Will Stronghold is the child of two famous superheroes, The Commander and Jetstream; due to begin his life at Sky High, a high school specially designed to teach children with super powers. There’s only one problem, Will doesn’t have any powers! Unsure whether he’s just a ‘late bloomer’, Will is reluctant to tell his parents. When he is placed in the ‘Sidekicks’ class along with his friends, Will couldn’t be happier. However high school life soon changes for Will, especially when he meets the beautiful Gwen Grayson from the ‘Hero’ class and, when Will finds out that he has an arch nemesis at the school, his life becomes even more complicated. With his loyalties divided and a sinister plot unfolding, Will must decide who his friends really are and whether the terms ‘Hero’ and ‘Sidekick’ are good enough to define a person by who they are.

Sky High (2005) – Director: Mike Mitchell

Is Sky High appropriate for kids

Rating: PG

Running Length: 100 mins

Starring: Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Genre: Comedy

REVIEW

With some great direction and solid acting from its cast, ‘Sky High’ does what a lot of kids films fail to do: manages to be appealing to both its target audience of kids as well as the adults who are watching it with them. What makes this movie so good is the light-hearted comedy which, while being aimed at children, never becomes too childish. The story, which is simple without ever becoming boring, moves along at a nice pace, allowing every member of the audience to follow along.

It is also helpful that the majority of the characters are extremely likeable. Will (played by Michael Angarano), as the lead character could easily become irritating as a self-absorbed teenager, however, despite making mistakes, he remains the person the audience wants to root for. His parents (played by Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston) could also be too pushy or too strict but the right balance has been made to give credence to Will’s worry about telling them about his lack of powers while simultaneously making them easy-going and very loving towards each other and Will. The only unlikable characters are those who are clearly meant to be disliked: the school bullies. The story makes it clear that they are bad and, on the whole, they are relatively ineffectual at causing distress to their victims.

Sky High’ is a thoroughly enjoyable family movie with a good plot, fun characters and snappy dialogue to keep every member of the audience laughing and smiling throughout.

IS ‘SKY HIGH’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The bullies in ‘Sky High’ are all from the ‘Hero’ class and pick on several members of the ‘Sidekick’ class.  One scene shows one of the sidekicks walking out of a cubicle in the boys toilets and a voice within the cubicle announcing that the boy had just been given a ‘swirly’. There are another couple of references to this boy getting his head flushed in the toilet but nothing is shown on-screen and he does not seem to suffer too much from this.

Another bully attacks one of the characters by throwing fire at them with their hands. This is mostly done in one scene but it becomes a little intense and is quite sustained so some younger children may be quite frightened by it. In another scene this bully character tells another that if they ever cross him then he will roast them alive; this is more bravado than a real threat.

During a scene where a teacher judges the kids on their powers, to test strength he drops a large car on top of them so that they can catch it. When this happens to one character who does not have super strength, the camera shows the car dropping and the boy disappearing underneath. A second later, it is clear that the boy moved quickly and is lying directly underneath the car, scared but not injured in any way.

One scene is set in the school gym as a competitive game is being played. This is mostly fine and includes some typical but mild taunting from the school bullies; however there is a moment where one character has the oxygen taken away from him. He gasps for air and drops to his knees in his struggle. This lasts a few seconds but is over quite quickly and this character does not suffer any after effects.

Will’s love interest is the very attractive Gwen Grayson who is in the ‘Hero’ class. She is very confident and Will is instantly drawn to her. The attraction between both characters is quite innocent, however at a party, Gwen tells Will ‘I wish there was somewhere we could go to be alone’. The next scene shows them kissing in an empty room although nothing sexual is implied. Will takes Gwen home and her father opens the door. After Gwen has gone inside, her father asks Will if he is ‘that boy with the six arms’ and, when Will tells him he isn’t, he says ‘Good, well, keep them to yourself’.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Sky High’ is a great family movie full of good-natured humour, plenty interesting plot twists and child-friendly action to keep the whole family entertained. We feel that due to a few action scenes that could be too frightening for young children, this movie should be appropriate for most kids aged 5 and over.

  • Violence:  1/5 (the violence is mostly child-friendly, however some of the action could be a little too intense for young children)
  • Emotional Distress: 0/5
  • Fear Factor: 1/5
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (some kissing and attraction between teen boys and girls but this is all very innocent in nature)
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (One use of blasphemy)
  • Dialogue: 1/5 (the term ‘made out’ is used once)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of family, friendship, realising what’s important in life, accepting people for who they are, forgiveness, loyalty and standing up to bullies.

Words by Laura Record

Sky High [Blu-ray]


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