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Movies have different ratings depending on the intended viewership audience. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates movies as a G, PG, PG-13 or NC-17. This is mainly to help parents determine which content is acceptable for viewership especially for small children. According to the MPAA, a G-rated movie is a motion picture that contains nothing in theme, nudity, sex, violence, language or matters that may offend parents who may have younger children watching the movie. The rating means that the MPAA does not approve the movie only that it is fit for general audience as it contains no strong language, nudity or use of drugs and violence is minimal (or is completely absent). This paper will critique the G-rated movie Beauty and the Beast.
The movie of interest here is the Beauty and the Beast. The Movie is very popular especially in American children. The movie was produced in 1991 by Howard Ashman as the executive producer and Don Hahn as the producer (Common sense media). Walt Disney produced the animated movie Beauty and the Beast. The movie is about Belle who is a free-spirited girl residing in a small village with her eccentric father. Belle is being pursued by an arrogant hunter named Gaston. After his father goes missing, Belle starts to track him but she finds herself held prisoner in a castle by Beast. With time she finds herself and Beast becoming closer which does not auger well with Gaston.
The movie contains 3 instances of violence. The first instance is when fierce wolves attack the main characters, the second is when there is a big fight and there is a character who wields a knife but falls to his death and lastly when the people of the town decided to kill Beast when he had an angry outburst (Common sense media).
The movie has subliminal bad language and no vulgar words are loud enough to be noticed. Therefore, language here is not applicable. As earlier as 6 years of age, parents have reported that their children do imitate what they see on TV but imitation may vary greatly depending on the child’s cognitive development. At the ages of 6-11 years, children become very active and will show to imitate aggressive behaviors after viewing violent scenes on screen.
The movie contains only one sexual reference. The only instance is when Lumieer flirts with the French maid comically. According to the moral hierarchy, children as early as those of 10 years of age will judge moral dilemmas according to intentions of the perpetrator. Therefore, children as young as 10 years (and in some cases lower than 10 years) will try to imitate sexual scenes they watch on films (Common sense media).
The storyline of Beauty and the Beast creates a story that contains characters that surpass the stereotypes. An example of this can be taken from Belle (Beauty) who is a stereotypical Hollywood heroine with her small and beautiful long hair whose main important thing (or so she thinks) is to take care of and nurse important men (Beast and her father). As shown earlier, the movie departs from the origin folktales in many ways. Some of the characters push through the normal stereotypes. Although a woman, Belle is very intelligent as well as being strong. We usually know women as ‘weak’ characters but Belle reads constantly and more than any other character in the movie, she saves more lives by fighting with the wolves. She is shown clubbing the wolves with a stick leading to the town people describing her as strange and funny due to her strength. This is one sure way of the town people reinforcing the stereotype (Wynn). The movie generally creates stereotypes first before they eventually kill them. Thus the movie creates a mixture of stereotypes creating both good and bad show for children. For example women are shown to be just that, women, while they are also shown to be even better than men in their own game (Wynn).
There are some instances of kindness in the movie Beauty and the Beast. Belle is shown when he learns of other kindness to her father but she overstays her time due to enticements by her sisters. Belle is show to be very caring especially to her father and to Beast.
It is vital that parents understand a movie’s rating before they can let their children watch the movie. The movie Beauty and the Beast is a nice movie for children to watch but parents need to understand that the movie’s initial ferocity may scare some children. Scenes like where Gaston hunts and stabs one of the characters may be emotionally intense for them. But for those kids, who are mature enough to watch feature-length movies, then the movie is just but one of the best that they can watch due to its originality, production quality and even its intelligence. The movie is intended to entertain but not educate kids but kids will find taking some important lessons on appreciating others for not what they look like but for what they are (Common sense media).
Generally, the G-rated movie Beauty and the Beast is good for children and especially for bigger children although smaller kids can be guided by their parents when watching the movie. The movie is an ultimate makeover with positive language.