Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Rise of the Guardians, Life of Pi, and Red Dawn

Our new weekly column takes a look at the best bets for family movie night.

by | November 20, 2012 | Comments


Since Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, it follows that there are plenty of choices in the multiplex this weekend. For the little kids, there’s Rise of the Guardians, featuring Santa and the Tooth Fairy. For older teens, there’s the visually sweeping Life of Pi. For brothers and cousins who want an action fix, there’s Red Dawn. And for home viewing, there’s a sparkling new Blu-ray of one of the greatest Anime films ever. Without further ado, check out the best bets for family viewing this week!

In Theaters This Week:

Rise of the Guardians


What’s it about? In this animated feature from DreamWorks, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, and other folkloric types team up to battle a nightmare-purveying baddie named Pitch.

Who’s it for? Rise of the Guardians is rated PG “for thematic elements and some mildly scary action.” Kindergarteners and above will probably be able to handle it, though the film does demystify its protagonists, which might be troubling to more sensitive children.

Is it any good? Critics say the little ones will probably like it just fine, and that their guardians will probably be mildly amused as well. It’s got some solid gags and terrific visuals.

Life of Pi


What’s it about? A guy survives a shipwreck only to end up in a lifeboat with a tiger.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG “for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.” It will almost certainly bore little kids, but it should be fine for eighth graders up.

Is it any good? Critics say Life of Pi is visually masterful and philosophically intriguing; it’s the type of thing that could entrance thoughtful teenagers.

Red Dawn


What’s it about? Foreign troops invade a small town in the Pacific Northwest. A group of photogenic teens fight back.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 “for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language.” In any incarnation, Red Dawn is every teenage boy’s dream come true, and will probably delight less than discerning middle schoolers.

Is it any good? If you’re looking for an evening of father-son bonding over a cheesy action movie, you’re probably better off renting the original.

New On DVD:

Grave of the Fireflies


What’s it about? In the waning days of World War II, a brother and sister attempt to survive on their own amidst the barren landscape of war-torn Japan.

Who’s it for? Grave of the Fireflies is unrated, but with its scenes of starvation, death, and destruction, it’s not appropriate for children. It’s probably ok for young teenagers and up.

Is it any good? Grave of the Fireflies is a monumental work of animation and an anti-war masterpiece. It’s profoundly sad, touching, and beautiful. You should probably watch it, but beware: it’s a bona fide tearjerker.

Tag Cloud

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