Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly is Kong: Skull Island?

by | March 10, 2017 | Comments

The big movie this week is a giant monster throwback featuring a certain great ape, but is he too fearsome for little kids? Christy offers parents a rundown of what they should look out for in the blockbuster, then talks about Disney’s latest triumph, Moana.


NOW IN THEATERS

 

Kong: Skull Island (2017) 76%

Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.

If you like your monster movies big and dumb, you will love Kong: Skull Island. And I mean that as a total compliment. This action epic from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has the spirit of a classic Ray Harryhausen film with the benefit of high-tech special effects. A team of explorers visits an uncharted island in the South Pacific in 1973 and finds more danger than they ever could have imagined. They include an expert tracker (Tom Hiddleston), a war photographer (Brie Larson), the head of a shadowy government agency (John Goodman), and a military team with a no-nonsense leader (Samuel L. Jackson). But you’re not here for the people. You’re here to see King Kong, who rules the island as a fearsome, deadly, but ultimately gentle giant. This is not a spoiler: If you’ve ever seen any incarnation of King Kong, you know he’s misunderstood. But he might be super-scary for very little kids, especially as he battles the many other oversized monsters that happen to call this island home. (What’s in the water surrounding this place anyway?) I brought my 7-year-old son and he thought Kong was a blast. It is pretty intense, though, with a lot of violence, gunfire, monster action and helicopter destruction, and not everyone makes it out alive. There’s also quite a bit of language, including the one F-bomb you get in a PG-13 movie, courtesy of John C. Reilly. I’d say this is OK for viewers around 9 or 10 and older.


NEW ON DVD

 

Moana (2016) 96%

Rating: PG, for peril, some scary images and brief thematic elements.

If, for some reason, your kids haven’t already seen Moana, now is the perfect time to show it to them. It’s a great choice for the whole family — a two-time Academy Award nominee for best animated film and best original song for the girl-power anthem “How Far I’ll Go.” The latest musical extravaganza from Walt Disney Animation Studios features newcomer Auli’I Cravalho as the title character, a Polynesian teen who’s next in line to lead her tribe. But she has dreams of leaving the island and traveling the high seas, despite her parents’ wishes for her to stay put. She teams up with the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to return a magical stone to its rightful place, but the two run into a series of obstacles and enemies along the way. Most of Moana is upbeat and delightful. Even some of the villains are downright adorable, including an armada of pirate coconuts with mean, painted faces. But the ultimate enemy is a giant lava monster that rages and hurls fire balls at anyone who comes near. It’s dark and hulking and may be too scary for the littlest viewers. Moana also must deal with the death of a beloved relative, but it’s handled gracefully. But there’s so much here that’s worthwhile for boys and girls alike. Moana is about a strong, curvy girl who’s assertive and independent but also kind and loyal. She puts herself in danger for the well being of her people and, in the process, finds her voice and the confidence to serve as a leader.

Tag Cloud

Podcast Certified Fresh political drama The CW serial killer supernatural LGBTQ MTV war Kids & Family El Rey 45 Set visit comiccon docudrama A&E Warner Bros. Trivia dramedy E3 History Cosplay crime thriller GLAAD psycho VH1 Logo Infographic Star Wars CNN NBC Lifetime science fiction Winter TV First Look TCA MSNBC politics Interview Bravo Photos discovery CBS All Access Tomatazos Year in Review TCA 2017 FX HBO crime drama Music thriller Summer Trailer Showtime police drama TIFF TLC Polls and Games Amazon TV TCM IFC Adult Swim period drama adventure Emmys Opinion Nickelodeon zombie cats composers Nat Geo Box Office Nominations Ghostbusters Super Bowl NYCC Election Superheroes aliens DC Universe TruTV Martial Arts sports Comedy Central RT History Cartoon Network Biopics Universal Writers Guild of America transformers Thanksgiving cinemax Grammys Fall TV OWN cops E! diversity X-Men Netflix Premiere Dates ITV Sci-Fi DC Comics singing competition 2016 Starz American Society of Cinematographers USA Extras CMT Pirates Schedule President Fantasy Character Guide Animation WGN talk show The Arrangement Pop Mary Tyler Moore Lionsgate 007 Countdown Marathons YA Action 2015 Holidays SundanceTV SDCC Freeform Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt CBS APB Country travel Reality Paramount ESPN Calendar Awards Sundance Rom-Com Mindy Kaling Spring TV based on movie cooking 24 frames Toys Winners TNT Red Carpet biography Masterpiece 2017 Teen ABC Family BET sitcom TV Land Tumblr Marvel GoT Reality Competition harry potter Dark Horse Comics Musical Sneak Peek BBC America Oscars Esquire Hulu Disney Drama Fox News Syfy Best and Worst Food Network Disney Channel Crackle TBS VICE Musicals what to watch BBC romance PBS Watching Series FXX PaleyFest Valentine's Day AMC boxoffice Comic Book vampires DirecTV Horror Mystery social media FOX crime technology Video Games Comedy ABC Rocky Star Trek historical drama Rock GIFs