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) 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.


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

ABC 007 hist Lucasfilm festivals psycho DC streaming service game of thrones romance quibi Polls and Games Spectrum Originals Emmys Schedule scary movies Rock hispanic Paramount Network USA AMC Mindy Kaling TCA 2017 PBS Winter TV Infographic anthology strong female leads Countdown franchise E! Classic Film cartoon X-Men spanish language Syfy animated Peacock SundanceTV Red Carpet teaser award winner Britbox Family Reality Superheroe Pop TV Acorn TV Christmas series 2018 Mary Tyler Moore cinemax Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Elton John FXX Valentine's Day dc Comedy Amazon Studios harry potter Star Trek Disney streaming service Teen Heroines 45 game show FOX south america Premiere Dates Ellie Kemper Grammys Watching Series tv talk facebook CNN YouTube nature Amazon Prime Hallmark A24 BBC America directors Dark Horse Comics ABC Family Musicals TruTV medical drama MSNBC Cannes Sony Pictures Quiz Academy Awards spain LGBTQ Marvel Studios Comedy Central Sundance Now Sci-Fi supernatural Certified Fresh spy thriller talk show APB green book DirecTV foreign MTV Arrowverse Food Network ITV Reality Competition documentary 2017 MCU Chernobyl cancelled TV series Epix Apple TV+ Mary poppins elevated horror mockumentary Avengers sports dragons Netflix Christmas movies revenge diversity Esquire crime LGBT movies kids Musical Sundance TV New York Comic Con Awards Discovery Channel Cosplay NYCC politics SDCC indie Best and Worst DGA richard e. Grant true crime breaking bad cancelled TV shows space Thanksgiving renewed TV shows psychological thriller Opinion Awards Tour Amazon The Walking Dead Film Festival Rom-Com crime drama boxoffice Chilling Adventures of Sabrina travel theme song See It Skip It FX Animation Trailer name the review Trophy Talk crossover Pet Sematary Stephen King HBO Max Set visit halloween Turner Hallmark Christmas movies CBS cooking SXSW PaleyFest 20th Century Fox Ghostbusters Writers Guild of America Walt Disney Pictures Comics on TV Oscars Crunchyroll ratings Disney Plus Video Games Crackle VICE Superheroes TIFF BET El Rey dceu anime Disney Channel Mudbound romantic comedy Shudder History Marvel Television Nickelodeon comics biography 2019 thriller Cartoon Network 2015 Black Mirror 71st Emmy Awards adventure Nominations YouTube Red witnail canceled screen actors guild Action OWN Rocketman Hulu zombies children's TV Pride Month TV renewals zombie ghosts Sneak Peek Netflix disaster dramedy cancelled television independent Lifetime Christmas movies Sundance zero dark thirty Election The Arrangement cars Disney serial killer Box Office American Society of Cinematographers Ovation Trivia Universal TBS cults Fantasy Western blaxploitation dogs Mystery RT History Music Disney+ Disney Plus IFC TCA Winter 2020 Columbia Pictures war composers werewolf Drama video Adult Swim Turner Classic Movies GIFs Lionsgate screenings social media VH1 Horror FX on Hulu aliens streaming TV Land Marathons Holidays sitcom Tarantino Pop technology Photos Women's History Month singing competition Shondaland Interview E3 unscripted transformers TLC Super Bowl movie Pirates Apple TV Plus Tumblr canceled TV shows NBC latino robots Showtime OneApp Tomatazos Rocky historical drama police drama TCA reboot RT21 Fox News Holiday vampires Creative Arts Emmys Year in Review batman rotten movies we love justice league Calendar political drama Comic Book Logo Marvel discovery spinoff YA what to watch Fall TV Extras Endgame free movies Paramount versus television Lifetime Amazon Prime Video 2020 cops based on movie The Witch YouTube Premium joker cancelled jamie lee curtis period drama reviews science fiction Vudu Captain marvel First Reviews comic blockbuster Binge Guide GLAAD Funimation 24 frames TNT First Look book Baby Yoda stand-up comedy Anna Paquin Spring TV GoT Starz Warner Bros. Brie Larson The CW Martial Arts doctor who Star Wars Nat Geo binge HBO Mary Poppins Returns Kids & Family Song of Ice and Fire Character Guide slashers Summer The Purge ESPN Spike 21st Century Fox A&E BBC sequel casting WGN Film San Diego Comic-Con Tubi Country docudrama Bravo DC Comics TV CBS All Access mutant natural history spider-man Winners sag awards toy story Freeform comiccon finale CMT WarnerMedia Travel Channel miniseries Toys adaptation Podcast TCM Black History Month golden globes IFC Films CW Seed Pixar National Geographic universal monsters Biopics Emmy Nominations cats Masterpiece DC Universe 2016 Television Academy President USA Network Apple christmas movies crime thriller