Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Big Hero 6 and Beyond the Lights on DVD

We give you what you need to know about the family-friendliness of this week's new releases.

by | February 27, 2015 | Comments

New On DVD:

Big Hero 6

90%

Rating: PG, for action and peril, some rude humor and thematic elements.

Now is a great time to catch up with (or re-watch) the lively and lovely Big Hero 6, which just won the Academy Award for best animated feature on Sunday night. It features clever, small details and a cuddly, large robot as well as some heavy themes of life and death, betrayal and revenge. Brilliant, 13-year-old Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), are obsessed with robots and all things high-tech. But after a major explosion early in the film, Hiro unexpectedly finds himself taking over — and befriending — his brother’s pet project: a giant, inflatable robot named Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) who offers sharp medical care and soft hugs. Along with Tadashi’s energetic band of college buddies, they form a team to battle a bad guy who steals Hiro’s latest invention with evil intent. The film is high-energy and colorful but it also has some dark undertones which may disturb some kids. Before the explosion, the two brothers already were orphans living with their aunt (Maya Rudolph). And the villain is a menacing figure in a cloak and a frightening mask with infinite power at his fingertips. My 5-year-old son wasn’t frightened, though — and he was jumping for joy when Big Hero 6 won the Oscar. Fine for nearly all ages.

Beyond the Lights

83%

Rating: PG-13, for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a star-making performance in this intimate and intense drama set in the R&B world from Love & Basketball director Gina Prince-Bythewood. Mbatha-Raw plays Noni, a Rihanna-esque music sensation on the rise who’s having trouble balancing the pressures of fame with her personal life. She falls for the hunky police officer (Nate Parker) who’s been assigned to protect her, but their romance conflicts with their individual career ambitions. Beyond the Lights shines a light on the demands of celebrity, mental illness and the music industry’s heightened sexualization of female artists. It also features some strong language, suggestive movements on stage and in music videos and sex scenes with partial nudity, including one in an airplane to the inspired strains of Beyonce and Jay Z’s Drunk in Love. It’s probably best for mature tweens and up.

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