Are G Rated Films Going Too Far?

Posted on November 6, 2005


I was reading this article on CNN the other day about the amount of violence and veiled sexual references that exist in many G rated movies. They say it’s a reflection of movie studios following the formula of hits like “Toy Story” and “Shrek”, whose sophisticated scripts included plenty of subtle jokes aimed at adults. A spokesman from Disney explained that, “Everybody is trying to reach out to as wide an audience as possible.”

A series of Harvard studies confirms that violence has increased during the history of animated G rated films. In one study, more than half of all G rated animated features showed characters using alcohol or tobacco. These movies are also more likely to contain more violent content than their live action counterparts.

The article goes on to say that, “All media is educational. The only question is what they are teaching. Kids are sponges. They don’t make this artificial distinction between entertainment and education.” Though most kids understand cartoons aren’t real, they can still be affected by what they see. Some children imitate name calling or bullying they witnessed on screen, or fear that something they saw in a movie could happen in real life.

Some examples:
FINDING NEMO (rated G): Ferocious barracuda devours mom; sharks try to eat tiny hero.
MONSTERS, INC. (G): Characters in peril; potty humor.
THE LION KING (G): Father lion killed by brother; brother killed by hyenas after fight with hero.
THE INCREDIBLES (PG): Frequent peril; characters killed; adult-oriented humor.
ROBOTS (PG): Peril; violence; jokes about cross-dressing and “fixing” a dog.
SHREK (PG): Potty humor; an exploding bird; adult-oriented entendres.


I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t watch G rated movies. I would have no problem letting my future children see Shrek or Toy Story. Basically, I am just saying that parents need to do their research when choosing movies for their kids to see. Also, they should be there to discuss things that might be disturbing or upsetting.

We like to think that things are more violent today, and it may be, but even 30 or 40 years ago there were a lot of things falling on heards and dropping off cliffs. Snow White even got poisoned!

Sorry for the random ramblings. Just something interesting that I thought I would share.

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