Level Up

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Level Up TV Poster Image
Fantasy series dials back violence, ups the laughs for kids.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 29 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy October 10, 2012

To the anomynous 9 year old.

Uhh.This IS a SpongeBob wannabe! Because all the female geeks in the show are rip-offs of Sandy Cheeks! Because they all have the exact same love for science! I... Continue reading
Adult Written byJEDI micah August 26, 2012

Why does Cartoon Network allow this show?!

This show shouldn't be on Cartoon Network because it's not even a cartoon! It shouldn't be on TV at all! I bet that no one is watching this show!... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKarim081 November 25, 2017


Kid, 12 years old November 27, 2015

Stupid, no point to it.

Just a bunch of idiots trapped in their own fantasy world (At least Calvin and Hobbes was great with a fantasy world) where they belive video game characters ar... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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