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

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