last updated: October 10, 2019
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