My inlaws have offered to take us all to see it, including ds who is 8 and inclined to develop 'fears' very easily (so am I). He has picked up a fear of shipwreck from me already.
I'm amazed to see it's a PG, but though i loved the book I thought it was pretty adult in its themes and I'm inclined to say no. Am I restricting ds from a wonderful cinematic experience? The other option is The Hobbit which will involve my temporary death from boredom which sounds more suitable to me.
Just got back after going with dd who's nearly 12 to see it. She came out in tears, said I've wasted her weekend by taking her to see it. She's upstairs still sobbing though denies she's crying about the film still.
There were much younger kids there and it was all obviously way over their heads. Two kids who looked 4 or 5 near us, one of whom talked most of the way through. The other one screamed all the way through, cried hysterically, sang a song loudly at times and stood on his seat bouncing up and down.
We loved the book and thought the film was beautiful - but whether or not it is good for children depends on the child a bit. It isn't a 'childrens' film. It's not made for children, but there isn't too much in it that would be unsuitable for children - except some animal violence. I know of a 7 year old who liked the film but was upset but the parts where animals attack each other and Richard Parker the Tiger bursts out.
Mostly I think children under 8 would find it rather dull.
In terms of checking out the content of films before seeing them, I don't wish to 'spam' Mumsnet but if anyone is interested I run a small website with my wife called www.isthismoviesuitable.com which highlights the parts of films that may be unsuitable for certain children. We try to make a bit more of an entertaining read than the IMDB thing - which is rather minimalistic and doesn't explain context very well we think.
Anyone, if nothing else read the book. It's a fantastic novel!
My dd 6 loved it, she found it very engaging and followed it well, she does not scare easily and is not easily upset. I did however advice my sister it would not be suitable for her son who does get upset easily. Probably depends on the child.