What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has some crude humor, including a jockstrap, vomit, whacking someone in a sensitive area, and some schoolyard language. Kids do foolish and dangerous things, including riding a bicycle down cement steps, sucking helium, breaking into school at night, putting chemicals into a character's breath spray, and operating machinery. Kids are harassed by bullies in various ways, including a "swirlie." One of the bullies is black, but so is the friendly manager of the animal shelter.
- Families can talk about why some kids act like bullies and why other kids let them. Some adults can act like bullies, too. The movie makes it clear that Max's father has to learn how to deal with a bullying boss. What is the best way to respond to a bully? When should you ask adults for help? The janitor tells Max that "any kid can make a mess -- it takes a man to clean it up." And Max tells the kids that they should not bully the bullies when they get the chance because that would make them bullies, too. Families may want to discuss this in light of America's consideration of the response to terrorism.