Is Avatar: The Way of Water safe for kids? Is Avatar: The Way of Water ok for children? Read the Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide and mom review of the all-new Avatar 2 film sequel directed by James Cameron, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang. No spoilers! #AvatarTheWayofWater #Avatar2 May contain commissioned links.
Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
A movie franchise so successful that Disney dedicated an entire land to a film that wasn’t theirs. (Yes, it is now – but you get my point).
Box office record breaking, highest grossing, award winning, and entertainment ground breaking. Director James Cameron is already one praised as one of the most honored movie industry legends for creating film franchises that defy the odds (Titanic, Avatar – duh) along with successful sequels (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Aliens).
Avatar: The Way of Water is a 13-year encore in the making and the longest anticipated James Cameron sequel ever, with even more Avatar sequels in the works (Avatar 3 already completed for release in December 2024). But in the wake of 2022’s hot competition (like Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale and Everything Everywhere All at Once), can Avatar 2 defy all odds and once again create movie history?
In This Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full PG-13 age rating explanation for violence, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested to watch in this new 2022 Avatar 2 sequel in this Avatar: The Way of Water parents guide to the new 20th Century Fox film. A no-spoiler parent review of Avatar: The Way of Water, will audiences embrace another round of seeing blue? Or has the Na’vi novelty finally worn off?
Using ground breaking motion capture technology to CGI conversion and 3D spotlight back in 2009, James Cameron moves to high frame rate (48 frames per second) in 2022 to enhance the Pandora experience as this Avatar sequel progresses from land to sea. More of a theme park experience than a film, this interactive work of art immerses audiences into the movie screen to live and breathe as the Na’vi do in an underwater landscape.
Well played, Cameron. Well played.
Of all movies, if you’re a visual experience person, Avatar: The Way of Water is worth paying the extra buck. Be warned, this immersive experience does have a dizzying and sometimes nauseated effect, which may be disorienting and overstimulating for people and kids with sensory issues. It may take time to adjust to all of the CGI, 3D and high frame rate. And it may also take time to readjust to dry land, and reality.
Photosensitivity Warning. Holy flashing lights, Batman. Not only do we have lightning and strobing effects in this movie, but in MULTIPLE scenes. Those with photosensitivity and epilepsy, beware. Avatar: The Way of Water is NOT photosensitive friendly and may induce seizures.
Award winning director James Cameron (“Titanic“) returns to Pandora in this highly anticipated 13-year in the making Avatar 2 sequel. Featuring an all-star cast including the reprise of Sam Worthington (“Clash of the Titans“) as Jake Sully and Zoe Saldana (“Guardians of the Galaxy“) as Neytiri, along with Sigourney Weaver (“Alien“), Stephen Lang (“Tombstone“), Kate Winslet (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind“) as Ronal, Cliff Curtis (“Training Day“) as Tonowari, and Edie Falco (“The Sopranos“) as General Frances Ardmore.
It’s been 10 years since we’ve seen Jake Sully and Neytiri. And shockingly, guess what? They’re now parents. *Sarcasm.* So this is the part when I say that if you were expecting a completely unique storyline than the original movie, you will be sorely disappointed. A predictable plot rules a slow build as visual effects take precedent over continued character development – but to a fault.
With enough action, immersive visuals, cameos and staying true to the Avatar fandom, one can overlook the continued story tropes of colonialism, consumerism, environmental responsibility/conservation. New themes of diversity, inclusion, and family are discussed at length. Parents will especially resonate to the “parenting themes.” And did I feel a Disney heartstring pull moment? Or did dust just get into my eyeball?
That PG-13 Rating Explained
Is Avatar: The Way of Water safe for kids? Did someone say Avatar and partial nudity? Weren’t the Na’vi already scantily clad? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). And as we know, not all movie and TV age ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to witness how ratings have shifted over the years with a G-rating no longer an option. PG ratings now oscillating between Turning Red intense to Christopher Robin calm, and even PG-13/TV-14 age ratings teetering on the edge of R or MA ratings (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Werewolf by Night, I see you!), there’s a wide range between the age of 0-12 years old for parents to consider. Having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or show is kid friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why is Avatar: The Way of Water rated PG-13? In this Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, this James Cameron Avatar 2 sequel is rated PG-13 for “sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity, and some strong language.” With film and TV ratings also unpredictable these days, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or television show like Avatar: The Way of Water is kid friendly. Is Avatar: The Way of Water too scary for kids? Is Avatar 2 too sexy for children? Let’s breakdown that PG-13 age rating in this Avatar: The Way of Water parents guide.
Violence/Suspense. As expected, this colonialism based trope continues. Use of highly mechanized weapons (such as automatic guns and taser sticks) meets crude primitive weapons (such as bows and arrows). Along with hand-to-hand fighting, blunt force trauma, torture, a moderate amount of blood and gore (including dismemberment) and multiple kill shots, Avatar: The Way of Water is pretty comparable to the original Avatar film and even MORE intense.
Parents, keep in mind that there are a quite a few more suspenseful/jump scare, peril moments in this Avatar 2 sequel. Animal cruelty, torture, killing and death are also a huge focus in this movie, for those who are sensitive.
Adult Themes. Keeping in mind that the Na’vi are normally scantily clad people (men and women, here), Avatar: The Way of Water has one VERY brief moment (like 2 seconds) in the beginning of the film where you can see a woman’s nipple. If you blink, you would miss it. Hugging and holding hands are the extent of the sexual content otherwise. (Thankfully.) There is one line asking about “who knocked her up?”
Death, near death (including drowning and near drowning) and grief are also prevalent adult themes, as well as family estrangement and other family internal struggles, bullying, and insults/mocking in regards to Na’vi diversity, race, and being labeled as different.
Language. Well, 10+ years, the Na’vi have certainly taken on the English language. And the blue people have definitely adapted to foul language behavior – sadly. Swear words and profanity are NUMEROUS throughout Avatar: The Way of Water, including one “f-bomb,” countless uses of “b!tch,” “sh!t,” d@mn” and “d@mmit”, “@ss,” “b@stards,” “crap,” “H-E-double-hockey-sticks,” “sucks,” and 2 middle finger gestures.
Oh, wait, but that’s not all! You also get all of the mild insults and soft language including multiple uses of “freak,” “stupid,” “losers,” “bloody,” “idiot,” “Oh G-d,” “J*sus,” “shut up,” “buttholes,” and one shocking “penis face.”
Avatar: The Way of Water Age Rating for Kids?
At a runtime of 3 hours 12 minutes, this Avatar 2 film sequel is one of the LONGEST films ever made. Breaking the record for the 2 hour 41 minute original Avatar film and with no intermission in sight, attention spans and bladders for children (and adults!) may waiver.
Add in lengthy amounts of dialogue, a complicated Na’vi language dialect, a slow plot build intense violence, and a huge increase in profanity, your child’s maturity level will be a huge factor in determining if Avatar: The Way of Water is for kids.
A cross between 1990 Dances with Wolves and 1992 Fern Gully meets 1995 Waterworld in this new Avatar sequel film. And gasp, do I dare say I feel James Cameron’s old Titanic vibes too?
This 2022 Avatar 2 film sequel is MPAA rated PG-13 for “sequences of strong violence and intense action, partial nudity, and some strong language.“
Based on my Avatar: The Way of Water parents guide and mom review above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Avatar 2 for kids younger than the age of 12-13 years old.
Considering the full PG-13 rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Avatar: The Way of Water for kids younger than the age of 12-13 years old.
This Avatar: The Way of Water rating is easily comparable to the first Avatar movie. I still recommend parents to prescreen Avatar 2 for intense violent scenes and language. If your kids have seen and love the Avatar film, then they will love Avatar: The Way of Water. Just keep in mind the slow pace (that first half is a doozy!), bathroom breaks, and the potential overstimulation of CGI, high frame rate and 3D visuals.
I found myself holding my breath way too long, feeling more than I should have, but also sad that every kid-friendly moment needed to be “amped up” to the next level. More violent, more profanity, and even more adult themes – how much more can the audience take with 3 more sequels on the horizon? Keeping in mind that Avatar: The Way of Water is only a setup for Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 (with possible plans for Avatar 6 and 7), I cannot discount the fact that as a 13-year in the making bridge sequel is not a flop. The biggest overall factor here is whether the breathtaking visuals outweigh the predictable plot, long runtime and overstimulation. Only you can make that call.
Is Avatar: The Way of Water more successful than 2009 Avatar? No chance in Pandora. But for those looking for a fully immersive theater experience, Avatar: The Way of Water delivers a sea of blue. Just don’t stare at the water too long – and go in with an empty bladder. You may need a pee break.
Follow Avatar: The Way of Water on Social Media
- Website: https://www.avatar.com/movies/avatar-the-way-of-water
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Avatar
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/officialavatar
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avatar/
- #AvatarTheWayofWater #Avatar2
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Avatar: The Way of Water, the 13-year long anticipated sequel to James Cameron’s Avatar film franchise, flies into theaters starting Friday, December 16, 2022. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water film in exchange for this Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide. All photos courtesy of Disney/20th Century Fox. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!