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Little Monsters Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Beetlejuice wannabe with potty talk, a bit of heart.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Little Monsters includes some mildly scary and emotional moments, plus some examples of bullying, mean pranks, and some language ("s--t" and "Godammit"). Parents behave poorly, yelling at kids, and eventually the parents separate. The monster world that Brian enters is a place where no rules exist, which means a good deal of immature and chaotic behavior plays out. There are some major gross-out moments, like when Maurice pees into bully's empty apple juice bottle, and the bully later drinks the liquid.

  • Families can talk about childhood fears. What scares you the most? Something hiding under the bed? What makes the idea of monsters scary? Did you find Maurice scary?
  • At what age is watching scary movies fun? Have you ever wished you hadn't seen something? How did you get the scary images or thoughts out of your mind?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Some petty science experiments give a glimmer of smart stuff; and there are some moral lessons having to do with loyalty, friendship, and family here, but these arrive after a lot of iffy behavior by monsters and humans alike.

  • message true0

    Messages: Though parenting styles have changes a little since  the '80's, some of the yelling, cursing and arguing that Brian and his little brother are subjected to do raise some timeless flags. The monster world is also pretty extreme and chaotic, though Brian makes good choices at the end of the movie. Some positive themes of friendship and imagination.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The parents in this movie are a little too human: arguing in front of their kids, showing their weaknesses. But they clearly love their kids, and apologize for their mistakes. The monsters are a mixed bag, but some of the pranks Maurice pulls are pretty nasty.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Scary monster faces, gross behavior, kids scuffling, and bullying behavior make up most of the rough stuff. Perilous scenes and threatening behavior also can scare sensitive kids, though lots of humor takes the edge off.

  • sex false2

    Sexy stuff: Women are portrayed as sex objects on TV and in references made by Maurice (who calls women "tomatoes"). He talks briefly about touching himself.

  • language false4

    Language: Considering the age group, there is a good deal of cussing by parents in front of kids -- and by the kids themselves (for example, "holy s--t"). Expect to hear "damn," "Godammit," "s--t," "piss," "hell," "bitch," "caca," and "jerk."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Some blatant product placement: Poloroid photos are taken and mentioned by name. Doritos are the snack that Brian feeds to Maurice. Dad eats Lays potato chips.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Parents drink wine with dinner. A monster bully smokes cigarettes and blows the smoke in characters' faces or threatens to burn vicitms with the butt.