AIBU to let my 7 year old watch Harry Potter film which are a 12 Cert?

(80 Posts)
maybefaraway Mon 20-Jan-14 10:45:45

I think IABU, but he's read up to book 5, and I always told him if he read the book first he could see the film. Then I let him spend his xmas money on the boxset (Tesco £20 for eight films, bargain), and only then did I notice that five of them are a bloody 12 certificate. WWYD? He's seen the first three now, and seen Percy Jackson and stuff like that.

AndiMac Mon 20-Jan-14 22:26:08

We read the first three HP novels to DD who was 6 and turned 7 last month. After reading the books, she was allowed to watch the films, which she was very keen on doing. She's another hardy soul and watched the original Star Wars at 4 and loved it.

However, we started reading book 4 to her and somewhere in there middle, she started to be able to read well enough to read it herself, so we were partly reading to her, partly reading it herself. She slacked off on asking for it to be read and started choosing other books to read herself or by us. There's only about a fifth of the book left, but we haven't touched it since before Christmas.

I honestly think the plot and the subplots with the emotions about the boy and girlfriends got too complicated for her. She's fairly good at understanding situations, but this is beyond her range of experience and therefore comprehension. She still kind of wants to see the movie, but isn't pushing very hard for it anymore.

If he really wants to watch them and would be ok with them, I'd say let him. He's fulfilled all your other conditions, so a bit unfair to not allow it now. But I would be careful not to watch it with other younger kids around.

Rosencrantz Mon 20-Jan-14 22:12:34

They're not 12s. They are 12a.

Jinsei Mon 20-Jan-14 21:58:30

I find it interesting that whilst most people are saying their children enjoyed it, wasn't scared etc - no-one has said that yes, they had a full and complete understanding of it and could follow it from start to finish no problem at all. You must all have very sophisticated children!

My dd watched the films at 8, after having read all of the books at least once. Actually, I thought she had a very thorough understanding of them all, and she kept stopping to explain things to me as I hadn't read the books and therefore missed the significance of some parts. Indeed, her explanations inspired me to read the books myself, as I realised that there was a lot more to them than I had originally thought!

DD is emotionally mature for her age, but I certainly didn't feel that she was too young to understand or appreciate the films. However, some kids might find them disturbing at that age, there are parts that are quite scary. Depends on the child, I guess.

MrsOakenshield Mon 20-Jan-14 21:49:26

I just think the more details you can understand the better the experience. And that I haven't yet seen any reason, bar people's impatience, why not to wait for your child to be old enough to understand as much as they can. JK did not intend The Deathly Hallows to be read by a 7 year old - so she didn't write it for a 7 year old. And the directors of the film didn't aim it at a 7 year old.

However, I think I've said, for today at any rate, all I'm going to on the subject.

willyoulistentome Mon 20-Jan-14 21:45:59

... and no, they probably didn't follow the whole plot. . But they all enjoyed the bits they did follow. .

willyoulistentome Mon 20-Jan-14 21:42:37

My 10 & 8 year olds sons have seen them all and weren't in the least bit bothered. In fact they thought me being all theatrically squeamish over the big spiders was hilarious. They do seem to get that films are not real and my eldest will ask how they managed to film certain bits. I.e is that real live Film or CGI.

Rowgtfc72 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:35:03

Dd is six and a half and we finished watching them on Sunday. No,she didn't understand all of it but can tell the difference between what's real and what isn't. She knows its just a story.she was too busy drooling over draco malfoy and I've had to print a picture of him in the first film to go under her pillow.
She is however terrified of doctor who,maybe because it looks less filmy?

JerseySpud Mon 20-Jan-14 21:34:07

DD1 is 7 and shes seen the first 3

JohnCusacksWife Mon 20-Jan-14 21:19:13

MrsOakenshield, I'm not sure what your objection is. Is it that you think it's too disturbing for younger children or that they can't understand it? And if they don't understand every detail does that really matter? My 7yr old certainly didn't understand every single thing but did follow most of it. She struggled to follow all the wandlore stuff, for example but she did understand the fundamental story. It also led to some very interesting discussions about sacrifice, loyalty, death etc.

Probably because 12A is impractical for DVDs. DVD ratings are for who they can be sold to rather who can view them. 12/12A would make no difference.

They only brought it in because cinemas were starting to lose money. Parents were interested in bringing younger children to see 12 films but couldn't legally. They changed the law so that parents can make that decision and they can make more money. Wasn't that long ago I don't think?

DVDs don't get a 12A rating, I think, I don't know why. So a film that was a 12A in the cinema will often be a 12 on DVD.

maybefaraway Mon 20-Jan-14 20:12:08

Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies. It is good to know that others have swayed on this decision and that several have allowed their kids to watch the films. My ds is pretty sensible and hardy, and very aware of what is and isn't real - he isn't prone to nightmares etc, and says when he has them he can fight make believe with make believe, so his armed teddy bear army knock dream-monsters dead.

I hadn't realised the difference between 12 and 12a, also helpful info!

And yes notso and mrs - according to mrs theory, all of the Disney films are horrendously traumatic, as are the antics of several story book characters! So I won't be using that logic.

MrsOakenshield Mon 20-Jan-14 19:29:31

no indeed. But these films (and books, for that matter) aren't aimed at children this young. Fair enough that a 12-year-old would get something different out of it from an adult, but a 7-year-old? Or younger? Sorry, that doesn't wash for me.

I find it interesting that whilst most people are saying their children enjoyed it, wasn't scared etc - no-one has said that yes, they had a full and complete understanding of it and could follow it from start to finish no problem at all. You must all have very sophisticated children!

The only issue I have found is that the seventh film is really just a build up for the eighth so you have to watch them back to back for them to work.

sorry to pick out this one comment, but it demonstrates exactly my point of not understanding the plot (and what is missed out from the books - Deathly Hallows is absolutely the one I would say read the book first). The first half of Deathly Hallows is meant to be really testing for the 3 - they are left to go on what appears to be this utter wild goose chase that Dumbledore has left Harry. It tests their friendship to the hilt, and it tests Harry's belief in Dumbledore (you get much more of this from the book, which is awash with all the anti-Dumbledore stuff that's going around). The complete aimlessness, helplessness that Harry starts to feel. It is not just a build up. There are also some very good set pieces in the film - the chase through the forest; Harry, Ginny, Tonks and Lupin through the wheat field; of course Dobby's death.

It's a good film. I feel quite evangelical about it because so many people say, oh, it's dull, it's a build up. I think it captures very well the feeling of that part of the book.

JohnCusacksWife Mon 20-Jan-14 19:07:25

I am most definitely a book person and I have yet to watch a film of a book which lives up to the books, HP included. However I think it's unrealistic to say, as someone did earlier, that children shouldn't watch the films if they haven't yet read the books or be able to fully understand every nuance of the story lines. Of course there are complexities and subtleties in the stories that an older reader would get whilst a younger reader would view it in a simpler way. But many films/books are like that...it doesn't mean that they can't be enjoyed by different audiences on different levels.

SpocksThirdEar Mon 20-Jan-14 19:05:18

Mine have seen them, but they are not phased by that sort of thing at all. My 9 yo's are HP mad, they're reading the books and have seen all the films.

I did see them first (at the cinema, in blissful peace!) just to check, but I didn't think there was anything too bad for mine to handle.

As always it depends on the child. If I had one that was sensitive then I wouldn't let them watch them.

littleredsquirrel Mon 20-Jan-14 18:48:18

YABU

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 20-Jan-14 18:47:09

Bogeyface when I saw that at the cinema the snake appeared, lunged forwards and the whole screen went black. It seemed at first like it was supposed to, as the soundtrack carried on. It was terrifying, much worse than when we re-watched it and the picture carried on!

Jemstone Mon 20-Jan-14 17:40:46

I got the boxset when my youngest DC was about 2.5. there was no way he was going to watch anything past the third one until he was 12! He is now 4, has watched all the films and loves them, he isn't the type of child that gets frightened though. That makes me sound like a crap mum but it's what happens when you have older siblings who are hp mad.

Jemstone Mon 20-Jan-14 17:40:43

I got the boxset when my youngest DC was about 2.5. there was no way he was going to watch anything past the third one until he was 12! He is now 4, has watched all the films and loves them, he isn't the type of child that gets frightened though. That makes me sound like a crap mum but it's what happens when you have older siblings who are hp mad.

Jemstone Mon 20-Jan-14 17:38:51

I got the boxset when my youngest DC was about 2.5. there was no way he was going to watch anything past the third one until he was 12! He is now 4, has watched all the films and loves them, he isn't the type of child that gets frightened though. That makes me sound like a crap mum but it's what happens when you have older siblings who are hp mad.

My feeling is that from year 4 onwards the films are too dark for my 7 year old. When he read book 5 he found Professor Umbridge's cruelty very distressing. There's no way I would let him watch that or the more upsetting scenes in the Deathly Hallows. I watched deathly Hallows part one over Christmas and had very vivid dreams of being persecuted that night. I'm 41. I think it's too much for a little mind to cope with. Ds will have to be content with the books until he is much nearer to 12.

Bogeyface Mon 20-Jan-14 17:30:25

All of mine have seen them all and been fine, even scaredy cat DD3!

The only issue I have found is that the seventh film is really just a build up for the eighth so you have to watch them back to back for them to work.

The only bit that scared them in the last 2 was the bit where the snake comes out of the floor (in Bathildas house), and that made me jump!

SparklingMuppet Mon 20-Jan-14 17:27:19

I won't be laughing Mrs Oskenshield, I'm glad ds1 is to sensitive because it gives me a good reason, but I wouldn't be letting him watch them until at least 10+ anyway. It's just not appropriate subject matter for primary school children. Yes some three and for year olds might be fine but that's only because they don't understand it at all. And if they don't understand it they shouldn't be watching it.

So I'll happily sit in that cornet with you!

MrsOakenshield Mon 20-Jan-14 17:18:40

see, that's what I mean - people just don't seem to think about what HP is about - it's a boy wizard! And that's it. (oh, and I agree about Snow White - DD (4) watched it for the first time at Christmas as I've been sitting on it for a while as I did think it might be a bit much - she doesn't seem that into it, which is good as I can't bear SW's horrible little voice. But of course the whole tone of SW is completely different anyway. I digress.)

I am a huge huge huge HP fan - read the whole series at least 5 times, seen most of the films several times. And it does seem to me that, in many cases more down to parents than children, children are watching these too young - not necessarily because of the scare factor, but too young to fully enjoy them. I say many cases - on MN that is, as I actually don't know anyone in RL who advocates this (BIL and SIL let their 2 (4 and 7) watch them all, as they had been given tickets to HP World - SIL told me she regretted it - yes, they enjoyed them but for the reasons I've given, she felt they would have got more out of them if they'd been older) - just been asking in my office (lots of HP fans here) and haven't found anyone who thinks under about 8 is fine to start watching them, let alone watch the later ones. Same with other parents I know. I'm finding it hard to articulate my objections - maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I will certainly expect DD to have read them before she starts watching them (you certainly can't get the most out of the films if you haven't read them - the latter films especially miss out quite salient parts of the plot!).

Still, I'm pretty confident in my views on this so I'll carry on being the lone voice on these threads, forlornly crying in a dim and distant voice 'Noooooo! Too young!'. And you can all laugh should I cave in.

Mim78 Mon 20-Jan-14 16:07:38

If it wasn't HP, would you allow children this young to watch a film about 17/18 year olds hunting down a psychopathic serial killer?

This is hilarious. I had not really realised this is what HP is about!

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