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Swearing in cartoons

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The in-laws saw "Rango" with my nephews this weekend, and are complaining because there apparently was some cursing in the movie, along with a joke about a topless mannequin.

    Mother-in-law argues that it "wasn't necessary." I pointed out that it was rated PG, and it wasn't a secret that there were adult elements. She pointed out, not without merit, that it was marketed to children - or at least seemed to be.

    Thoughts on adult elements in children's cartoons? I recall in Toy Story 2, Buzz Lightyear's wings sprung up when he met Jessi at the end, which I thought was supposed to represent an erection. Surprised when I didn't find any buzz (no pun intended) about that on the Internet afterward.
  2. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    The Dark Knight and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were marketed to children, too. Not exclusively, but they tried for that audience.
    I thought Rango was fine for my 7-year-old. No way I would let her watch the other two. Not with the level of violence in them.
  3. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The Buzz Lightyear example you note is far too subtle to register with younger kids who don't know what an erection is in the first place, so it understandably wouldn't draw much outrage. (The topless mannequin joke in this context would seem like something that's harmless to kids as well.) Cursing, on the other hand, is something parents are specifically teaching their kids not to do from the time they are about 5 years old. A child can recognize and repeat a swear word pretty easily.

    Since the advent of PG-13, a PG rating pretty typically means there is no cursing and it's safe family fare. This expectation would be particularly true for an animated movie. I can understand the surprise and frustration if it wasn't the case.

    That said, I saw Raiders in the Lost Ark in the theaters when I was 10, and my first glimpse of nudity happened in Kramer v. Kramer when I was 9. I just watched The Sandlot with my boys (11 and 8 yo) and their favorite parts were Ham taunting the batters and Squints scamming a French kiss of Wendy Peffercorn. I saw it as a sign that they were growng up normal.

    The kids who saw Rango, they're going to be OK.
  5. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    PG rating = you were warned before you went in
  6. MartinonMTV2

    MartinonMTV2 New Member

    This. Don't want PG material? Don't go to a PG movie.

    Regarding your Toy Story 2 example: If you are waiting for movie critics to call out Disney, you will be waiting a long, long time.
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I thought maybe guys like Medved would have reacted to the Toy Story innuendo.

    I'm glad you guys agree with me on the PG thing. I think my mother-in-law, more or less, thinks that cartoons, by definition, are kids' movies. They aren't.
  8. I saw Rango the other week, was rather disappointed in it. But nothing to me stuck out as inappropriate for kids. Sure, there were jokes in there that only adults would get, but that's the way all the animated movies are just to give the parents something to keep them interested when they take their kids to see them.
  9. secretariat

    secretariat Active Member

    Your in-laws need to drop the Helen Lovejoy act and get over it. I don't know how old your nephews are, but I'd be willing to bet folding money they've heard much, much worse from their friends, their friends' parents and their own parents.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    And their uncle.
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    That is a common misconception. Anybody who believes that needs to watch a season or two of Family Guy. I certainly wouldn't let my 7-year-old watch that.

    Better yet, show them some late-night cartoon stuff like Superjail (I saw it once. Holy crap was that odd) or Drawn Together and ask if that is kid stuff.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Family Guy carries a TV14 rating though. Isn't it reasonable to think that since PG13 exists in the movies, anything rated lighter than that would be void of language you wouldn't want to hear from someone younger than 13?
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