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.



Kong: Skull Island (2017) 75%

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.



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

golden globes dramedy Reality SDCC Interview LGBTQ Podcast travel Mystery science fiction period drama FXX Superheroes The Arrangement Grammys ITV sitcom NYCC 2015 Photos YA Warner Bros. aliens TNT CMT Rocky Hulu Watching Series political drama Musicals GLAAD Paramount Network Fall TV Best and Worst WGN 24 frames Amazon crime drama Trivia DirecTV medical drama Red Carpet Writers Guild of America President Fox News Biopics Rom-Com PaleyFest Thanksgiving crime thriller Netflix what to watch politics Opinion singing competition Extras FX Action Spring TV TV Paramount DC Universe Premiere Dates based on movie TLC Cartoon Network Syfy TBS thriller GIFs docudrama MTV History Universal composers Musical SundanceTV adventure BET See It Skip It Crackle Video Games romance Pirates Pixar Animation BBC America technology Certified Fresh OWN Mary Tyler Moore Drama Western vampires 45 TCM Lionsgate sports Sundance Now Ghostbusters Toys Creative Arts Emmys Nominations Sundance 007 DC Comics APB HBO Sneak Peek TCA 2017 Oscars Showtime historical drama ratings Super Bowl Pop Britbox Logo Election Marathons Trailer Tumblr USA Network CBS All Access Tomatazos TruTV Cosplay Masterpiece Character Guide zombie psycho Holidays binge diversity Awards USA MSNBC 21st Century Fox Star Trek talk show Country Mindy Kaling police drama dc E3 The CW transformers Nat Geo comiccon Acorn TV Infographic Disney Channel Esquire discovery Music cats Reality Competition Comic Book Polls and Games VH1 Rock Freeform Lifetime Calendar X-Men Winter TV Summer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Dark Horse Comics Teen harry potter Bravo crime Marvel ABC dceu Starz serial killer Nickelodeon 2016 BBC E! Schedule Horror CBS Box Office Sci-Fi cooking Countdown Kids & Family Star Wars PBS social media Comedy AMC Valentine's Day A&E Martial Arts spy thriller Disney TIFF Set visit RT History Ellie Kemper American Society of Cinematographers FOX CNN Food Network GoT TCA VICE boxoffice Comedy Central NBC Spike 2017 war Adult Swim ABC Family Emmys Year in Review Christmas Fantasy First Look justice league IFC supernatural Winners cinemax ESPN cops biography El Rey TV Land