Is Tangled a Good Movie for 3 Year Olds?

Recently we took Ruby to see Rapunzel Tangled, because she had seen all the previews for it and was very excited about all things Rapunzel. She even made up a song about how much she loved Rapunzel, and that was before she ever saw the movie.

But Tangled is rated PG. Now, to be honest, I stopped paying attention to movie ratings when I turned 17. Now it seems that I must retrain myself to pay close attention, because Ruby is terrified of PG movies. G movies are fine. The thing is, I can’t figure out why. Here are some examples of what scares Ruby and does not scare Ruby.

Anastasia (rated G) – evil looking man with his face half rotted off sings a song from the bowels of Hell while squishing up little bugs and creatures. Ruby says: Not Scary.

Tangled (rated PG) – attractive looking mother says passive aggressive things in a generally cheerful manner. Ruby says: Scary. Ruby shrieked in horror every time Mother Gothel came on screen, even if she was just making scones and/or friendly conversation.

The Little Mermaid (rated G) – giant octopus witch throws lightening and evil magic at our heroes until being stabbed violently with a broken ship’s mast. Ruby says: Not Scary.

Shrek (rated PG) – Shrek and donkey chase a dragon around, conquering it with kisses and ultimately befriending it. Ruby says: Terrifying. Even when the dragon was their friend Ruby was screaming at the sight of it. She did not like the dragon until at least Shrek 2. BUT…

Sleeping Beauty (rated G) – evil witch transforms into giant dragon and tries to kill Prince Charming, ultimately being stabbed to death. Ruby says: Not Scary.

The best idea I have heard so far is that the ratings people probably just show every cartoon to a room full of three year olds. If they cry: PG, if they do not cry: G. I mean, I just cannot figure out what is going to be scary to my own child. I guess that’s why we have the ratings. Right?

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  1. I love this rating system, it is hilarious and truly mystifying. I wish you could test out some more adult material, like Saw, or The Silence of the Lambs, without doing severe damage to your child for the rest of her life. Or, for that matter, you, for if I remember correctly, you are not a huge fan of filmic violence either.

  2. I still loved the film and believe it’s a great addition to Disney’s animated classics. Lastly, let me just add a big “Yeah!” to the film’s final moments when Flynn, back in narrator mode, reveals that it was several years before he and Rapunzel got married. A much better message for children than the more usual we-saw-each-other-twice-before-tying-the-knot which seems almost de rigueur in so many fairy tales.

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