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Subject Topic: PG-13 Films Which Appeal to Kids Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Glen Woods
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Posted: 05 June 2011 at 2:04pm | IP Logged Quote Glen Woods

It is that time of year. The late spring block buster films are making their way to theaters near you. The kids and parents you influence likely will go see them. Indeed, you will see children (Christian and non-Christian) acting out superhero exploits, wearing superhero apparel, showing off their superhero toys, games, and gadgets, and generally wanting to be just like their superheroes. You know, Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean, Charles Xavier  of X-Men: First Class, and of course, The Green Lantern, to name a few. More are on the way, to be sure.

One problem. All of these films are rated PG-13.

Parents are strongly cautioned because some material may be inappropriate for children under thirteen. That disclaimer is an understatement. Yet, although the movie ratings board has levied a rating which would seem to warn parents off from taking their younger children to these films, the film makers have already overcome that obstacle through thorough merchandising campaigns of toys, games, etc. Surely, if there are kids toys based on the movie, it can't be that bad right?

So, what are we to do? I have my ideas, but I invite yours. As leaders, parents, teachers, influencers, what is your response?

When children invariably raise the topic of these movies and their characters, how do you respond? Do you change the topic or do you harness the opportunity for redemptive conversation? What about when the children discuss inappropriate movie scenes, of which there are several in both the Pirates movie and X-Men (Green Lantern is not yet released)? Do you have conversations with children about choices concerning media intake? What does that look like? In a continuing era of eroding sensitivity regarding media intake, I think this is an important conversation. I will paraphrase Dick Van Dyke who was interviewed in a documentary about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He said that children need their innocence to be protected. Most of todays children's films (and films like these which have been marketed to appeal to children via superhero idealism) have dropped all pretense of protecting the innocence of children.

Ideas? Feedback?



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Chewy
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Posted: 05 June 2011 at 7:12pm | IP Logged Quote Chewy

I concur...

My eldest son is 11 and absolutely loves Superheroes! Unfortunately, he does not get to see any of these movies because of the ratings, I have told him no way.

I think it's a discussion that needs to be had with our kids. Unfortunately, movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and others that protected our kids no longer exist. I can't think of many movies that have come out in the last 5 yrs, which are geared for kids, that come w/out some profanity or innuendo.

It's very frustrating...
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MissNancy
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Posted: 07 June 2011 at 10:37pm | IP Logged Quote MissNancy

Have you ever read the descriptions of the MPAA Movie Ratings?. It is amazing how subjective they are. They talk about language not going beyond "common everyday expression," but as society changes, so will allowable movie content. A Harvard study showed "creeping" trends in the ratings...pointing out that many PG13 movies today would have been rated R in the 1980's.

I know that before I see any movie I check it out on Plugged In Online.. They do a great job of reviewing and warning about objectionable content.

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myrayceman
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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 1:16am | IP Logged Quote myrayceman

Not long ago, my son was going to spend the night with a very good friend and asked me if he could watch "Revenge of the Sith" while there.  I told him no.  He asked why not since his friend had already seen it.  The other boy's mom told me that she lets her five year old son watch this movie because he had said my son gets to watch it.  I told her my son has never seen it, because I think the content is not right for him.  She was upset with her little boy for lying to her about it, saying she never would have let him watch it if she hadn't thought I was letting my son watch it.

It puzzled me then why this good, strong, Christian lady had chosen to allow this movie for her son, even after telling me that she thought it was inappropriate for him.  The answer really seems to be that he enjoys the Star Wars action figures, light sabres, and games so much that she just gave in on the movie.

As a parent of a young boy, it is very frustrating to try to protect innocence when being bombarded by marketing that targets him.

I also am a big fan on Plugged In Online.  I also try to watch movies myself or have my teenagers or close family and friends to report content to me to help me make wise choices. 

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whalebelly
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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 9:47am | IP Logged Quote whalebelly

myrayceman wrote:

The other boy's mom told me that she lets her five year old son watch this movie because he had said my son gets to watch it

Looks like she respected what you do and "thought" that you approved of the movie. I truly belive that this is a great example of the influence that a respected leader has. If his/her son can watch a specific movie or show then it has to be okay for others to watch. This is a good example of how important it is for us, as children's leaders, to lead by example. My kids do not get to watch PG13 movies, and we are really careful about PG movies. We bought sets of old TV shows (Rin Tin Tin, Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, etc.) and they love them. What kids see just doen't go away, they will act it out or at the very least, will ponder on what they saw. Watch movies first to make sure the content is good, look at the reviews on Kidology, ask others that have seen them, LOOK AT THE RATING- like someone said, if it is rated PG-13, it is probably really rated R. My 2 cents, anyway.  



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Karl D. Bastian

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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 10:16am | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

myrayceman wrote:
Not long ago, my son was going to spend the night with a very good friend and asked me if he could watch "Revenge of the Sith" while there.  I told him no.

As a huge Star Wars fan, with a son named Luke (not why he is named Luke - he is adopted and 'came with that name - not that I mind, of course!) people are always surprised that he has not seen any of the new movies (especially Sith) He has only watch snippets. I plan to introduce him to Star Wars in the right order (4,5,6,1,2,3) at the same age I started, around 8. Perhaps a little younger, but he is still only 5, so it can wait. He sees all the toys in my basement and knows daddy loves Star Wars, but for now, it is something he knows I love. And he isn't in to it yet. I'm not pushing it on him.

I am shocked at the stuff dads push on their boys because THEY like it, when their boys are not ready.
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SpencerClick
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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 10:24am | IP Logged Quote SpencerClick

Kidologist wrote:
I am shocked at the stuff dads push on their boys because THEY like it, when their boys are not ready.


My wife and I watched a Mel Brooks movie the other day - it was one she had watched tons of times as a kid with her parents - as we watched we had to skip through several parts for various reasons. My wife actually stopped at one point and asked "my parents let me watch this?" But it wasn't until she viewed it as an adult that she realized what she had seen...

Here's a good quote for you - "What one generation tolerates, the next one embraces."

I think parents remember their childhood with nostalgia and forget what they actually saw. "My parents thought is was ok..." so on and so forth. And what happens is there becomes a shift in the foundation of the next generation's life.



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Karl D. Bastian

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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 10:40am | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

SpencerClick wrote:
Here's a good quote for you - "What one generation tolerates, the next one embraces."

I remember not being able to watch "Three's Company" because it had a guy living with two girls, even though they never even hinted at any sexual activity between the three of them, it was just to break down the moral fiber of the country. (And it was intentional, that has been admitted.) And I couldn't even watch "Bewitched" - you can figure that one out yourself!

Oh, Happy Days!
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Karl D. Bastian

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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 10:42am | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

Oh, but "A-Team" was OK because while guns were blazing, no one actually got shot!

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Posted: 08 June 2011 at 10:44am | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

Kidologist wrote:
Oh, but "A-Team" was OK because while guns were blazing, no one actually got shot!

Correction: in the entire series, one person got shot, ONCE... Mr. T. shot himself in the foot once.
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MissNancy
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Nancy Keith

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Posted: 14 August 2011 at 10:30am | IP Logged Quote MissNancy

Moviefone has an interesting article on the PG-13 rating that is informative and troubling.



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