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What parents should know about 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

Posted November 21
Updated November 22

Katherine Waterston as Tina, Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Alison Sudol as Queenie and Dan Fogler as Jacob in Warner Bros. Pictures' “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." (Deseret Photo)

THE WIZARDING WORLD — I’d really love to take this opportunity to tell how much I loved “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

I’d love to tell you about the magical time I had at the theater for 131 minutes and that the film has occupied my mind for days. I’d like to do all of those things, but alas fellow contributor Dave Clyde has that job last week. That means it’s my turn to tell you about what you can expect to see in the film from a content perspective so you can make a decision if it’s right for your kids or not.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” takes place in the world of wizards and Harry Potter, but it felt quite different than the Potter films and much more adult. Later entries in the Potter series became very dark and not for a younger crowd, but Fantastic Beasts had a different vibe.

Here's what parents should know:

Sexiness

There is no sex to speak of, but we do see women in nighties as well as low-cut flapper dresses. Romance is alluded to, but at the end of the day it’s very mild, but may be a bit much for little kids under the age of 5 or so. Again that depends on your kids and what you feel comfortable with when it comes to your kids. But this movie felt to have more nods to sex than any of the Potter films.

Language

Much like its Potter predecessors, Fantastic Beasts is mainly void of any language. There are insults thrown out here and there, but when it comes to curse words I really can’t recall any.

Violence/Disturbing/Scary

I lump these together because they’re almost the same thing. Not completely, but it makes sense. Straight-up violence is about what you saw in the later Potter films: It’s not gratuitous or gory, but it’s there. There are a few on-screen deaths and they can be very disturbing and/or scary for some audiences. These deaths are in the forefront and fairly violent.

Aside from this, the movie deals with executions, witch burnings and child abuse. These topics make for an eerie and often dark and disturbing vibe that caught me by surprise at times. In fact, at one point during the film following a violent, borderline graphic death, Dave Clyde leaned over to me and whispered in my ear with wide eyes, “You getting all of this?”

I was, and as I mentioned, I was a bit surprised. With a PG-13 rating, I was expecting some darker tones like the final Potter films, but the vibe this carried seemed more menacing and brutal. It should be noted that I have not read the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and therefore was not ready for pretty much anything that happened. But with that said, I still feel this movie earned its PG-13 rating with its violence and disturbing material.

Conclusion

It’s hard for me to give an age recommendation on this one, but I’d say 12 or 13-plus makes sense, but again this depends on your child and their level to handle these kinds of things. I would say it’s definitely a film you will want to do your homework on before you expose it to younger audiences.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is rated PG-13 for some fantasy action violence.

John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories.

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