Under Wraps (2014)

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Under Wraps (2014) Movie Poster Image
Comic mummy tale is spooky fun for kids.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 48 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Includes some archeological terms: "relic," "talisman," "sarcophagus," "expedition," "artifact."

Positive Messages

There are consequences to not listening to parents. It's more important to fix mistakes than assign blame. Participating in real life is more satisfying than using technology to live in a virtual world.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Danny Hudson is an adventure-loving boy who initially lies to his parents, disobeys them, and gets everyone into trouble. Over the course of the story, Danny learns why it's important to listen, how a person has to be accountable for his or her actions, and how teamwork makes things possible. Danny's sister is addicted to her phone, her computer, and virtual reality. She learns how thrilling it is to participate in real life. Police are always comically bumbling and foolish; one speaks with a southern dialect, and the other is a shade darker and may be African-American. 

Violence & Scariness

Lots of comic cartoon scares, pratfalls, and action. A giant monster mummy with a mighty roar and jagged teeth shows up regularly to frighten everyone as he chases and tries to captures them. Characters fall; objects crash; body parts drop from two funny mummies. Hero's parents are victims of an ancient Egyptian curse; they turn into mummies and are in danger of staying that way forever. 

Sexy Stuff
Language

Occasional name-calling and some potty humor: "Icky McWeirdo," "dork munch," "nerdling," "phone freak," "butt," "rat patootie," "chicken poop."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Under Wraps is an animated comedy for kids of all ages who clearly understand the difference between real jeopardy and cartoon jeopardy. Even the "scariest" sequences (a giant mummy monster roaring and baring his teeth) are meant to be funny. Hands and legs fall from the bodies of the hero's parents, who have been mummified; the body parts are quickly restored, only to drop again moments later. Humor also is derived from some of the mild name-calling and potty language ("Icky McWeirdo," "nerdling," "chicken poop," "rat patootie"), with some typical brother-sister insult banter. It's a straight-line story that's easy to follow and introduces a few archeological terms and methods. Messages about listening to parents, "real" life versus electronically connected life, and placing blame are included unobtrusively. With its mummies, curses, tombs, and pratfall spookiness, it's intended for Halloween viewing. 

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What's the story?

UNDER WRAPS opens in Egypt where young, adventurous Danny Hudson's archeologist parents are on an expedition. The devious Danny (Nick Wolfhard) disobeys his parents' instructions by sneaking into a pyramid, finding a tomb, and taking an unusual talisman with him. When the family returns home and Danny hides the stolen artifact, the trouble begins. A curse comes with the talisman, and it isn't long before Danny's parents are turned into mummies! Danny turns for help to his older sister, Eleanor (Kazumi Evans), who's hooked on electronics and particularly exasperated by anything to do with Danny. But Eleanor is just as flabbergasted as her brother, and the two join forces to find a way to reverse the curse. They have to do it by the following sundown when the Hudsons' perilous predicament will become permanent. In their quest for a speedy cure, the two kids face off against two bumbling police officers, a giant monster mummy in search of the talisman, and the elder Hudson's hapless assistant, who keeps making matters worse. The race is on.

Is it any good?

It's all in good fun; the story is easy to follow, and the characters are one-dimensional on purpose. It's hard to imagine any kids who won't laugh at the farcical mummies as they lose their hands, legs, and even eyeballs as they struggle to get their real bodies back -- or at the two idiotic police officers who hound Danny and Eleanor, never noticing the mummies in the backseat of the kids' car. Or the mummies when they've completely lost it and become groaning, lumbering clowns. Only the very youngest or most sensitive children who haven't yet determined what's real and what's not will find the antics scary. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Eleanor's "addiction" to her electronic gadgets. Eventually she learns a lesson about the pleasures of "real" life. Do you think there's a downside to too much time in the cyberworld? Should your parent(s) set limits for time spent that way, or can you limit yourself?

  • What makes a "funny-scary" movie different from a "scary-scary" movie?  How quickly do you know which kind of movie you're watching? 

  • A plot twist is a major change in the direction or outcome of a story. What was this movie's surprise or plot twist? 

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Movie details

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