A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Integrity is an important theme. Being a good sport is more important than winning. The antagonist, who must win all the time no matter what, suffers the consequences of this unrelenting behavior.
Positive Role Models
Jake's father teaches the importance of doing your best no matter how it turns out in the end, because people value the efforts of "underdogs" more than those who must win all the time and gloat about it and display poor sportsmanship. The antagonist is an egomaniacal bully who must win at all costs and suffers the consequences of his actions.
Violence & Scariness
Some bullying -- verbal and physical. A bully is physically tossed out of a café by the burly owner. A boy is slapped hard in the face by a girl when he picks his nose. Cartoon pratfall violence -- one boy kicks another in the crotch, a man is hit in the crotch with a soccer ball. The ugliness of the rats in the junkyard might be too nightmarish for younger or more sensitive viewers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The antagonist says to the love interest of the protagonist, "Should we go to my place or yours?"
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A character says he can "smell the load now." The protagonist exclaims in one scene, "What a tool!" A miniature soccer player emerges from the shorts of a man and makes a reference to the horrors of what he saw in the shorts.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink shots of alcohol in a café.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Underdogs is a 2013 computer-animated film in which miniature foosball soccer players come to life to help a boy defeat an egomaniacal bully both on and off the soccer field. The movie's message -- that it's better to try your best and be a good sport no matter what happens than it is to win all the time by any means necessary -- comes through loud and clear. The bullying antagonist suffers the consequences of his win-at-all-costs attitude. There is some iffy humor throughout: jokes involving bird poop, nose-picking, and getting hit in the crotch, as well as references to someone being a "tool," how a stressful situation caused someone to "smell the load now," and the line, "Should we go to my place or yours?" The ugliness of the rats in the junkyard might be too nightmarish for younger or more sensitive viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While it isn't a Pixar movie, this film does an entertaining take on the by-now familiar Pixar formula. Unlikely objects -- in this case, foosball players -- come to life and are voiced by known performers (in this case, John Leguizamo and Bobby Moynihan, among others) who provide comic relief by talking in exaggerated accents and dialects while a bigger message about not being a bully and being a good sport emerges. And like a Pixar movie, Underdogs has excellent animation, character voices that aren't cringe-worthy, and a ton of creativity.
While some of the iffy humor and cartoon pratfall violence make this a bit much for young kids, older kids and parents will find much to enjoy in the story, style, and humor. The sullen and silent teen character named "Emo" alone is worth repeated chuckles. Also, without spoiling anything, the movie's ending offers a creative twist on sports movie endings and does a nice job of tying in the movie's overall message.
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.