Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Rise of the Guardians, Life of Pi, and Red Dawn

Our new weekly column takes a look at the best bets for family movie night.

by | November 20, 2012 | Comments

 

Since Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings, it follows that there are plenty of choices in the multiplex this weekend. For the little kids, there’s Rise of the Guardians, featuring Santa and the Tooth Fairy. For older teens, there’s the visually sweeping Life of Pi. For brothers and cousins who want an action fix, there’s Red Dawn. And for home viewing, there’s a sparkling new Blu-ray of one of the greatest Anime films ever. Without further ado, check out the best bets for family viewing this week!

In Theaters This Week:

Rise of the Guardians

75%

What’s it about? In this animated feature from DreamWorks, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, and other folkloric types team up to battle a nightmare-purveying baddie named Pitch.

Who’s it for? Rise of the Guardians is rated PG “for thematic elements and some mildly scary action.” Kindergarteners and above will probably be able to handle it, though the film does demystify its protagonists, which might be troubling to more sensitive children.

Is it any good? Critics say the little ones will probably like it just fine, and that their guardians will probably be mildly amused as well. It’s got some solid gags and terrific visuals.

Life of Pi

86%

What’s it about? A guy survives a shipwreck only to end up in a lifeboat with a tiger.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG “for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.” It will almost certainly bore little kids, but it should be fine for eighth graders up.

Is it any good? Critics say Life of Pi is visually masterful and philosophically intriguing; it’s the type of thing that could entrance thoughtful teenagers.

Red Dawn

15%

What’s it about? Foreign troops invade a small town in the Pacific Northwest. A group of photogenic teens fight back.

Who’s it for? It’s rated PG-13 “for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language.” In any incarnation, Red Dawn is every teenage boy’s dream come true, and will probably delight less than discerning middle schoolers.

Is it any good? If you’re looking for an evening of father-son bonding over a cheesy action movie, you’re probably better off renting the original.

New On DVD:

Grave of the Fireflies

100%

What’s it about? In the waning days of World War II, a brother and sister attempt to survive on their own amidst the barren landscape of war-torn Japan.

Who’s it for? Grave of the Fireflies is unrated, but with its scenes of starvation, death, and destruction, it’s not appropriate for children. It’s probably ok for young teenagers and up.

Is it any good? Grave of the Fireflies is a monumental work of animation and an anti-war masterpiece. It’s profoundly sad, touching, and beautiful. You should probably watch it, but beware: it’s a bona fide tearjerker.

Tag Cloud

kaiju docuseries french Song of Ice and Fire twilight Paramount Pictures A24 Broadway boxoffice Anna Paquin Opinion Marvel Studios 2020 comic book movies Adult Swim Paramount South by Southwest Film Festival boxing Pacific Islander batman Action canceled screenings black comedy TCA james bond WarnerMedia DC Universe TBS mission: impossible nature blaxploitation Image Comics Neflix IMDb TV Fantasy anthology police drama Fargo Extras saw south america TruTV king kong Infographic cars First Look richard e. Grant 2015 trophy based on movie GIFs BET The CW singing competition scene in color film series laika hist marvel cinematic universe Trophy Talk LGBTQ young adult cooking Lifetime Christmas movies Sci-Fi 73rd Emmy Awards popular Reality Competition Tomatazos E! streaming movies Dark Horse Comics Indigenous sitcom international Pet Sematary 2017 ABC Family Tumblr talk show genre Sundance TV Emmys VOD Freeform transformers television jurassic park critic resources child's play Cannes CBS All Access 2016 directors mob godzilla pirates of the caribbean remakes TCA 2017 Rocky Fox News HFPA ID trailers crime Photos universal monsters President Apple docudrama TNT Exclusive Video Sundance TV biography CW Seed medical drama mutant thriller MSNBC Winners travel Kids & Family worst Comedy reviews concert Disney Plus psychological thriller Grammys Ovation green book indiana jones Ellie Kemper Mudbound politics ITV space Brie Larson Elton John GoT Syfy rom-coms Fox Searchlight adventure Super Bowl Comics on TV Film Festival Thanksgiving spain japanese Superheroes Showtime Paramount Network kong The Purge Logo discovery target scene in color Lionsgate Amazon Studios Starz rt labs critics edition Ghostbusters 45 suspense USA Network E3 natural history justice league worst movies science fiction Toys comics Universal Pictures Disney+ Disney Plus Television Critics Association facebook Star Trek Drama chucky TV Land children's TV lord of the rings 90s Disney Channel NBA sequel 21st Century Fox latino spy thriller Columbia Pictures The Witch casting game show dogs Rom-Com Travel Channel prank Tags: Comedy First Reviews Best Picture Best Actress HBO Max series X-Men spider-verse CBS rt labs Captain marvel Turner Classic Movies hispanic Star Wars Celebration WGN festival Disney basketball NYCC Amazon Prime Video monster movies 93rd Oscars SundanceTV Set visit Mindy Kaling what to watch Classic Film TCA Awards Pixar crossover witnail BET Awards Hulu asian-american Instagram Live Red Carpet movies australia halloween Hear Us Out ABC Signature supernatural hidden camera Box Office Creative Arts Emmys DC streaming service Fall TV FX superhero Character Guide Spike Hallmark Masterpiece Oscars Trivia versus cartoon obituary Legendary action-comedy revenge Comedy Central APB IFC Films Netflix Christmas movies king arthur classics live action war stand-up comedy 99% slasher dark documentary 72 Emmy Awards video comic book movie slashers binge comedies YouTube sequels BBC America technology spanish language adaptation Awards strong female leads Nickelodeon Crackle Certified Fresh Holiday hollywood comic Pride Month parents Apple TV Plus cults joker ratings Geeked Week comiccon Heroines USA golden globes feel good History BBC One Family A&E Superheroe TIFF Emmy Nominations anime dragons franchise heist movie vs. obi wan art house Apple TV+ Mary poppins cancelled PBS Universal LGBT ESPN TV renewals Hollywood Foreign Press Association Pirates live event Film SDCC 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards foreign movie Walt Disney Pictures harry potter deadpool Musical animated romance DirecTV dexter Animation AMC FX on Hulu Binge Guide BAFTA target zombies Alien Comic Book Polls and Games TLC CNN Winter TV Mary Poppins Returns indie Rock theme song The Walt Disney Company book adaptation Acorn TV new star wars movies die hard Black History Month Hallmark Christmas movies Schedule streaming RT21 rotten movies we love SXSW superman scary movies Warner Bros. summer TV preview DC Comics teaser diversity italian Women's History Month Teen comic books telelvision satire Writers Guild of America aliens Watching Series Christmas political drama critics 1990s Pop TV Best Director VH1 spider-man rt archives doctor who YA best streamig DGA Star Wars Country crime drama new york black golden globe awards Tarantino Horror FXX Best Actor scary ABC zero dark thirty rotten Nat Geo wonder woman cinemax Martial Arts cancelled TV series Britbox Calendar Quiz Television Academy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Best and Worst OneApp Interview Election CMT Endgame summer TV The Academy OWN El Rey mcc Crunchyroll leaderboard razzies true crime halloween tv serial killer kids AMC Plus Shondaland marvel comics cops Year in Review Spectrum Originals criterion Mary Tyler Moore Tubi Music dreamworks award winner TCM stoner Paramount Plus hispanic heritage month fast and furious festivals 94th Oscars HBO miniseries archives reboot Focus Features disaster high school Turner New York Comic Con Disney streaming service all-time TV movies game of thrones Discovery Channel 4/20 Food Network SXSW 2022 MTV Summer MCU blockbuster crime thriller PlayStation VICE finale YouTube Premium dc Tokyo Olympics royal family 2018 psycho tv talk biopic unscripted dceu Countdown The Arrangement broadcast BBC 2019 Shudder a nightmare on elm street posters Stephen King gangster historical drama dramedy interviews football Western American Society of Cinematographers TV One HBO Go elevated horror Lifetime Pop summer preview Cartoon Network mockumentary screen actors guild cancelled TV shows nbcuniversal 2021 Sony National Geographic independent blockbusters Sony Pictures Native Funimation Lucasfilm toronto The Walking Dead YouTube Red debate fresh scene in color series Baby Yoda Mystery Amazon Marvel social media Musicals Comic-Con@Home 2021 TCA Winter 2020 Sundance Now spinoff Trailer Peacock breaking bad Prime Video Esquire zombie Podcast toy story Reality Academy Awards emmy awards scorecard IFC Vudu name the review know your critic aapi japan composers NBC scene in color christmas movies renewed TV shows sopranos Black Mirror Chernobyl Amazon Prime PaleyFest werewolf cats San Diego Comic-Con legend free movies cancelled television canceled TV shows Marathons Video Games new zealand RT History women ViacomCBS Premiere Dates olympics adenture 24 frames Netflix Arrowverse documentaries venice book Marvel Television quibi spanish Holidays 79th Golden Globes Awards films romantic comedy MGM 007 GLAAD vampires video on demand FOX 20th Century Fox period drama Spring TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Nominations Sneak Peek Wes Anderson Epix jamie lee curtis Avengers Oscar news Bravo robots sports See It Skip It Rocketman Valentine's Day Biopics ghosts nfl sag awards Awards Tour 71st Emmy Awards stop motion Cosplay