My boys are so different in many ways. One difference is obvious when we see a movie. Though Jack is 15 months older than Logan there have been several movies that have scared the bejeesus out of him but did not phase his younger brother. Monsters vs. Aliens was one of those movies. (See my pseudo-review here.) Jack covered his eyes several times before finally asking to leave partway through the movie.
Kids in Mind is a website I've used for a couple of years, which makes it even more embarrassing that I didn't consult it before taking the boys to see Monsters vs. Aliens last week.
They have three categories that they rate: Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore and Profanity. But in my opinion, even more valuable than their ratings are the extremely detailed descriptions they write about the movie for each of these three categories.
The descriptions offer no judgment...just the facts so that parents can make their own judgments based on their family's values and their kids' sensitivities. Because it' all relative.
The Sex & Nudity descriptions for kids' movies crack me up. For example, this was written about Nim's Island:
On a beach, several female dancers are in bikini tops and long grass skirts, male dancers are in knee-length shorts and are bare-chested.
Further, they go on to mention that a women wears a two-piece bathing suit. This would be handy to know for those families that still wear old-fashioned bathing outfits to their private watering hole because they are not comfortable with bare midriffs. Those families should definitely avoid the risque Nim's Island. (See, this is me judging...not Kids in Mind.)
More telling for me are the Violence & Gore descriptions. We are a toy-weapon-free house so if I had actually read the description for Monsters vs. Aliens the term "open-fire" would have tipped me off that we might have a problem. Then there is this:
The image of an alien is projected into the sky and tells many people standing on the ground below that "We are here to destroy you," and "Take over your planet," and it threatens death and slavery.
I know my kids. And I would have known that Jack would be scared if I had actually bothered to look this movie up.
Sorry, Jack! Sweet dreams?