Zoom: Academy for Superheroes



Dull comic-book fodder for kids.
  • Review Date: February 12, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Disrespectful attitudes from Jack, the kids, and Larraby. The kids express anger with their powers, and Jack is mean to them, calling Tucker "Chubba Bubba" and refusing to hold Cindy's hand.


Comic-book style violence: kicking, punching, throwing, shattering glass. While being recruited, Jack is shot with a dart gun that makes him unconscious. Later, while running at superhuman speed, he trips and falls, tumbling across the desert. Concussion gets knocked around, hit with a metal pole, and spun into a whirlwind.


Flirting between Jack and Marsha and Dylan and Summer. During training, Dylan accidentally lands on top of Summer (both horizontal on the floor), and they kiss briefly at the end of the movie. Referring to radiation, Jack tells the kids to wear lead underwear to protect their "privates". Larraby says they'll get enough radiation to "sterilize a trailer park."


3 "hells," 1 "God," and 1 "My God." Also some name-calling.


M&Ms, Wendy's factor prominently in the storyline. A robot is named Mr. Pibb.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One reference when Larraby bursts into an end-of-training party for the kids, and Jack tells him to chill out and have a drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's a ton of disrespectful behavior from both the adults and kids in this movie. Before warming up to the kids, Jack is downright mean, calling them names and treating them badly. There's also lots of crude behavior involving farting, burping, and a huge snot-bubble that bursts and covers everyone with green goo. In one scene, the kids trap a scientist in an environmental simulator and subject him to falling rocks, a cyclone, and a rainstorm, then laugh at him. Outtakes during the end credits show the cast singing "We like to poo in our pants." Also, the parents in this movie are conspicuously missing, and the superheroes form their own "family." There's some mild profanity and comic-book style violence (kicking, punching, throwing, shattering glass).

What's the story?

Thirty years ago, Jack Shepard (Tim Allen) was known as Captain Zoom for his incredible speed. At a secret facility known as Area 52, Jack led a group of superheroes known as Team Zenith, created by General Larraby (Rip Torn) and scientist Dr. Grant (Chevy Chase). Jack's older brother, Concussion (Kevin Zegers), became a villain, murdered most of the team before being sucked into a vortex. Now, Concussion is on his way back to the world through a growing spatial anomaly. Larraby recruits has-been Jack to train a new team of superhero kids: 16-year-old Summer (Kate Mara) is a telepath who can move objects with her mind; 17-year-old Dylan (Michael Cassidy) can make himself vanish; chubby 12-year-old Tucker (Spencer Breslin), can make parts of his body expand to superhuman size; and bratty 6-year-old Cindy (Ryan Newman) has super strength. The kids learn how to control their powers –- ,but they're unaware they'll face Concussion when he returns.

Is it any good?


The young superheroes are somewhat appealing, but this movie falls flat on just about every other account. The montage scenes get old fast, and the plot is predictable and covers the usual themes of teen angst, fitting in, and finding your own gifts. Chevy Chase still isn't funny, Rip Torn is like a maniacal cartoon character, and Tim Allen needs to find a different niche other than family movies –- maybe some obscure indie films with more of a Napoleon Dynamite flare.

Based on Jason Lethcoe's comic-book for young adults and featuring dated tunes by Smash Mouth, this movie is harmless fun for kids, but not a whole lot of new material here.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the definition of "family." Does it always refer to people who are biologically related, or can it mean people who are bonded in another way (like the superheroes)? Also, was it right for the kids to take out their anger with their superpowers? What's a better way to handle anger? Could Jack have had a better attitude about training the kids?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 11, 2006
DVD release date:February 13, 2007
Cast:Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin, Tim Allen
Director:Peter Hewitt
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Superheroes, Adventures
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:brief rude humor, language, and mild action

This review of Zoom: Academy for Superheroes was written by

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byMommaOfTwoo July 25, 2014

Zoom away.

This movie was lacking so much, it's just not worth sitting through it. The children are disrespectful, their mentor is a bully and in the end the bad guy gets off scot free with no consequences. Not something I want my children to think is ok.
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 1, 2010

No thank you.

I watched this movie with my friends children, ages 8 and 12 and it's safe to say that only the 8 year old was interested. We talked about it afterwards and all agreed that the plot was missing, and the ending wasn't very good. They didn't like that the bad guy got away with doing all those bad things, and I didn't like it either. Also, there was some distasteful language. This movie overall was boring and the acting wasn't very good either.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byCarlita April 9, 2008

My 8 year old enjoyed it!!

8 year old thought it was fun!


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