“Frozen got a PG for reasons I can’t even begin to explain…”
by Scott Mendelson at Forbes
With all of the outrage over Judi Dench’s Philomena scoring PG-13 despite a few “f-words” (because my screening was *packed* with 8- to 16-year-olds) and the “shocking” discovery that PG-13 rated films now contain more gun violence than R-rated ones, we have lost sight of a more egregious MPAA controversy. I speak of course of the near-inability of kid-friendly films to get branded with a G-rating. Opening in LA last weekend, Disney’s Frozen earned a PG for “mild action and rude humor” despite being noticeably less violent than most of Disney’s 90′s-era output. There was a time when, if you were a cartoon or a live-action family film, you really had to earn that PG.
We’ve gone from G-rated films like Babe (one of the greatest movies ever made, by the way) that featured a frank discussion of where meat comes from and genuinely intense scenes of animal peril and death, to Brave getting a PG for a few moments where a big bear roars a couple times. Once the PG lost its status as box office poison, it would seem that the MPAA began tossing it out for pretty much any amount of even remotely objectionable content while the studios made no effort to fight it. As a result, the PG rating for animated and family features is now as meaningless as the PG-13 rating is for mass-market tent poles. Just as Fantastic Four gets the same PG-13 as Skyfall, so too does Madagascar get the same PG rating as (the painfully underrated) Battle For Terra.
To quote that great, and justifiably PG-rated animated classic The Incredibles, “when everyone’s special, no one is.” When the PG rating is doled out like candy for animated and family features, it becomes the proverbial “G” rating and thus is useless in terms of its stated goal, which is to tell parents, paying moviegoers and the like, whether or not a given family film may be a bit much for their youngest kid. It’s great that PG is no longer than kiss of death for animated features. But how about we reserve that rating for films that actually deserve it.
…read the complete editorial at Forbes