Level Up



Fantasy series dials back violence, ups the laughs for kids.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

The series is rooted in fantasy, so few of the scenarios have real-life results, and the characters rarely learn lessons from their actions. The good news is that they're a diverse bunch, and their success as a team depends on their ability to look past their differences and find common ground.

Positive role models

The teens are left to their own devices most of the time, and many of their decisions would be questionable in the real world. That said, their motivations typically are solid, and while their actions sometimes cause mayhem, no one gets hurt.

Violence & scariness

Fantasy violence includes laser guns, fireballs, explosions, fistfights, and some slapping and throwing. Weapons are likenesses of those found in video games and come into play when the characters encounter their online adversaries in the real world.

Sexy stuff

Some flirting among teens, but nothing physical.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Level Up is more age-appropriate for a younger audience than the original movie, thanks to the fact that there's less violence and more goofy humor surrounding the interactions between the characters and the video game cross-overs. Expect a fair amount of silliness as the teens pull out all the stops to keep the portal and its users a secret from the general public. The show doesn't set out to teach any lessons, but you can draw your kids' attention to the teens' efforts to relate to and work with each other despite their differences. The show paints a pretty unrealistic picture of teen life in general, but that's to be expected in a show so rooted in fantasy.

What's the story?

The online gaming realm crosses over into the real world with unpredictable results in LEVEL UP, a comedy series inspired by the TV movie of the same name. Gamers Dante (Connor del Rio), Lyle (Jessie T. Usher), and Wyatt (Gaelan Connell) team up with their friend Angie (Aimee Carrero) to intercept the characters who cross over from their favorite MMO game, Conqueror of All Worlds, through a dimension portal. As if thwarting the game villains isn't hard enough, they also find themselves babysitting some of the less nefarious arrivals until they can send them back to their own dimension, which is no easy task when you're trying to keep up appearances as normal teens.

Is it any good?


Level Up picks up shortly after the conclusion of its movie predecessor, breaking right into the action with very little background on either the characters or the evolution of the portal itself. It won't take long for newcomers to get familiar with the basic plot points or the main cast, but it's a lot more fun if you're up to speed with both before the show starts.

If your kids are coming to the series by way of the movie, they'll find more of the same outrageous happenings in a place where barbarians, elves, and monsters of all shapes and sizes make an appearance. On the upside, the show focuses less on the clashes between the teens and the game cross-overs that marked the movie and more on the hilarious lengths to which the gamers have to go to keep the visitors under wraps, which means more laughs and less violence and opens it up to a younger crowd of kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about video games. What are some of your favorite game characters? How do video games allow you to step outside yourself and take on a new persona? Does playing video games ever change how you look at the real world?

  • Kids: What are your family's rules about screen time? What kinds of devices use screens? Why is it important to limit your time with them? Do you think they can influence your ability to relate to people and get along in the real world?

  • Which TV, movie, or book characters would you most like to meet if you could? What would you ask them? How do you think learning more about them might change how you feel about their stories?

TV details

This review of Level Up was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • 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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Teen, 13 years old Written byDesk05 February 8, 2012

Give Level Up a break...

Well, believe it or not I actually LIKE the show! There's really nothing too inappropiate in the show minus one episode's mention of "wuss" several times. Yes, the monster graphics are a bit corny, but to be honest what other monster movie or show isn't? I personally think the show is really funny. Wyatt is my favorite character. I think the reason everyone is slamming this show is because it came from Cartoonetwork, there's no cursing, and it isn't "reality tv show" enough for their tastes. The acting isn't that bad it won't win an award but its decent! People are expecting a Steven Spielberg movie out of a cartoonetwork, tv show! Ugh, if someone were to knock reality tv shows like "Basketball wifes or Jersey Shore" the majority of people would come to that show's defense. Yet, no one sticks up for this show? I really hope Level Up doesn't get cancel, because people's taste is too vulgar for a simple-minded tv show.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 27, 2012

Crappy, the crappiest of all

boring , the worst show anyone could ever make, it is a waste of time and money , it sucks, and it doesn't give any role models or positive messages to viewers, it drives them to be geeks , its poison for the mind , its the worst show of all time , Not even geeks like this show -_- , NOT RECOMMENDED TO ANYONE , THIS SHOW IS JUST TERRIBLE
Teen, 15 years old Written byDavid Cardino January 29, 2012

Spongebob for toddlers!

I would rather watch The Secret World Of Alex Meck,I would rather watch Barney,I would rather loose a leg! Anything but this! If you like SpongeBob you'll probaly want Level Up destroyed.The jokes are unfunny and the voice acting is god awful.Also,it is FILLED with clich'es! The characters in the show make me sick! I hate them because they do nothing to make me care for them.The backround is just dumb.It is dark,it is hard to see,and it looked like it 1 HOUR to make it! The plots are just awful! They are so predictible! Those teenagers face lame villains with video game contests! I like video games but the repition in the show is boring and annoying! The music is horrible.It is extremly LOUD! I can't stand the theme song! It is really annoying! So the way I see this show it is a frame story.Kinda like MAD (another show that is a complete waste of time!) So please don't waste your time.Even THINKING of putting a single minute of it is a complete waste! This is just the bad version of SpongeBob.


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