A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
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?
- In theaters: December 20, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: April 21, 2015
- Director: Paolo Conti
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Bugs, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor
- Last updated: April 24, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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