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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Superman learns that trying to protect Lois Lane all the time stops them both from living life to the fullest. He also learns a lesson from Brainiac: one can't obtain knowledge or grow by trying to contain and control everything. Also, Supergirl learns to face her fears and overcome a traumatic experience in her life.
Positive Role Models
Though Superman does get into a lot of fights, he's always a role model for kids and teens who feel like outcasts. He's a genuinely good person, always trying to help others and do good, even if the path is not always clear. Even though he's all-powerful, he still has to deal with all kinds of tough, everyday decisions.
Violence & Scariness
There's lots of comic book-style fighting in this movie. Super-characters punch and pummel each other with tremendous force. Terrorists appear and threaten the city, shooting guns and threatening bombs. Brainiac steals cities and launches missiles, hoping to destroy planets. At one point, Brainiac catches Superman and some Super-blood is shown. During the opening credits, Brainiac undergoes some kind of gory transformation (an eye is plucked out, etc.).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane have an adult, romantic relationship in this movie. They have lovers quarrels and kiss, though it never goes beyond that. (Sex is never hinted at or mentioned.) Jimmy Olsen goes gaga when he sees cute Supergirl for the first time. Both Lois and Supergirl are dressed in sexy clothing.
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"Hell" and "God" are used as exclamations. Lois gives a double-fisted, rude finger gesture to the bad guy.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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.