Pop the popcorn, stick in the DVD and set your kids up with a PG movie while you work on a project or scroll through your phone. Sounds simple doesn’t it? What if the PG movies your kids are watching are actually totally inappropriate? Just because a movie is labelled PG or PG-13 doesn’t actually mean kids should watch the movie. You almost need to sit with your kids, remote in hand, ready to fast forward or stop the movie, watching for F-bombs, nipples and beheadings, even in these so-called family-friendly movies. While PG is meant for kids of any age (G in Canada), PG-13 is a loose term meaning parental guidance is needed for kids under 13. This means your teens should be able to watch the movie freely, and younger kids can watch if you have decided the risk is worth the reward. But, these rules are not hard and fast, so we here at The Richest have compiled a list of twelve movies that are rated PG (or PG-13) that your kids should just not see.
Starting with the G-rated movies, Coraline is a movie rated for all ages, but there are teenagers who have nightmares after watching the button-eyed Others. Feeling neglected by her own parents, Coraline is swayed by the Other Parents, who are more attentive replicas of her own parents with button eyes. If the button eyes weren’t enough to convince you this movie isn’t for little ones, the gratuitous violence and freaky scenes might do it. This includes a severed hand made of sewing needles grabbing a little girl, children as ghosts floating, a mechanized praying mantis, people unzipping themselves from their bodies and not to mention, the spooky carnival-sounding music that plays in the background. On top of this, there is mild animated nudity, including a woman on stage in a thong with pasties over her nipples. The conversations after this movie would be lengthy, if your child can even make it through the entire movie.
11. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka was a favourite among the kids growing up in the 70s and 80s, but Tim Burton’s remake starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, although rated PG, is less the stuff of dreams and more of nightmares for young kids. Creepy and totally freaky, the Chocolate Factory is the place bad kids go to suffer. A girl who doesn’t listen when told not to “touch that squirrel’s nuts” is dragged away by an angry swarm of squirrels. Imagine taking your 4-year-old to the park after watching that scene? Another girl who wasn’t supposed to eat a piece of gum turns into a giant blueberry. A boy who can’t control himself around the chocolate is swept away in the chocolate river. The lesson: do what you’re told or else. While this may be a great lesson for young kids to learn, the ensuing night terrors won’t be worth watching this movie.
Ah, a feel-good story about an orphan who gets adopted by a rich man with catchy tunes like “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life”. But, will your child be happy for the red-headed Annie or horrified that kids get adopted as publicity stunts? Will they wonder if they too will be abandoned like the kids in the orphanage, left to fend for themselves and their few possessions? Is the moral of the story a happy one, or does it prove that rich people get what they want, including buying children (if they grow to like them)? Some suggestive lines in the movie also include “People come for the bathroom, but stay for the bedroom, if you know what I mean”. There are also scenes with prostitutes and if you aren’t interested in explaining to your 5-year-old why women sell their bodies, this might not be the movie for your family.
9. Marley and Me
Rated PG, meaning even the littlest kids can watch this, this movie will scar your child (and possibly you) for life. A heartwarming story about a rambunctious dog and the family that loves him, *spoiler alert* the dog dies at the end, leaving most viewers in tears. While this is the nature of life, some younger kids may get very upset that not all movies end up “happily ever after” or it could be a reminder that their pet will one day also die. For children who have already had a pet who died, it could be a brutal remind. As well, the main character in the movie suffers a miscarriage, and while this could definitely bring up some great discussions, you’ll have to decide if your child is ready to hear that discussion.
Rated PG, Dumbo is a definitely an animated classic, having been first released in 1941. But, things have definitely changed since the 40s and this movie would not qualify as politically correct by any Disney standards today. While the story is about a lovable elephant, that large-eared pachyderm is trapped in the circus, where he taunted by everyone around him except his mother and friend the mouse. Not only that, Dumbo’s mother ends up being locked up after becoming upset with a group of boys tormenting her beloved Dumbo. Besides the animal cruelty that is overlooked in the movie, there are also some overtly racist references, which may have been standard in films of that time but aren’t very acceptable now. While it has earned accolades as being one of the best films of all time, parents should think twice before letting their child watch this movie.
Lumping most of the Disney princess movies in here (including Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid), children should not watch these PG movies as the message that women need to be saved by men is rampant. Most of the older Disney princess movies focus on the princesses as helpless beings only happy with beauty and finding true love. Disney has definitely made a change for the better with stronger princess characters (like the ones in Frozen or Brave), so there isn’t really a need to watch the archaic and sexist views in movies like Cinderella.
Remember that fun scene where Tom Hanks is in FAO Schwarz playing the large piano with his feet? Do you also remember the scene where his character as a boy, grabs a woman’s breast? Forgot about that one, didn’t you? How about the multiple f-bombs that litter the movie and when Hanks says he’s going to be “on top” when a woman alludes to a sleepover (meaning sex). This movie was rated PG back when it first came out and these days it might get a PG-13 rating, although it could be too mature for some young teens. It is definitely not recommended for younger kids, unless you want to see how handsy your kid can get afterwards.
Grease is a fun movie with catchy tunes that kids know without even have seen the movie. While the rating is not available for this movie, you might think this movie is ok for kids aged 7 and up. But, the sex, smoking, swearing and drinking might have you changing her mind. The most cringe-inducing line in the movie and its ultra-famous soundtrack “did she put up a fight” will definitely have you talking about date rape and that no means no. Fears of teenage pregnancy and losing one’s virginity are central themes that might just do well with an older teen audience and not little (or big) kids. That is unless you want your kids to learn some new swear words too.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Moving over to the movies rated PG-13 that you might think your 5-year-old can watch, TMNT tops the list. Every preschooler has ninja turtle dolls these days, a throwback to the original movie we all saw in the 90s. While you might thinking fighting turtles are cool for your kids, the violence is quite strong, including extended fighting scenes, guns and arson and even a little substance abuse. Leonardo may be your child’s favourite character ever, but this movie should be kept for just the teens to watch.
3. Jurassic Park
In saying Jurassic Park, this includes the new Jurassic World, plus the previously released versions. All kids want to watch a movie about dinosaurs, but the level of violence in the Jurassic Park movies is intense. People are killed by dinosaurs in every movie and while that can be scary for kids, it is also pretty gory too. Rated PG-13, any child that isn’t already a teen will never want to see another dinosaur (plastic or otherwise) again after watching even 10 minutes into one of the Jurassic Park films.
Featuring some great vintage video game characters like Q-Bert, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, every kid will want to see this movie. But, that doesn’t mean they should. Rated PG-13, this movie also contains sex, profanity, substance abuse and a ton of violence. With lots of name calling, a man with a thick Australian accent gets away without swearing using the term “fugging” during the movie. A whole lot of passionate kissing and talk about affairs and other inappropriate things for children to hear is also a mainstay during the movie. “S***-seeking missiles” and games that became the main character’s “b****” are two more references you won’t have time to fast forward through. Female character development is weak, where the women in the movie are all about being saved and just like in some of these old games, women are seen as trophies to be won. While Pixels is about video games, the movie is meant more for adults.
1. The Avengers
Another movie featuring fun characters the little ones love, this time super heroes, but that should not be seen by any kid under 13. It is rated PG-13, but the level of violence is extraordinary with epic battles and main characters falling to their deaths. There is also a bit of swearing and as might be common with a lot of the newer movies these days, there is a fair bit of consumerism. The super heroes in this movie are meant for men and not boys.