At KIDS FIRST! we use a different style, more specific, for determining age recommendation than the Motion Picture Rating (MPAA.) These ratings have meaning, and before you attend a film it’s important to read reviews - KIDS FIRST! reviews will give you a lot of insight and IMDB will also give you specifics on warnings related to the MPAA rating.
In case you don’t know the real meaning of the MPAA rating PG, it stands for “Parental Guidance Suggested” and the full description is:
- Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents are urged to give parental guidance as the motion picture contains some material that parents might not find suitable for younger children.
- Such films may contain only mild violence, language, drug references, brief nudity and/or implied or inferred sexual activity.
See what KIDS FIRST! has to say about Epic, our reviews, synopsis and recommendations by clicking here. Why do I bring this up? This weekend I attended a screening of Epic with my ten-year-old son. We prefer non-3D. The theater was relatively empty (probably because it wasn’t the 3D version) but in attendance were about 15-20 preschoolers with their moms. So it made me wonder, what does PG mean to them? In our KIDS FIRST! youth reviews of this film, our seven-year-old Film Critic, Adam C. points out that this film is “appropriate for ages six and up as there are some scary parts of the movie that I wouldn’t recommend to kids under the age of six.”
Throughout the film the mother next to us had to continually soothe her preschooler with “everything is okay,” and “see they are going to be okay.” While he told his mom, “I’m scared,” and asked “What is happening now mommy?” Clearly this young child was not prepared for the intense imagery, the suspense and extreme scenes of “good vs evil.” In fact, it’s unfair for any child his age to have to deal with evil and dark images and be expected to make sense out of them.
Please, save the good and evil messages, the battles and intensity for when your children can developmentally make sense of them. You will avoid many nightmares, confusion and the annoyance of others in the theater who do not sit with their older children to listen to your scared child and mommy explanations.
We loved Epic. It was exciting and colorful. It had a message beneath the message and if you are old enough, you know that the dark is needed to make the light continue - or at least your old enough to discuss the concept.