What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a violent cartoon, with blood and dead bodies shown, and a little boy threatened with cult sacrifice -- although the worst of the gore and severed body parts seems reserved for monsters (specifically, mutant dinosaurs). There are two close-up fatal shootings and some light swearing. The PG-13 rating is possibly a little harsh, considering the fantasy nature of the material, but the feature does touch on some unsavory aspects of the 1950s, such as racism, the Korean War, and US government paranoia and treachery.
- Families can talk about the appeal of comics icons. Ask kids who their favorites are: Superman, Batman, Wonder Women, the Flash, Green Lantern, or their competitors over at Marvel like the X-Men? Comics-savvy parents can talk about the "Silver Age" of comics, an era with which this film specifically deals, and how this movie weaves into the costumed-superhero mythology the historical offscreen menaces of McCarthyism, Jim-Crow lynch mobs, Communism, and xenophobia -- a DVD "extra" documentary helps with some of the background. You might be able to introduce older kids to the more literate (and more sexually explicit) Watchmen graphic novel and movie, which also maintain a strong Cold War backdrop.