Howard the Duck

1986 PG 1h 51m DVD

Howard the Duck

1986 PG 1h 51m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In this uncommon sci-fi comedy, a cigar-chomping extraterrestrial duck named Howard is accidentally beamed to Earth and finds love with a pretty punk-rock singer. But their happiness is threatened when government officials come looking for Howard.
Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Ed Gale, Chip Zien, Timothy M. Rose, Paul Guilfoyle, Liz Sagal, Dominique Davalos, Holly Robinson Peete
Willard Huyck
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that though this PG film derives from a Marvel Comics superhero spoof, it's in sort of a no-duck's-land of an audience demographic, with the animal-costumed main character and childish sci-fi (and rock and roll) attitude mixed with satire, violence, and PG-13 raunch better appreciated by grownups. Howard smokes and drinks and reads the duck equivalent of pornography -- we have clues that he's sexually active with a number of lady ducks and nearly has a sex scene with the scantily-dressed human heroine. There is light swearing, and police-as-dumb-goons prevail among the stereotypes. Younger kids might be disturbed by the villain's monster mutations.

Sexual Content

Amorous couples smooch in bathing suits in some kind of a sensuous hot-tub spa complex. Assorted double entrendres include a rather notorious scene in which human heroine Beverly nearly has sex with the animal hero. She strips to skimpy lingerie and finds a condom in his wallet ("Howard!" she exclaims) and refers to Howard afterwards as her "boyfriend," causing reactions of mock-disgust. Street punks sexually harass her. Glimpse of bare breasts on a female duck, and there is a duck counterpart of Playboy Magazine. Characters accused of being perverts.


Lots of bloodless fighting -- Howard uses "quack-fu" on enemies and at one point seems almost to stab a punk with an ice pick but hooks his earring instead. Reckless driving/flying and car wrecks galore. Gunfire.


"Hell," "damnit," God's name in vain. Otherwise the dialogue is heavy with euphemisms like "bull-pucky."

Social Behavior

Howard supposedly earns hero points for sacrificing his route home in order to save humanity. Still, few qualities here worth admiring (unless you count the idea that the "villainous" Dr. Jennings, before getting possessed by evil aliens, is fine with helping beam Howard back to his home planet, rather than dissecting or exploiting him for research like so many scientists in flicks like this). Heavy-handed stereotypes include dumb rednecks, tacky waitresses, sassy black social workers, brutish cops, music-club punks, etc.


Part of a popular comic book franchise. Plus onscreen plugs for Rolling Stone magazine, MasterCard, and movie franchises such as Indiana Jones (or their duck-world equivalents).

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Howard drinks beer and smokes. Raucous saloon scenes. A street-gangish character thinks he's having a drug hallucination and refers to "doing too much toot."

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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