How Old For Violence?

I’m pretty strict about not exposing my kids to any more violence than I absolutely have to.  For us, that has meant that Disney films are for older kids and Harry Potter is right out.  But how old do kids need to be before they can handle some violence?  We’ve hit a situation that is testing our resolve to avoid what we think are inappropriate films.  You see, as surprising as it might be, not everyone feels the same way we do.

My daughter has gotten caught up in the buzz generated by the marketing for Tangled, Disney’s latest “princess” movie and my mother-in-law wants to take her and her cousin to see it.  She doesn’t want the boys left out, however, so the current plan is for my son and another cousin to see a movie at the same time with my sister-in-law.  The problem is that the movie being suggested is Megamind, an animated battle between an evil genius and his even more evil creation.

Naturally, I went to my go-to site for movie ratings,, to check it out.  Kids In Mind rates each movie on three criteria — Sex/Nudity, Violence/Gore, and Profanity — giving each a score between 0 to 10 as well as describing, with examples, why the ratings were given.  I’ve been trying to stick with movies rated 2 or less for violence.  Megamind is rated a 4.

When I pointed this out to my wife, however, she noted that Tangled is also rated 4 for violence and we had already approved that film.  So I got to thinking — at what age is it okay for kids to see some violence in what they watch?  Is an eight-year-old really able to differentiate between what they see on the screen and what they can do in real life?  What about a six-year-old?  Bear in mind that these are children who still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

So what do you think — is there any difference between a Disney princess movie and one about an evil genius out to take over the world?  Is either movie appropriate for younger kids?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply