The Pitch

At this super-powered high school, the cool kids get called heroes. Everyone else is a sidekick.

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 7+ Common Sense Media: 8+

Content Advisories

Rated PG for action violence and some mild language. Cartoonish fantasy superhero violence, including backwards-flying bodies and excessive property damage. Plenty of high-school bullying and romantic entanglements (filtered through a Disney lens).

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04.06.13

Will’s Parents Were the Popular Kids

Released smack in the middle of Pottermania, Disney’s action-comedy about a superhero training academy appeared to be just a low-rent knockoff, with Kurt Russell (who’d started out as a kid in Disney films like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes) returning to his roots in middle age. Yet Sky High is orders of magnitude more witty and charming than most Hollywood product—a screwy hybrid between the polished high school angst of John Hughes and the anarchic silliness of Kids in the Hall. (Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald appear as instructors, along with Bruce Campbell at his swaggering, lantern-jawed finest.) There’s enough brightly-colored buffoonery to keep kids occupied, but it’s really geared for sharper adults, with genius throwaway bits like this test question, heard in the background: “Your hero flies north at 300 miles per hour for 15 minutes. His archenemy is tunneling south at 200 miles per hour for 10 minutes. Assuming your hero has X-ray vision, how long will it take for him to realize he’s going the wrong way?” —Mike D’Angelo

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