Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Oz the Great and Powerful and Wreck-it Ralph

We give you what you need to know about the family-friendliness of this week's new releases.

by | March 8, 2013 | Comments


This week in new family films, we’ve got a pair of protagonists who must journey to unfamiliar lands, be it a magical realm (Oz the Great and Powerful) or a different arcade cabinet (Wreck-it Ralph). Read on to find out what’s appropriate for family viewing.

In Theaters This Week:

Oz the Great and Powerful


What’s it about? James Franco stars as a roguish carnival magician who finds himself transported to a magical world. There, he meets a trio of witches and is treated like a king. Can our hero summon the courage and smarts to bring peace to the land of Oz?

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language.” Oz is certainly too intense for younger viewers; the film includes hordes of bloodthirsty baboons, people turning into witches, and a spooky graveyard scene, among other things.

Is it any good? Critics say Oz the Great and Powerful doesn’t approach the magic of the 1939 Wizard of Oz, but it carves out a personality of its own, with breathtaking special effects and witty performances.

New On DVD:

Wreck-it Ralph


What’s it about? Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in a retro arcade game, but he longs for acceptance and love from his fellow video game characters. So he ventures out of his game in search of adventure and respect — a trek that could have devastating consequences for his pixilated peers.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG for “some rude humor and mild action/violence.” It’s probably safe for second graders – as a movie about video games, it’s decidedly less intense than your average first-person shooter.

Is it any good? Critics say the Certified Fresh Wreck-it Ralph is a visual phantasmagoria with a clever story and heartfelt characters that should appeal to kids and their parents.