The animation is as good as you’d expect from a Disney film and probably worth shelling out the extra cash for the 3D version; it makes the perspective from the other side of the video game screen that much more real. But do get there early. There’s a short before the main attraction that you won’t want to miss, a 2D animation called Paperman that is absolutely precious. It follows a chance encounter between a lonely young man and a lovely young woman in mid-century Manhattan… the audience cheered and applauded at its conclusion. It’s quite possibly the most romantic film I’ve seen all year.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: There’s a video game set in a bar where characters go to drink, though the only order heard is for root beer. Characters seen drinking at a party, later a character mixes and drinks a martini.
  • Language/Profanity: No profanity, but bathroom jokes and crude-but-creative name calling of the juvenile variety abound.
  • Sex/Nudity: Sergeant Calhoun wears tight body armor, revealing a curvaceous figure only available in animation. Man and woman kiss. Some warrior characters wear very little clothing; character underwear discovered in bar’s lost & found.
  • Violence: Video game violence: shooting, destruction, some fighting. Man gets eaten by giant bug. Said bugs attack more than once. Zombie character has his heart pulled out of his chest (as a demonstration; zombie isn’t hurt but it is fairly gross). Extremely unsafe driving practices during racing scenes.
  • Spiritual Themes: One of the bad guys is a devil figure named “Satan” (though he prefers a different pronunciation) but he only has a walk-on part. Characters espouse the defeatist notion that they can’t change who they are, they just have to live the way they always have. Vanellope was told she’s a mistake who wasn’t supposed to live; since she’s a sympathetic character this could be construed as a pro-life message. Mean girls and bullying provide teachable moments, as does the unintentional cruelty of game members toward a character who’s not like them.

Publication date: November 2, 2012