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Movie Mom

Liz Perle on Marketing PG-13 Movies to Younger Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Liz Perle of Common Sense Media has a column on Huffington Post takes on the hypocrisy of the MPAA ratings board. Chair Joan Graves says that PG-13 films may carry parental advisory reminders that they have material inappropriate for kids under age 13 but that doesn’t mean that PG-13 movies shouldn’t be marketed to younger kids. Perle points out that this would include “Vicky Christina Barcelona” (threesome) and “The House Bunny” (a lot of sexual humor) as well as the third mummy film and “The Dark Knight.”
And in the Mummy movie, faces melt, a man is about to be quartered, there are several shots of near decapitations, limbs are dismembered, bodies are stabbed and shot, huge Yetis appear as scary CGI panther-like creatures and there are hordes of skeletal warriors (a la Pirates of the Caribbean). And “The Dark Knight?” Even my teen son turned to me and said, “This is NOT for kids!”
We believe that parents are ultimately responsible for making sure they pick movies that are right for their kids – hey, that’s why Common Sense Media exists. And we absolutely love movies. We just think there are right movies for right ages. And marketing mature movies to kids is irresponsible, plain and simple.

  • jestrfyl

    Little kids have always wanted to do what the big kids are doing. So they want to see the films the big kids see. Some parents do not bother to preview or read any commentary on films, they are simply glad to shell out the big bucks to be a few hours kidless. So it is no surprise that the marketeers are wilkling to exploit the little kids desire by selling all the flotsam and jetsum they can. Is it right – well that is a gray area. Most of the stuff that is licensed out is fairly bland and does not focus on the inappropriate or gruesome moments in the films.
    As a side note, one of my most favorite comic strips these days is the little syndicated “Lio”. The featured character, Lio, would love to have some of this merchandising with all the gory, and gross parts included, like a lunch box latched with a skeletal finger or sheets that actually becomes mummy wraps. If you get a chance, read “Lio” in the few papers that carry it, or look for him on line. He is the best thing to hit the comics since the demise of “Calvin & Hobbes” (the strip is sort of a blend of mind of Calvin, the attitude of the Addams Family, and the artistic style of Gahan Wilson)

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