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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.

SaucyJack Mon 20-Jan-14 10:47:12

Ha! We bought the same box set as a family present at Christmas and DD2 was 7 in December. So, it's a YANBU from me.

Thetallesttower Mon 20-Jan-14 10:48:49

I would be guided by him, is he a sensitive type likely to be upset or not?

One of mine could watch stuff like that aged 7, the other would have nightmares. It depends on the child.

We watched a bit scary stuff with my 7/8 year old, so she can hide/have a cuddle if scary- I mean things like the Chronicles of Narnia which have battle scenes/dead lions!

shallweshop Mon 20-Jan-14 10:49:40

YANBU - My 2 DC watched all the Harry Potter films aged 6 and 8.

nobutreally Mon 20-Jan-14 10:51:50

I have exactly the same rule for dd & ds, & hit the same issue. Dd at 7 rising 8 is HP mad, and has just finished the last book, and immediately sat down and started reading again from the start.

We have just watched the fifth film, and I am dragging my feet by saying she can't watch the next ones until ds (who is older but less into HP) has also read them. But I imagine she'll get to see them in the next 6 mths or so. I make sure I watched them first, and any scary bits the kids have to put their heads behind cushions & I tell them what's happening! My two - who are reasonably easily scared - have coped so far....

Cataline Mon 20-Jan-14 11:00:56

Our DS is 6 and potter mad. He's read all the books and has recently watched the last three films with us. He loves Percy Jackson, the sorcerers apprentice and similar and isn't fazed by the scary bits too much. We always watch with him and remind him that it is just fantasy and played by actors etc. having said that, he absolutely broke his heart when Dobby died. I was in bits anyway and DH was just a bit bewildered by all the emotion grin
Having said that, most of his friends can't watch films like this as they're too scared or sensitive which us also fine. I think you know your own child and can make a judgement call on whether or not it would be appropriate. I'd always recommend to watch them first without the DCs though!!

I think with 12s you really have to watch it yourself first and decide. I found the ending with the crumbling away Voldemort a bit scary when I watched it and I was about 13 when it came out.

I have let DS watch some episodes of Dr Who which are rated 12 and he's been fine. DH and I watch them first to check they're not too scary.

Joysmum Mon 20-Jan-14 11:06:38

Depends which film? I personally think you should watch it without him first and then make a decision.

12A means parental guidance up to the age of 12, it doesn't mean not for under 12's.

I'd be concerned about The Goblet of Fire if it were my daughter at that age and Deathly Hallows part 1 would have bored her! Only you know your child.

Ev1lEdna Mon 20-Jan-14 11:09:42

I watched this with my son when he was 8, he had been asking for a year. I was a little concerned he would be scared about it afterwards as he can be a bit sensitive and stays awake worrying. However, that wasn't really the issue what I found was that it was quite complex to follow and I had to stop it a couple of times to explain things more fully for him.

Have you seen it yourself? Once you have and with you knowing your child best you decide. He will probably enjoy it - mine did.

Ev1lEdna Mon 20-Jan-14 11:10:31

I said 'watched this' in my post I meant the 12 cert Harry Potters. Sorry.

SparklingMuppet Mon 20-Jan-14 11:12:47

Not a cat in hell's chance I'd let my sensitive 8yo ds watch them. He's only just read the first book and won't be watching the film for some time. He simply can't handle the emotional implications. He's super sensitive to lighting, music and general mood, and is far more 'emotionally intelligent' than his friends. It's a bind to be honest because he can react unexpectedly to situations and doesn't yet have the general maturity and life experience to make sense of what he's feeling. It also means he hasn't seen much of the entertainment his friends have, such as Star Wars, and sometimes he gets left out socially.

Well, my 8 yr old is sensitive, so he can't yet watch the 12+ Harry P's.

Too frightening.

Cross post! There are plenty of good fun films about for the more sensitive/younger crowd.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 20-Jan-14 11:17:19

My dd has seen up to and including Half Blood Prince.
She has just turned 10 and I won't let her watch the last two as my older lads have seen them and said they are unsuitable for younger children.
We have them all but she has to wait I'm afraid.
There is no way I would consider it for a 7 year old.
I think the first 3 are ok for this age group but after this they really increase in darkness and death.

Danann Mon 20-Jan-14 11:20:54

I think it'd be fine, my DC are 5 and 9 and have watched them all and we've not had nightmares or anything. I had seen them already though so could judge if they would be ok. If you haven't seen them though I would suggest you watch the Deathly Hallows without him first as it might be a bit upsetting for some 7 year olds.

thegreylady Mon 20-Jan-14 11:21:09

My 7 year old dgs would be terrified and couldn't cope with them at all. Mind you he can't manage Babar either because of Babar's mum being shot by the hunter!

Dd watched them all at 9. I agree with pps who've said it depends on the child.

You know your child best but I would recommend that you watch them first as others have said.

Ev1lEdna Mon 20-Jan-14 11:23:07

Well my 8 year old is now a 9 year old and I can assure you all he is fine after watching them about 6 months ago!

In the end it is parental choice. I suggest you watch them and then decide OP, nothing anyone here says is going to be as decisive as that.

thegreylady do you mean Bambi? Sorry if I'm wrong.

YANBU DD2 must have been about 7 when she saw the Goblet of fire.

She isn't scared by it at all, the bit that scares her (even at 12) is Voldermort killing Harry's parents in the first one. She's very soppy about toddlers.

The only proviso must be that he doesn't think it lets him watch all 12s.

It's a really badly thought out classification. We really need 12A - under 12's should watch this with an adult first time they see it and 12 - really not suitable for primary DCs full stop.

Things like Snow White and the Huntsman, Twilight, The Hunger and Women in Black, which my senior school DDs enjoy are in a very different league to HP and PJ.

Quenelle Mon 20-Jan-14 11:27:19

DS is 4.6 and has watched the first two many, many times since last December. He has been completely unmoved by any of the scarier bits so far and is often to be seen wincing and rubbing his 'scar' and doing spells on us. Not sure Wingardium Biscuits is in the films though hmm

I understand the films get progressively scarier so I will be cautiously vetting the rest before he gets to see them.

notso Mon 20-Jan-14 11:30:33

DS1 now 9 is really sensitive in many ways but has watched all the Harry Potters and another couple of 12 films over the past couple of years.
I had seen them all first and thought they would be ok. They are very different to the books and the first few films though, a lot of the warmth that is in the books isn't present in the films.

The only problem for me is now DD 13 wants to watch 15's as 'it's only fair' hmm

Also it's worth remembering 7y don't see death in the same way as older DCs and adults do, it's a pretty remote and abstract thing.

Likewise the Dementors, as written in the books, are terrifying to an adult who's ever touched the edges of suffering from depression. I think to a child they are nasty black ghosts. (I've always suspected JK did this deliberately)

MrsOakenshield Mon 20-Jan-14 11:47:27

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?

notso Mon 20-Jan-14 11:52:55

If you put films into that kind of context I probably wouldn't let them watch Snow White MrsOakenshield

Dancergirl Mon 20-Jan-14 11:59:58


I'm usually fairly strict on film certificates but with 3 Potterheads in this house, there would be an outcry if we had not allowed dd3 (6) to watch the films with her sisters.

£20 for the box set??? Now that would free up a bit of space on the Sky planner!

Dancergirl Mon 20-Jan-14 12:04:44

Just found box set on Amazon even cheaper - £17.75

wigglesrock Mon 20-Jan-14 12:11:53

My 6 & 8 year old daughters have seen up to & including the Half Blood Prince. I've seen them all & am happy enough to watch the films with them. We watch them over 2 nights incase dd2 changes her mind.

They've had the books read to them for the past couple of years.

JohnCusacksWife Mon 20-Jan-14 12:13:04

My 7yr old and 9 yr old have seen them all. The 7yr old doesn't particularly like the Goblet of Fire because of Cedric's death and so has chosen not to re-watch that one but they both enjoy all the others.

I personally don't think they are so scary as to be unsuitable for many children in that age group, especially if they have read the books. But you know your child best and would know if they would be scared.

Stinklebell Mon 20-Jan-14 12:15:42

With films, I tend to watch them first rather than being massively strict with age ratings.

For example, my nearly 9 year old was absolutely petrified of Rise of the Guardians to the extent we had to leave the cinema but loved the Harry Potter firms, although admittedly she's only seen the early ones, her interest waned as they went on

PMDD Mon 20-Jan-14 12:18:09

I'm 40 and I get scared of the 2nd one with the spiders.

GampyWabbit Mon 20-Jan-14 12:19:41

Yanbu IMO - my dcs 6 & 10 have watched them all.

Mim78 Mon 20-Jan-14 12:20:32

No - my dd loves them and she is 5. We often miss the endings of certain hp films - 1 and 4 spring to mind. No 7 is scariest imo and we don't watch it - her choice.

selfdestructivelady Mon 20-Jan-14 12:22:46

No my DS aged 8 watches them .

MotherofthreeDragons Mon 20-Jan-14 12:22:56

My DS (6) watched them before Christmas when hey we're on Saturday afternoon TV, but didnt let him watch th last one as I knew it was a lot scarier and fobbed him off.

I do think it depends on the child, but my DS is normally a bit of a sensitive soul but watches HP and Dr who and says it doesnt scare him as he knows that it's a story and the monsters are 'made on the computer'

But, he is terrified of Dave Bowies Labyrinth as they are puppets confused

maparole Mon 20-Jan-14 12:26:33

I think with films you have to make your own judgement based upon what you find acceptable and the character of your child. I don't always agree with the ratings of films; they seem to care a lot more about a little bit of swearing than about violence, for example.

I watched the Potter films up to Goblet of Fire with my ds when he was about 8, but he was a bit spooked by that one so we waited a while before watching the rest.

ShadowOfTheDay Mon 20-Jan-14 12:30:35

Goblet of fire was the worst one here - the kids were 10 and 11.... they were starting to understand properly about death and the bit where Fleur's sister was possibly going to be left to die underwater because Fleur did not get to her REALLY upset my girls... (done much more nicely in the book) but more especially when you saw Fleur's face when she realised what she could have unknowingly lost afterwards....

the only other bit of the films that upset them was Hermione and Bellatrix.... - can't remember which film... but they then realised that Bellatrix was deranged..

Ev1lEdna Mon 20-Jan-14 12:35:12

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?


It is Harry Potter though, complete with fantasy and magic. I'm pretty sure a whole plethora of films based on fairy tales would be out of bounds if you applied this logic, as would most cartoons.

unlucky83 Mon 20-Jan-14 12:38:48

MY DD2 has seen them all at 5 and under (cos DD1 watched them) - but a lot of it went over her head - now 6 nearly 7 I would be more cautious.
DD1 (nearly 13) watched them from the age of 7-8 ...on DVD (don't think I twigged they were 12!) and I took her to see the last one at the cinema...
I agree with someone previously - I think unless particularly sensitive HP is fine ..but maybe watch the films first...and the classifications are misleading...
DD1 watched the Woman in Black (12) a month before her 12th birthday (after all she was fine with HP when younger) -it gave her nightmares, wouldn't sleep without a light on etc ...I watched it afterwards - it really is terrifying (later learned they cut one scene of a few seconds to get it to be a 12 on DVD instead of the 15 it was at the cinema)...
Having said that I was going to let DD2 watch Coraline (PG) until I heard it on a thread here it was really scary. Never got round to it so said I would watch it with her and if I thought it was too scary we would stop it - I fell asleep blush .. .she watched it all on her own - and said it wasn't scary at all. I later watched it all (actually for some reason it kept sending me to sleep took about 4 sessions to see it to the end) and was really surprised she wasn't scared by it...I don't think I would have let her watch it ...confused

Fannydabbydozey Mon 20-Jan-14 12:50:11

Mine saw all Harry potters aged 6&8 even going to the cinema for the last two. My daughter was very miffed that Ron finally got it on wth Hermoine and loudly denounced this, saying he was marrying her! Much to everyone's amusement... They love them and watch the DVDs again and again.

Interestingly my son had a break reading book 5. He's picked it up again and got back into it but he stopped for a bit saying he felt it had got a bit grown up - he's ten now. Yet he'll watch the films no problem!

Quenelle Mon 20-Jan-14 12:57:29

These films are already having the 'Enid Blyton' effect on DS. He asked us the other day if our lounge was the common room. I remember fantasising about going to boarding school when I was reading the Mallory Towers and St Clare's books.

kali110 Mon 20-Jan-14 13:00:58

Think its up too you, you know your own child

giggleshizz Mon 20-Jan-14 13:03:27

YANBU for the first couple of films but YABU for the last 2-3. Last two films are very dark, even I was disturbed by them and I would not let my 7 yr old watch them. I think 12 cert is a reasonable guidance.

Kewcumber Mon 20-Jan-14 13:03:48

Entirely up to you depending on your child - DS had watched them all by the time he was 8 and bizarrely was only scared by the first 2!

But then he isn;t a child that is particularly scared of the traditional scary stuff and has a very strong grip on what is real and what is pretend.

trinitybleu Mon 20-Jan-14 13:09:50

My 6yo has seen them all having listened to all the audiobooks and she's fine with it all, apart from the Inferi. We discussed the books before she watched too.

TeacupDrama Mon 20-Jan-14 14:12:32

I thought PG meant parental guidance not 12

Tweasels Mon 20-Jan-14 14:21:01

Many 12 films were 12A when at the cinema. They become 12 on DVD to stop under 12's buying them and watching without your consent.

Of course YANBU. You decide what is/isn't appropriate for your children.

Tweasels is right. 12A has never applied to DVDs, only cinema releases. They then become 12s on DVD and it is illegal to sell one to an under-12 (although pretty moot as I have yet to meet an under 12 who goes shopping without an adult)

As the parent you are allowed to show your 5 year old an 18 film if you deem it appropriate. Evidently most wouldn't be!

I think film ratings are pretty subjective especially as public opinion changes over time as to what is/isn't acceptable. Some of the older Disney films should be PG in my opinion and probably would be if released today. Compare Gremlins (15, closer to a 12 by today's standards) with the last but one Batman movie (also 15 but closer to an 18 in content)

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 20-Jan-14 14:26:32

I'd agree it depends on the child. We had a strict rule about not showing the 12 cert HP films to DD1 (8 at the time) but as the grandparents bought the whole set we eventually relented just before her ninth birthday, on the proviso that a parent would watch with her and switch off if it all got too much. She was fine, and has been far more upset by the books than the films, when the emotional repercussions are clearer rather than an action movie she can detach from.

Fast forward 6 months and younger DD (6, nearly 7, much more matter of fact than her sister) is a huge fan and has now seen all the films. She actually comforted me when a major character died, and when I asked if she wasn't upset replied 'But this is just a film, Mum. I'm much sadder that the original actor died in real life.' I couldn't argue with that logic, really!

Fakebook Mon 20-Jan-14 14:27:33

My dd watched them all when she was 4 blush.

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 14:27:39

Mine have seen them all.

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 14:27:56

At ages earlier than 7.

Tinuviel Mon 20-Jan-14 15:26:52

DD saw the 3rd one at the cinema when she was 3 without batting an eyelid. DS2 (5) was scared but still enjoyed it. They have watched all subsequent HP films at the cinema since and have had no problems while watching them or after. It depends on your child - I would probably have been terrified at that age (but then I cried at Alice in Wonderlandblush).

My DC have had to watch the films on repeat since birth (because I am totally obsessed blush ) They are now 6, 5 and 1... no ill effects so far, they see them differently to me I think. Its all magic and adventure at from their understanding.

My DS is 9 and has watched the first four. As yet, I haven't let him watch the last three but probably would if he asked. He's up to book 4 as well.
I think it's very much a matter of knowing your own child. Certificates should be a guideline, that's all.

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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 17:40:46

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.

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!

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


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.

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 doesn't mean that they can't be enjoyed by different audiences on different levels.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

DD1 is 7 and shes seen the first 3

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?

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.

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. .

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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