To say DS1 (6yrs) & DS2 (4yrs) can't see Man of Steel?

(64 Posts)
ttalloo Fri 21-Jun-13 07:16:28

DH really wants to take the boys to see Man of Steel, saying that it might be a 12A, but as they've already seen all 6 Star Wars films, all of Lord of the Rings, and the Hobbit, not to mention countless other crashbangwallop films, it shouldn't be too scary or difficult for them.

I take his point (they are a fairly bloodthirsty pair), but I'm still not comfortable with them seeing it - that 12A rating suggests to me that it's not a film for children as young as ours.

If you've seen it, please give me the benefit of your advice!

MsVestibule Fri 21-Jun-13 09:32:22

I absolutely would not let young children (I have DCs the same age as yours) watch a 12A film. If it was deemed suitable, it would have been given a PG certificate. The other films you've mentioned - what are their ratings?

sparkle12mar08 Fri 21-Jun-13 09:36:29

How on earth is it appropriate for a 4yo to have seen all six Star Wars films?! Are you mad! Shocking.

That asides, you can't have double standards about one film compared to another. Either you care about what your children watch and how they might be affected by it, or you don't...

sparkle12mar08 Fri 21-Jun-13 09:40:03

And your 4yo has really sat through all of the LoTR films?

SuperConfused Fri 21-Jun-13 09:45:12

It's reeeeally long and boring. Not at all like other superhero movies, quite a lot of time spent on the origin story so basically a drifter Clark Kent getting in bar fights. I genuinely think young kids would hate it. Can't remember how much violence, but lots of buildings crashing, extended fight scenes.... I would have been very (hmm) if I saw young children at it, tbh.

Squitten Fri 21-Jun-13 09:47:19

Dunno about a 6yr old but my 4yr old just doesn't have the attention span for adult films, let alone content issues.

LittleBearPad Fri 21-Jun-13 09:48:40

I wouldn't take them. For one thing sitting in a cinema is different to watching a film at home (I assume this is how Star Wars, LOTR were watched). You can't stop a film at the cinema if they get scared. It's a lot noisier and more intense than watching at home too. Tell them you'll wait until it comes out on DVD (at least).

It's no more violent than Star Wars but as Superconfused said it's a little boring I doubt they would enjoy it including your DH.

Vatta Fri 21-Jun-13 09:54:09

I've seen it - there's a fair amount of violence, but nothing sexual and no swearing, if that helps. I think sections may be a bit overwhelming for such young kids (lots happening, very noisy, bit intense). There's a scene involving childbirth (not graphic, but would probably raise questions!).

More importantly it will honestly be very boring for your kids! There's a lot of moody origins stuff, and it's about 2 hours long.

Much better to wait for the DVD so you can watch in chunks and stop to explain things.

I think the 12A classification is a pile of crap.

I like things to be drfinitive - makes my parenting life much easier.


JamNan Fri 21-Jun-13 10:05:46

(they are a fairly bloodthirsty pair)

To describe a 6 and 4 year-old as 'bloodthirsty' is really worrying. You wouldn't let them watch sex films, so why let them watch violence? It's wrong and inappropriate for children so young.

mumofweeboys Fri 21-Jun-13 10:14:05

How on earth is it appropriate for a 4yo to have seen all six Star Wars films?! 

I may be wrong but havnt the starwars films been on tv before the watershed?

BarbarianMum Fri 21-Jun-13 10:15:53

Lots of things are on before the watershed that aren't really suitable for 4 year olds.

sparkle12mar08 Fri 21-Jun-13 10:18:14

There's plenty of stuff on pre watershed that's not suitable for 4 year olds! There is not a cat in hell's chance that I would allow my 5 and 7yo's to watch Star Wars, let alone a 4yo.

SarabiDog Fri 21-Jun-13 10:32:36

How on earth is it appropriate for a 4yo to have seen all six Star Wars films?! Are you mad! Shocking.

In release order, the ratings are U, U, U, PG, PG, 12A.

If you watch them on ITV, where they're shown regularly during the afternoon, the ratings are U, U, U, PG, PG, PG - ep3 is slightly cut.

Hardly inappropriate, mad or shocking.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 21-Jun-13 10:37:06

I think they're too young. I took my 10 year old and there was the odd moment that I was worried might scare him. I would not take my 6 year old though. It's not really a kids film imho.

It's very good though. His back up story leaving his birth parents and with his new parents had me with a big lump in my throat throughout those scenes.

MrsMelons Fri 21-Jun-13 10:37:44

I have seen Man of Steel and I don't think there is anything inappropriate in it TBH, I thought 12A had replaced PG anyway.

I would let me similar age children watch it but it is over 2 hours long so I will get it on dvd for them I think.

Star Wars is really tame, especially the older 3, the newer ones may be a bit scarier for little ones but mine watched the 1st new one when it was released in 3D last year and the youngest was only 3, he was fine and I am actually pretty strict in general at what films they watch. I don't mind the scary ones as my DCs don't scare easily but I object to sex/real violence (not fantasy) and swearing.

MrsMelons Fri 21-Jun-13 10:38:49

I can see what Sparkly is saying, the story does not necessarily lend it towards being a kids film but I think the content is ok.

MrsMelons Fri 21-Jun-13 10:40:23

There was a child of about 4 or 5 at the cinema when we went - he sat through the whole thing mesmorised even though it was a 930pm showing!

sparkle12mar08 Fri 21-Jun-13 10:44:38

I know exactly what the ratings are and I still would never let my children watch them currently. May be in a year or so for ds1, but no way beforehand. No way. It's the themes rather than the cinematography tbh. I just think they're inappropriate but I'm aware that not many think the same. Its cropped up on film threads before. A four year old is still a baby in so many ways, I don't think it's appropriate to introduce themes of war, torture, and abduction to a four year old.

bico Fri 21-Jun-13 10:50:04

I'm taking ds (9) to see it but only after checking the content on the British Board of Film website here. It says it may contain spoilers but it is useful to evaluate whether a film is really suitable or not.

If ds was 6 or 4 I wouldn't have even bothered checking as there is no way I would take that age child to a 12A film.

SarabiDog Fri 21-Jun-13 10:54:00

sparkle12mar08 that is of course totally your choice. There's no need to be judgemental of others that choose differently in showing their children an appropriately rated film for their age.

iseenodust Fri 21-Jun-13 11:01:04

We decided at the weekend not to take DS age 8 as a 12 rating. But then I don't let him play computer games that are rated older either yet.

JoyMachine Fri 21-Jun-13 11:08:00

Empire Strikes Back may be a 'U' cert, but it's a really dark film, and I haven't let my 4yo watch it, despite his begging, and his utter adoration of episode 4!

bico Fri 21-Jun-13 11:15:25

I think the BBF website is a great resource for helping to decide. Every child is different and I find it really useful for considering whether the film is suitable for ds. I agree that some parents vary in what they permit their dcs to see/do. Someone that I considered had a similar parenting attitude to mine allowed her 7 yr old to play Grand Theft Auto. When I found out I banned ds from playing any computer games with this child.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 21-Jun-13 11:19:42

5 year old DD went with her dad to see this movie on Sunday and loved it. She said it was "a tiny bit scary" when things jumped right out the screen what with it being in 3d but hasnt been majorly disturbed by it. She loved the old Superman movies and Star Wars too. It makes a refreshing change from her usual choices (bloody disney!)

You and your DH know your kids best tho. If you think they'll be too scared by it that's fair enough.

Oblomov Fri 21-Jun-13 11:28:51

I don't understand the objections to the Star Wars films.
Sparkle has said it is "shocking"
Mumofweeboys says it is not appropraite.

What are you basing those comemtns on?

They are mostly U, one PG, as Sarabi has said.
My ds1 has watched all the star wars and supeman films. Am trying to remmeber exactly how old, he was, but he was young.I sat with him.
FABULOUS. And I am sure I took him to the cinema for atleatst one showing. He was totally not frightened. Is hardly ever frightened, to be honest. And he LOVED it.

Ds1 is now 9 and we will definitaly be taking him to see Man of Steel.

I am baffled as to what the objections are. People are just so, "oh that's disgusting. bad parenting". when they either have no idea of content, or do not have children of that particular age.

Oblomov Fri 21-Jun-13 11:32:53

"war, torture, and abduction to a four year old"

Oh. Laughing.

My 4.8 year old is currently running around , darting in and out of the room, as I type, in ds1's tatty old superman cape, singing "man of steel. I can fly. Blow ice. I am the best superhero EVER"

DS (5) has seen the original star wars film but I'm not happy about letting him see the others. He hasn't seen any superhero films yet and hasn't asked so that's fine by me. Until they're 7 or 8 children can't tell fact from fiction so it's really up to the parents as to whether they want to let their child believe that all this sort of thing actually goes on.

I did a little test with DS and asked him to tell me whether things were real or not... bears, fairies, the gruffalo, crocodiles etc, and when he was 4 he told me all of those were real. He probably now believes that Darth Vader is real. I wouldn't let him watch Harry Potter for that reason... I wouldn't really want him thinking Voldemort is real as he's just too scary. Skewed logic there as I'm happy with Darth Vader... hmm. I also don't really want him acting out violent scenes from The Hulk or the Avengers in school!

I've had another think about what I wrote. The problem is about children believing that violence like they see is actually real and maybe acceptable. Superhero films show cartoon violence, but it's acted by real people so it blurs the lines between reality and fiction even further. If for instance a 5yr old lumps one of their friends with the same amount of violence as The Hulk, their little friend is not going to get up and laugh it off iyswim.

Oblomov Fri 21-Jun-13 11:58:19

Ahh. You see my boys were completely different. At 4, both my boys knew that it was just "made up, mummy". (in a kind of duur, we knew that, silly mummy way)
They knew that people didn't fly, blow ice, knew that darth vader was a story.
dh talked to ds1 about chewbacca etc. At length wink
How toy sory buzz's dad was taken from the luke skywalker/darth vader- dad scenario. Oh yeah said ds1, its exactly the same idea, daddy.

I'm just too much of a woos to risk it. It gives me the eebie jeebies that the cartoon goodies (Hulk, Iron Man etc) go around beating merry hell out of the baddies. I can just imagine DS saying 'Well Jack was being bad so I thumped him'. Not that he's violent in any way at all, but I can just picture it happening!

I love superhero films though... we watch them all once he's in bed :-)

Eastpoint Fri 21-Jun-13 12:17:50

Isn't the general premise that a 12A is suitable
for 8 & up with an adult? Why would you want your young child to be desensitized to violence? Surely there are enough U & PG films for very young children? If their father wants to see Man of Steel why doesn't he go with a friend after the children have gone to bed?

Eastpoint, desensitized to violence is beautifully put. I shall remember that phrase!

adeucalione Fri 21-Jun-13 13:02:57

Eastpoint - according to the British Board of Film Classification, 12a means that a child younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. It makes no judgement on how young is too young, and quite rightly leaves that up to the accompanying adult.

I'm surprised that people are concerned about young children watching films like Star Wars - it might not be right for your child, but it certainly isn't shocking or bad parenting as some have suggested : most 4-5yo children can tell the difference between fact and fiction, and are no more likely to think that it's OK to fight a villain with a lightsabre than it is to be naughty at school like Horrid Henry, Dennis the Menace or Just William.

TabithaStephens Fri 21-Jun-13 13:04:32

I don't think 4 year olds will enjoy the film. My neighbour took his 4 year old to see one of the spiderman films and he was terrified, they had to leave.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 21-Jun-13 13:07:00

I've seen it, no way would I bring my 7 year old to see it. First of all he would be bored rigid as it goes on for what feels like hours. Secondly it is very violent and seems to repeat the same scenes of violence a number of times. Thirdly it gave me a headache in 3D so likely to do the same to him.

I loved Superman when I was a child ( old gimmer) and remember going to see it when I was about 7, but it was a completely different film, with lots of colour and humour.

This is an interesting article about exposure to violence.

And this is a great site. The films (games whatever) are given an age appropriate rating by both adults and children. According to this DS (5) shouldn't have watched Star Wars until he was 7. Whoops.

ParadiseChick Fri 21-Jun-13 14:07:22

Star wars are pg or u. Some people would have their littles watching nothing but octonauts until they are 15!

Ds is 7 and loved Man of Steel. 12A is more like a pg rating with the premise that the complexity of the story might be too much for some kids.

ParadiseChick Fri 21-Jun-13 14:12:55

You know thinking about this the one thing I can pick out of a film that has freaked my seven year old out was the screaming monkey in toy story three when he was 4.

He's a huge huge geek star wars and comic book fan any we've never let him watch a thing over a 12A.

MrsOakenshield Fri 21-Jun-13 14:17:35

well, I was one of very few voices that thought children of this kind of age shouldn't watch the Hobbit, or indeed the 2nd 2 LOTR films - but pretty much everyone else was fine with it. I will be the mean mum who doesn't let DD watch anything until she is within a year of the classification age! I do think that just because your child shows no external signs of violence in a film having affected them, doesn't mean it hasn't affected them - and the fact that they could sit through violent films without flinching does, to me, suggest they have become desensitized.

DS (5) totally freaked out watching the puffer fish episode of Octonauts and has never ever let us watch it again. Barnacles, Peso and Kwazi get swallowed by a whale, and Barnacles actually falls into the stomach acid. He was hysterical (hyperventilaing, sobbing and flinging himself onto the sofa face down) and truly believed they would all die and there would be no more Octonauts. That's why I believe under 7s don't know how to differenciate between fact and fiction. Sad really as I really want to watch that episode again. May have to watch it when he's in bed.

ReginaPhilangie Fri 21-Jun-13 14:54:24

We took dd1 and 2 (10 and 6) last weekend. DD1 loved it, but dd2 was really bored and drove me nuts with the "Is it finished yet", "Is it finished yet"? on repeat!

I've seen Man of Steel. Agree with the PPs who said your kids will probably be bored through it. It takes foreeeeever to get the Superman part, and then when it does, it's just fight after fight after fight after fight. It's really loud in the theaters too!

My 7 yo DSD has watched all of the Star Wars films with us. Which was fine, because we could discuss the story with her and remind her who the bad guys are - can't do that in the theater. We haven't done LOTR yet because we're pretty sure she'll be scared of the Ringwraiths and Uruk Hai - but this is a child who had nightmares about witches for years after seeing the Wizard of Oz.

fuzzpig Fri 21-Jun-13 15:04:25

YANBU, they are too young for 12A IMO. I would have thought 12A means maybe 9 or 10yo (my eldest is 6 though so not been an issue yet)

Oblomov Fri 21-Jun-13 17:10:11

I disagree with most of farewell figure's views.

I find it hard to beleive that any child hits another child and then claims that its because a cartoon character does it. And if they did, it would just be a very lame excuse. Becuase 4 yr olds and younger and older, know not to hit. They know.They know right and wrong.

And I do think 7 years olds can and should know the difference between fact and fiction. I have already said that my ds's do. So that crushes that arguemnt.

Empathy, is expected at 6. The recommended age is 6. Empathy, to know not to say what we mean, or comemnt that the lady is fat, even though she is, because we recognise at 6, how it would feel to us. Its funny when a 2 yr old says , rude things. But not expexted at 6.
Likewise 3 yr olds, may not differentiate between fact and fiction. But if the 6 ties in to empathy. then a 7 year old certianly should have got it.

I totally disagree on it being desensitising.
Many children get scared. of tv, films. My children are scared of nothing. Many children are scared. But remember, plenty are not. Some toddlers and scared of climbing. some are fearless. Why. Just thier personalities.

I was a fearless child . My children are too. I am not desensitised. I can watch "the Fall" and everyone on the thread was scared. But I was not. I did not flinch.

I disagree with alot of what has been said on this thread.

LittleBearPad Fri 21-Jun-13 17:31:31

Ooh the wicked witch of the west in the wizard of oz. She and her flying monkeys scared me for years when I was young.

MuddlingMackem Fri 21-Jun-13 17:33:16

I would say that it would be a bad idea to take children of that age to the cinema if you have a choice. If your DH can afford to go twice then it would be better for him to go first so that he can make an informed decision on whether or not it's suitable, or he sees it at the cinema and the children wait for the DVD.

I've just checked with my 6 year old DD. We took our children DS9 and DD6 to see it. We would have taken DS anyway, but we only took DD as well because we were given free tickets for the opening night as part of a group of 10 people. Otherwise DH would have gone first himself and vetted it. DS was fine, loved it, but DD found some bits scary and says she doesn't want to watch the DVD until she's a bit older.

We also took them to see the first Hobbit film. It was for DS's birthday in lieu of any kind of party or something with his friends. We never even thought to check the certificate beforehand as it was from a children's book. DD found a couple of parts of that very scary.

Admittedly, DD does find a lot of things scary that DS at the same age was totally blasé about, but I would be very wary of taking a 4 year old to Man of Steel.

adeucalione Fri 21-Jun-13 17:40:03

I feel that the key thing is that the film certificate allows parents to make their own judgement call - so a 12a means that anyone younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult, but it is up to that adult to decide whether their 9,7 or 5 year old is likely to cope with the movie.

Reeling in horror because a parent allows her 5yo to watch Star Wars is nothing short of ridiculous - some will be scared and some will not, and one would hope that the parents knows their child best.

My DC all enjoyed the Star Wars movies, cuddled up on the sofa with me, and are healthy well adjusted teenagers now.

I would reserve the comments about desensitization to violence for those parents who allow their children to watch 18 cert movies, play adult computer games, watch tv in their rooms until midnight, have unsupervised access to the internet and so on.

TheFallenNinja Fri 21-Jun-13 17:48:16

So DH says yes and you say no. How will that pan out?

ParadiseChick Fri 21-Jun-13 17:55:06

I totally agree adeucallone. I also think this is an area where the fact children are little people is overlooked. People, big or little, react differently to different films. My dh laughed all the way through The Birds, I eyed crows suspiciously for weeks after. I love Carrie, dh cannot watch it, my mother actually threw the book in the bucket when she finished reading it. I Am Legend really spooked me for some reason, I can't watch it again but dh loves it.

as has been mentioned we aren't talking about showing 4 year olds Chucky are we?

I think you lost the argument by letting them watch other 12s, sorry.

pointythings Fri 21-Jun-13 18:03:20

I wouldn't have let my DDs watch it at that age, but they are sensitive - very clear on the line between fact and fiction but violence frightens them (as it should).

They are 10 and 12 now and I am just about thinking about letting them see the original Star Wars trilogy. I will let them watch LOTR when DD10 has finished reading the book. (This is not a stealth boast btw, she insisted after DD1 read it. Fortunately it's her evening reading book so should last her about 5 months...)

my Ds saw the first lord of the rings film at the cinema and he was about 8 he loved it, its up to you, kids 12A means you as the adult decide , I cant understand all this drama about films and games I have been taking my 16 year old to see 18 plus films since she was 14 if she wanted to go, she knowns its not real.

ParadiseChick Fri 21-Jun-13 18:51:25


A 12 year old has not been allowed to watch Star Wars - the ones rated U? Seriously?

LittleBearPad Fri 21-Jun-13 19:03:56

Star Wars (Episodes 4,5 and 6) aren't scary. The Empire Strikes Back is darker but not scary so I'm shock that a 12 year old hasn't seen them if they wanted to. The other three are crap so irrelevant. I would say Harry Potter and Voldemort, the dementors etc are scarier on film than anything in Star Wars and LOTR is definitely more frightening.

A lot of children do not know it's wrong to hit. They see goodies hitting, annihilating and being downright mean to baddies. They learn that it's OK to hurt baddies. They can definitely be desensitised because science has proven that. Yes watching horror films and playing adult shoot-em-ups is different from watching The Hulk etc but I just cannot understand why a parent would think it was a good idea to let their 5yr watch someone beating seven shades of sh** out of another person. Not cartoon violence, but proper grown men fighting.

And yes children are all different and some can understand fact from fiction a lot earlier than others, but the average age is 7. That is quoted a lot in scientific papers.

Scariness is another thing all together and yes, what scares one child won't even make another flinch. Violence however is always a bad thing and I don't personally believe a very young child should watch it. It's the parents choice whether to let their 5,6,7 yr old watch these films. The child can't get the DVD and put it on, nor buy themselves a cinema ticket, so why expose them to it? Just let them watch Toy Story!

ttalloo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:14:47

OP here. Thanks a lot for all your responses.

I'm really surprised that some posters think that the original Star Wars trilogy is too scary for 4 and 6 year olds. Having watched them a loop for the last few months, I find them funny, moral and exciting, with just enough danger and suspense for the boys to be on the edge of their seats, but not to be terrified. I think the prequels are more frightening, and I wish the boys wouldn't watch them, but more because they are utterly rubbish films.

So, to clarify my calling my boys a fairly bloodthirsty pair - they love fighting with swords and guns (and this despite my being one of those po-faced mums that swore her little princes would never own so much as a water pistol), they love watching shows like Spiderman, Redakai and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on CITV, which are full of fighting, not to mention Tom & Jerry, and they are pretty unfazed by all the films we've let them watch (which, now I come to think of it also include the first two Harry Potters, but I won't let them watch the others, any more than I'd read them the books, because I think they are too dark).

But they do know that hurting is wrong, that what they watch on screen is not real, and that replicating that kind of behaviour in real life is unacceptable, not to mention well nigh on impossible in many cases given that they don't have access to Acme explosives, superpowers or Pokemons.

Which is why DH wants to take them to see Man of Steel. Why I don't want to take them is because the 12A rating makes me uncomfortable, and also because watching a film like that in a darkened room, with surround sound at full blast, will be far more intense an experience, than doing so in our sitting room on a Saturday afternoon when the DVD arrives from LoveFilm.

My sense from reading the posts from those who have seen Man of Steel is that it probably will be overwhelming and boring, so it's not worth taking the boys to see it, and we'll see Despicable Me 2 next weekend instead. Which is a shame for me, too, because I was looking forward to seeing lots of Henry Cavill. smile

monicalewinski Fri 21-Jun-13 20:23:52

Blah to all the "OMG, you let your child watch STARWARS?!", my 2 boys were the same, they love all that stuff. To be honest I would wait til the dvd comes out for this one though - not inappropriate IMO but very long and not superman in the Christopher Reeve sense (much more intensely broody). Henry Cavill is hugely dreamy though so I sat through it quite easily!!

Roll on Despicable Me 2. Can't wait.

ttalloo Fri 21-Jun-13 20:44:20

Have just booked tickets for Despicable Me 2 for tomorrow afternoon. That should make up for the trauma of not seeing Man of Steel.

(Agree, monicalewinski that this Superman doesn't seem as cartoonish as the Christopher Reeve films; actually, why didn't I think of that before? I can get them Superman 1 & 2 on DVD!)

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 21-Jun-13 21:33:39

I saw Epic with DS last week - it was waaay better than Man of Steel, but the best bit was the trailer for Despicable Me 2, it looks awesome !

fuzzpig Fri 21-Jun-13 21:56:08

Despicable Me 2 is brilliant. grin ba ba ba ba banana

Seeing epic tomorrow with DD's friend (in lieu of birthday party) - bit disappointed to have missed it in 3D though.

I agree Henry Cavill is the only reason to watch Man of steel grin My dd(4) has seen the first 2 Harry Potter movies, I let her watch the Goonies but she asked me to switch it off.

Yesterday she came to me in the kitchen sobbing because Nemo's mummy got eaten by a big fish, she must have watched that movie 30000 times.

The problem is that 4 year olds are unpredictable and even if they are scared they don't always tell you at the time.

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