Ultraman: Rising parents guide

Ultraman: Rising Parent Guide

Based on a Japanese franchise, this animated film brings a welcome dose of creativity and heart to the superhero genre.

Overall A

Netflix: A superhero faces his greatest challenge yet: raising a baby kaiju monster as his own child.

Release date June 14, 2024

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity B
Substance Use A

Why is Ultraman: Rising rated PG? The MPAA rated Ultraman: Rising PG for sequences of violence/action, some language, rude humor and thematic elements.

Run Time: 117 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After his father’s retirement as a superhero, baseball star Ken Sato (Christopher Sean) reluctantly returns to Tokyo to take up the Ultraman mantle. Lacking his father’s dedication, Ken struggles to battle the giant monsters, or kaiju, who threaten Tokyo’s safety. After a particularly fierce battle, Ken finds himself in possession of a baby kaiju and unwillingly agrees to take care of her and protect her from government agents bent on kaiju destruction.

Single fatherhood is hard at the best of times, but even harder when caring for a baby many times your size with laser burps and a penchant for stomping. Luckily. Ken has the help of his loyal AI sidekick, Mina (Tamlyn Tomita) and his estranged elderly father (Gedde Watanabe).

I think I speak for a large portion of the movie-watching population when I say that I’m sick of superheroes. Almost every entry into that genre over the last few years has been mediocre at best, aside from the Spider-Verse films. What superhero stories need is a boost of creativity and heart. And Ultraman: Rising has both in spades.

Based on the long running and popular Japanese franchise of the same name, the film requires no previous knowledge of the character, but includes lots of nods and throwbacks for longtime fans. At almost two hours, my biggest complaint about the film is the runtime. Even my attention span was wavering by the end, regardless of the quality of the production. A tighter edit would have solved that problem, though, as it stands there isn’t a lot of filler or fluff to complain about.

Ultraman: Rising is less an action flick and more a sweet family drama. Kaiju battles and mech suits are secondary to the family relationships, tender moments, and positive messages. The writing is far deeper than I expected, though the plot itself is simple enough for children to follow. Ken is a fully fleshed out character, which makes his maturation and growing wisdom all the more satisfying to watch.

The movie’s level of violence is similar to that found in other animated superhero flicks; so if your child can handle The Incredibles, they will be find with Ultraman: Rising. Some parents will take issue with the script’s language: the 16 mild profanities and terms of deity are unusual for a family-focused animated flick.

As for my family, my 7-year-old loved this movie, and I did as well. I truly hope audiences find this streaming gem, so Netflix gets the hint to keep making creative, fantastically animated family films with heart.

Directed by Shannon Tindle, John Aoshima. Starring Christopher Sean, Rob Fukuzaki, Hiro Nakamura. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release June 14, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Ultraman: Rising

Ultraman: Rising
Rating & Content Info

Why is Ultraman: Rising rated PG? Ultraman: Rising is rated PG by the MPAA for sequences of violence/action, some language, rude humor and thematic elements.

Violence: There is animated superhero violence throughout. Attack drones and aircraft fire missiles at characters. A superhero uses his powers against giant monsters and aircraft. Giant monsters known as kaiju attack Tokyo, causing destruction.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: Over 15 uses of terms of deity. One mild expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.

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Ultraman: Rising Parents' Guide

What qualities does Ken learn as he cares for Emi? How do those skills help him in other areas of his life?

Home Video

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The best animated superhero movies are The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. We’re also partial to Big Hero 6, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, and DC League of Super-Pets.

For animated tales that involve monsters, we recommend The Sea Beast, Monsters vs Aliens, Monster House, Monsters Inc., Hotel Transylvania, or Strange World.

The Godzilla franchise is another Japanese creation focused on giant monsters. The best of the bunch are Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla Minus One. The latter film is another Japanese monster movie that is really a relationship story taking place in the devastation of war-torn Tokyo.

If it’s giant, infrastructure-crushing battles you’re looking for, you can try the Transformers movies, with Bumblebee and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts as the best of this very mixed bag.