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What Do You Mean Its For Kids: Film

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    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Remember the joy of watching Back to the Future when you were a kid? Remember the scene where the second lead is gunned down by Libyan terrorists? They sure don't make 'em like they used to. On the other hand, when Marty found himself in 1955, he made it a point to try and save Doc from his future fate... and succeeds; it was more of an extremely delayed Disney Death. There's also Marty's plan to get George and Lorraine together at the dance involved him faking a rape attempt on his own mother, which was then broken up by a real rape attempt from Biff.
    "If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit!"
    • As such, it was refreshing to see that line appear in the Telltale video game intact.
    • The first sequel isn't much better, starting with a Groin Attack on Marty Junior. Of course, the cherry on top is the alternate 1985 where Biff is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who murdered George in cold blood, forced Lorraine into marriage and breast implants, sits in a jacuzzi with naked women, and has turned Hill Valley into a hellhole.
    • Part III has Buford hanging Marty, threatening Clara with rape, and attempting a slow death by bullet on Doc. Plus there's Doc's (implied) one night stand with Clara.
    • Amusingly, this trope was why Disney turned down the first film, as they thought it was too raunchy for them, whereas other studios thought it wasn't raunchy enough (this was the era of teen sex comedies such as Porky's and Revenge of the Nerds)
  • Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, the Darker and Edgier sequel to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Take a lighthearted, family-friendly Totally Radical comedy and add lots of terror along with a Played for Laughs—yet still effectively morbid—Disney Death plotline, heavily ramped up profanity, sexual dialogue and incest references, and quite a few instances of Ho Yay as well, and you've got something that probably didn't sit nearly as well with the original film's target audience.
  • Camp Nowhere had talk of the titular camp being a former hippie commune, complete with a laughing mention of all that it entailed. The movie also had kids cursing, buying beer with an adult's help, lying to their parents and the authorities, and stealing money. In the end it never makes it clear what the lesson is, and the promotional posters were ridiculously risque compared to the movie proper.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of The Cat in the Hat definitely qualifies: Despite it being based on a book meant for kids, the movie dealt with a lot of extremely crass humor (examples include the Cat calling a soil-covered gardening implement a "dirty hoe" and the original name of the S.L.O.W., the Super Hydraulic Instantaneous Transporter) and rather dirty things that should not be exposed to kids, to the extent that its almost as though the movie is actually missing a crap detection radar. Sadly, it was also a point of contention for Theodore Giesel's estate. The film was such a slap in the face to the original story that all plans on making live-action adaptations of the Dr. Seuss stories have been barred. The animated stuff, however, is still acceptable.
  • Cop Dog, described in its summary as "a heartfelt tale about a boy and his dog who set out to solve the death of the young boy's father." The cutesy cover and PG rating must signify that it's targeted to a younger audience, right? Well, turns out that not even a quarter of the way through the movie, the dog is run over by a car, and it's not one of those things where the kid comes home from school and the mother has to break the bad news to him, no. We actually get a chase scene in which the dog dies. That's right, the dog is dead for most of the movie, and the whole movie is about fulfilling the dog's final desire, which is solving his master's murder, so that he can cross over.
    Amazon user Kathy: Heartwarming...yeah right. My daughter who is 10 freaked out when she saw Marlowe get hit by a car and killed - especially since that happened to one of our dogs a few years ago. THEN the dog is a ghost and there's some sort of time limit before something bad happens? Now she's freaking out again afraid she'll have nightmares. I didn't read very far into the plot synopsis so I didn't realize the dog got killed... Had I known that I would have never rented it. PG doesn't necessarily mean "good sense" or actually appropriate for sensitive kids! Motherfucker!
  • The Dark Crystal, a fantasy flick with a dark atmosphere, creepy monsters, Family-Unfriendly Violence, lots of scary moments, and yet, it was aimed to kids.
  • The Gamera films of the 1960s-1970s contained some of the most graphic "monster vs. monster" violence in movie history that's actually geared towards children. Yes, a film series that contained truly gruesome moments such as this was made for kids.
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. While the film is rated PG, the titular Garbage Pail Kids are abominations who vomit on people, wet themselves, fart in people's faces, get into fights, steal and damage property, and one of them is even willing to threaten people with a switchblade. There is also a subplot of a young man who looks to be at least 12 being in a relationship with a young woman who is clearly in her 20s. It is filled with violence, profanity, near-nudity, and scatological scenes; and infamously contains a Broken Aesop that people should be judged on their behavior, not their appearance; despite all the Garbage Pail Kids hateful and near-criminal actions. The Moral Guardians of the time protested the film and successfully managed to get it pulled from theaters because of all this.
  • Ghostbusters, anybody? There's some cussing, some innuendo, and early on in the movie, Peter actually asks the librarian if she's been menstruating (It Makes Sense in Context).
    • Not to mention ghost-on-man sex and/or blowjob. Also, Pecker has no dick.
  • The Golden Compass, the film adaptation of the first book of His Dark Materials trilogy was marketed to children, and is considered a family film. But despite the Disneyfication process that suffered the adaptation (like removing most of the hardcore atheist rants), it still had lot of dark elements, like a very violent polar bear fight, people being shot, lots of killings and many other things... Such as the extremely heartwarming and uplifting ending scene which was left off the theatrical release.
  • The same can be said about The Great Yokai War: A kid's film directed by Takashi Miike (the director of Ichi the Killer). Despite being clearly aimed to kids (many people compared the film with movies as Time Bandits or The NeverEnding Story) it still have lots of creepy moments, some innuendo, Family-Unfriendly Violence and lots of Black Comedy.
  • The Disney film Hocus Pocus, for reasons better stated on the page. However, if a hint of a reason is needed here, One Word repeated many times: "Virgin."
    The Nostalgia Chick: The villains are three weird but assumedly child-friendly witches. And by that, I mean this movie was made for children.... [Skeptical Grimace] I think.
  • Likewise, Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones series received some criticism due to the level of violence in the movies (particuarly Temple of Doom, which, to be fair, features a guy getting a heart ripped from his chest), resulting in the creation of the PG-13 rating.
  • Roger Ebert bashed Jumanji only because he found it too scary for family entertainment.
  • Labyrinth has frequently been cited as this. Three instances of the word "damn," the heroine almost getting killed by many sharp, rotating blades coming at her down a tunnel, beings that can (and do) gleefully dismantle themselves before trying to decapitate said heroine, "villain" twice the heroine's age trying to seduce her, and Bowie's Magic Pants, and you try to tell us it's for children?
  • The Lone Ranger is probably one of Disney's darker films, as the PG-13 is pushed pretty far in regards to the violence.
    Brad Jones: I think this is the closest a Disney movie has come to being a Hard R; dude, I've seen R-rated movies this year that are not as graphic as this movie.
  • Over in Italy, Malena is considered a family film. The uncut version has gratuitous female nudity in half the scenes, has plenty of scenes of the young boy masturbating, scenes of domestic violence, the 12-year-old protagonist sleeping with a prostitute twice his age and the climactic scene of the women in the town graphically beating up Malena in the street.
  • Matilda has a bunch of kids getting hammer-tossed out of windows, first-graders getting packed into a closet with rusty nails and adults downright insulting childrens' intelligence and calling them hurtful names. Then again this is Roald Dahl we're talking about. On the upside, the abuse isn't that severe and the protagonist does win in the end. On top of that, it's a family film, so the violence is mainly for the adults, no matter how cruel it may seem.
  • MirrorMask: Many people compare this film with Labyrinth: Being written by Neil Gaiman is not surprising that most of the story is a complete Mind Screw that even the adults will find confusing...Also it is filled with some creepy moments.
  • Given the violence and Nightmare Fuel present in Pacific Rim, some people find it hard to believe that Guillermo del Toro designed the film to be for children. In interviews, Del Toro was even upfront about how he wanted to make a positive film for kids, and that Mako Mori was designed as a feminist role model for young girls.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is a Disney franchise, and despite its subject matter, is generally considered family friendly, and isn't too violent or adult. Then there's that scene in the beginning of At World's End in which dozens of innocent people, including young children, are sentenced to death and hanged while singing mournfully. Sweet dreams, kids! Dead Man's Chest beat At World's End to the punch with the pirate prison scene, with the family-friendly image of a pirate screaming as a bird pecks his eye out.
  • Return to Oz is meant to be seen as a kids' adventure film, yet there are the infamous scenes such as shock therapy, Dorothy's friends Taken for Granite, and of course, the Nome King.note 
  • The Santa Clause is a film which shows Santa Claus falling off a roof and dying as a moment of Black Comedy.
  • George Lucas has maintained that Star Wars is intended for children. Some people point at the severed limbs, convoluted politics and economics, Techno Babble, bio-babble, and other kid-unfriendly aspects to counter those claims.
  • Time Bandits, from Terry Gilliam, a adventure/fantasy flick starring a child. It features scenes of firing squads, a man getting crushed to death, nightmare creatures, and ends with the kid's parents exploding, all because they were idiots for touching the evil microwave and not listening to the child.
  • TRON itself came out before the PG-13 rating (1982), and while it was technically aimed at kids, it was much Darker and Edgier than the usual Disney fare. On its roster; brutal on-screen deaths (including a Boom, Headshot with some gibs), Electric Torture (Clu 1.0 is tortured to death, Dumont and the other Tower Guardians come close to it), overt religious themes (more blatant than the second film's), a brief flirtation with a Love Triangle (or Threesome Subtext), snarky innuendo and a Shirtless Scene... Then there's the Deleted Scene that was obstensibly cut for pacing, but was quite obviously sexual in nature.
  • TRON: Legacy. Considering that the 2010 sequel has a Darker and Edgier plot and much more brutal deresolutions than the 1982 originalnote , one could easily be shocked that this film, unlike its predecessor, was intended for kids. This can't possibly be stressed enough. The movie is about as close to Gorn as you can get without showing any blood, the villain is essentially Hitler (and fricking terrifying at that), and there are a lot of references that would go straight over a kid's head... and somehow it still managed to get a PG rating, with Disney somehow not realizing that their movie was very kid-unfriendly and marketing it to young children. Its promotions on Disney Channel, as well as its Adidas apparel line, and its large collection of toys, all of which are made and meant for children.
  • We Bought a Zoo is perhaps the only PG-rated film to shoehorn in at least three uses of "shit" and one of "asshole". However, it was marketed as a light-hearted family film.
    • Not quite. The Back to the Future films pulled that off. However, those were mid-80s to 1990. Ratings criteria have changed since then, so it's still surprising, nonetheless.
  • The Wizard was definitely made and marketed with Nintendo-loving kids in mind... but the scenes of upsetting family drama, the incestuous Accidental Innuendo in the hotel scene, and Haley's cry of "HE TOUCHED MY BREAST!" make one wonder.
  • In the same line of the last example, the live-action film of the anime Yatterman made by Takashi Miike, was aimed to kids in Japan, but it was filled with innuendo, sex-related humor, profanity and one scene where one female-shaped robot starts acting like it were having an orgasm
  • Several of the films watched on Mystery Science Theater 3000 fall into this trope:
    • Infamously, Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders made the mistake of putting a crappy horror movie into a crappy children's movie package, and then forgetting to take out the horror. Thus we get a creepy monkey doll, a man's wife becoming his mother, and gratuitous violence in a movie supposedly meant for kids. Hilariously lampshaded:
    Servo: (as the kid) No, Grandpa Borgnine, leave light and hope for me! Please!
    Crow: (as Grandpa Borgnine) Get out from behind that cushion, Billy! It gets worse!
  • The Disney/Amblin co-production A Far Off Place was marketed as a PG-rated family-friendly adventure...featuring an orphaned girl and her friend trekking 1,000 miles through Africa with cold-blooded poachers hot on their trail for witnessing their massacre on her parents' reserve. And on top of that, a Roger Rabbit cartoon played before the movie in theaters! Never was there a more jarring case of Mood Whiplash than zany cartoon slapstick being followed by the horrific slaughter of a teen's parents.
    • To be fair though, the movie did have an alternate Walt Disney Pictures logo (with the words in a plain blue text on a black background) that was used to denote more serious fare, as well as a disclaimer at the beginning saying that all the violence was simulated.
  • Despite being much Darker and Edgier than their animated counterparts, Disney movies such as Maleficent and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland truly are marketed for general family viewing.
Anime & MangaWhat Do You Mean, It's for Kids?Literature

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