There’s no shortage of entertainment for kids, but every once in a while there’s a children’s movie that has just a few too many elements directed at older viewers. Here are five PG films parents might want to take a closer look at before pushing play.
PG: scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language
The entire premise of this movie is pretty intense for some children, which just so happens to be the target audience.
The main character, Norman, has a special ability to see and talk to dead people. So when Norman learns of a centuries-old curse on his hometown, it’s up to him to save his family and neighbors.
From ghosts to zombies to the witch who cursed the town, there are plenty of disturbing images that could definitely be too much for young kids. Even though the movie is animated, the images and action on screen can actually be pretty scary.
Some other aspects of the movie that seem to be geared toward a more mature audience are the rapid fire of innuendos and onslaught of off-color jokes. For instance the word “fatty” painted on a kid’s locker, Norman’s sister carries around pictures of a shirtless boy and a bully threatens to punch a small boy.
While these were probably aimed above the heads of the kids watching, the fact that the kids are the ones saying the inappropriate things might be a bit concerning for parents.
Overall, the movie seems far more appropriate for older kids and teenagers. On Ok.com, “ParaNorman” is rated as appropriate for ages 10 and up.
PG: thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Another stop-action animated film that warrants a closer look is “Coraline.”
Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, “Coraline” is the story of a girl who enters a strange world that mirrors her own. The movie has a really intriguing plot, but it can be visually overwhelming for kids, and even some adults.
Here are just a few elements of the movie that are quite creepy for a crowd of kids.
A girl’s eyes are replaced with buttons, and while we only see the needle and thread, the effect is clear and frightening. A boy’s mouth is also sewed into the shape of a smile, even though he is obviously unhappy. The movie also includes strangulation, imprisonment and sexual images of an older woman.
Even though the message of the movie celebrates the importance and individuality of families, “Coraline” may be too much for younger audiences.
Ok.com rates “Coraline” appropriate for ages 11 and up.
PG: some adventure action and mild rude humor
“Puss in Boots” is a movie spin-off of the “Shrek” series, and stars Antonio Banderas as the voice of the famous fencing cat. Again, the issue with this movie for kids is not the plot, but instead the behavior of the characters, especially the dialogue.
There is always the argument that films produced for kids include humor to entertain adults, and those jokes simply “fly over the kids’ heads.”
That is probably true in most cases, however, it is pretty common to see kids laugh along with the jokes even if they don’t understand them. Who is to say that crude humor and sexual innuendos don’t influence children and the entertainment they view?
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