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Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Worms Movie Poster Image
Bizarre animated tale about bullying is creepy, suspenseful.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 80 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Friendship; courage; perseverance; sticking together; facing your fears.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are simplistically good or bad. Junior, Nico, and Linda all try to be good friends who stick up for each other; adults are concerned and friendly, though sometimes oblivious, while others are simplistically bad or evil.

Violence & Scariness

Suspense throughout; worms crash on skateboards; sail into walls; tumble down wormholes; catapult around; almost fall; dodge construction machinery. A worm punches a worm in the face; some scary bug faces, sharp teeth, and menacing characters.

Sexy Stuff

Two worms twirl in mid-air, kissing.


"Loser," "moronic."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Worms is a ho-hum animated Brazilian comedy about a misfit worm who's bullied. Most of the violence involves cartoonish catapulting of worms, but the evil bug and some of his cohorts can be creepy in a      Beetlejuice-esque underworld way, and some gross-out stuff involving bugs with snot may be scary or upsetting to young kids. There is suspense throughout. There's also some name-calling. Expect positive messages about friendship and overcoming bullying, but there's something off about the animation and language overdubbing, and the characters feel wooden and strange.

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What's the story?

Junior has great toys and nice clothes, but being bad at wormball all but guarantees he won't fit in with the other worms. A trip to the surface with friends Nico and Linda proves to be a scary but character-building adventure where he uncovers an evil plot by a roly-poly bug to hypnotize all the worms. Together the trio must face this foe and their fears.

Is it any good?

WORMS ought to be perfectly serviceable, but something feels off in this Brazilian animated story. The plot is that a worm that doesn't fit in learns how to build confidence by facing some fears and makes great friends in the process. The stop-motion animation looks pretty good; some of the weird, creepy bugs are strangely reminiscent of the characters in Beetlejuice's purgatory world. But that also makes them decidedly creepy for kids. And with a stilted delivery and strangely wooden affectation, these characters just don't land, and those ultimately positive messages are buried under what might be off-putting or even scary for lots of kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why talking-creature movies are so popular. What's the appeal?

  • Does Junior learn that there's anything good about going to the surface? What new scary things have you tried that turned out to be great?

  • How does Junior deal with being bullied? What would you do if you were being bullied?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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