Is Chang Can Dunk safe for kids? Is Chang Can Dunk OK for children? Read the Chang Can Dunk Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide and mom review of the all-new Disney+ original film, starring Bloom Li. No spoilers! #ChangCanDunk May contain commissioned links.
Chang Can Dunk Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
Asian and basketball may roll off of the tongue like an oxymoron, but for this Korean mom, seeing more Asian representation in movies, television shows and on the basketball court (yes, I am a huge fan of Yao Ming and Jeremy Lin), is a huge win already. Raising Asian American kids, I cannot stress how important it is for my kids to see themselves in the world they live in. Chang Can Dunk has a unique opportunity to inspire a new generation of Asian basketball players.
Or, face plant their dreams.
In This Chang Can Dunk Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full TV-PG age rating explanation for violence, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested to watch in this new 2023 Chang Can Dunk parents guide to the new Disney+ original movie. A no-spoiler parent review of Chang Can Dunk, is this original film a slam dunk for families or a PASS on yet another stereotypical basketball film?
Don’t expect Disney/Marvel blockbuster movie level visuals. But for a Disney+ original, it was actually a fresh take on a coming-of-age film. Incorporating more modern day (ahem) social media influencer-like videos and camera work, the rawness combined with modern day twist visuals is appealing to kids looking for more reality-based and relatable films.
Photosensitivity Warning. No strobing effects or bright flashing lights in this film. There are a few dark scenes.
Directed by Jingyi Shao (“Hector and the Search of Happiness“), this coming of age basketball film follows Bloom Li (“Incel“) as Chang. The all-diverse co-star cast includes Zoey Renee (“Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase“) as Kristy, Dexter Darden (“The Maze Runner“) as DeAndre, and Ben Wang (“Independence Day: Resurgence“) as Bo.
Chang, a 16-year-old, Asian American high school student in the marching band bets the school basketball star that he can dunk by Homecoming. The bet leads the 5’ 8″ Chang on a quest to find the hops he needs to dunk in order to impress his crush, Kristy, and finally gain the attention and respect of his high school peers. But before he can rise up and truly throw one down, he’ll have to reexamine everything he knows about himself, his friendships and his family.
There’s something refreshing about this coming-of-age Disney film having a more subdued tone. Lacking the over-the-top acting that a Disney Channel movie would have, Chang Can Dunk shows off restraint while still highlighting the Asian American experience with pride.
While it took me awhile to warm up to the main character, I found the themes/tropes of family, friendship, trust, hard work, self-growth, and dealing with consequences redeemable, with lots of great talking points for parents to have with their teens/tweens. Chang Can Dunk is of the few films that older kids, teens and parents can enjoy together – an underdog story without the “based on a true story,” this teen-focused film is relatable without trying too hard. Kids will love the high profile cameos and social media influences. And I actually enjoyed learning more behind-the-scenes of basketball skills (and I’m about as non-sporty spice as it comes).
That PG Rating Explained
Is Chang Can Dunk safe for kids? Another Disney+ original movie rated PG? Should parents be concerned? 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, 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 Chang Can Dunk rated PG? In this Chang Can Dunk Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, this Disney+ original film is rated PG for “language, thematic events.” With film and TV ratings also unpredictable these days, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or television show like Chang Can Dunk is kid friendly. Let’s breakdown that PG age rating in this Chang Can Dunk parents guide.
Violence/Suspense. Overall, violence and suspense are mild for Chang Can Dunk. One teen fight resulting in small cuts/black eye. One scene of a teen vomiting, vomit seen on camera. Thematic high school basketball practice and games.
Adult Themes. Teen movie tropes are more subtle in this Disney+ original. High school party with kids holding solo cups (no alcohol present – but implied), social media usage, light bullying, taunting, lying, betting, trespassing/illegal activities. Implied parental separation – broken family home.
Sexual content includes teens holding hands, one shirtless dance for social media, and one kiss in the dark. Overall, very mild.
Language. Overall for a Disney+ original film, language is teetering on the line of PG with more foul language than I was expecting. Curse words/swear words include: 1 use of “@ss,” 4 uses of “d@mn,” 6 uses of “H-E-double-hockey-sticks,” 1 “holy crap,” and 3 “sucks.” 1 “bleep” sound used.
Milder insults and bad language are even more numerous Chang Can Dunk. Phrases include multiple phrases of “oh my g-d,” “oh shoot” used multiple times in place of the normal swear word, “idiot,” “shut up,” “shut your mouth,” “dumb,” “loser,” “fart,” “creep,” “weirdo,” “poser,” and “butt.”
FYI for closed caption watchers, the song title “d@mn-playa” comes up on the screen as the opening song credit.
Chang Can Dunk Age Rating for Kids?
With a runtime of only 1 hour 47 minutes, this Disney+ straight-to-streaming original film is right within the kid friendly wheelhouse. But being a live action film, this original coming-of-age storyline is a slow build, with lots of dialogue, slow action, and a more teen-centric focus.
Perfect for my tween/teenager kids. But may be super boring for younger preschool/early elementary aged kids, attention spans easily waning before you even reach the second half.
If your kids are into the Disney+ original series Big Shot starring John Stamos, this is about the level of Chang Can Dunk. Or a basketball version of The Karate Kid.
More focused on teen drama, dialogue and teachable moments without the Disney Channel-esque over acting, this more serious Disney+ film with a few funny lines thrown in speaks more to the older child who may be into basketball/sports.
Disney+ original film, Chang Can Dunk is rated PG for “language, thematic events“ by the MPAA.
No end credit scene for this 2023 Disney+ original film.
This mom movie reviewer would not recommend the Disney+ original film Chang Can Dunk for kids younger than the age of 7-8 years old.
Chang Can Dunk is comparable to the Disney+ original series Big Shot or a basketball version of The Karate Kid. Not over the top High School Musical acting, but definitely more relatable than a Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers overhaul, this Disney+ original film is easy to watch, and overall family-friendly.
Considering the full PG rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Chang Can Dunk to kids younger than the age of 7-8 years old.
The Chang Can Dunk Disney+ PG rating is pretty spot on. With language, older teen tropes and themes (like social media usage, bullying, etc.) and a slow coming-of-age story build, this movie focuses more on older kids/tweens/teens vs. younger children.
For a straight to streaming original film, I honestly think Disney+ did an overall good job with this one. Chang Can Dunk is not a slam dunk movie theater blockbuster, but is a beat the buzzer easy-to-watch winning movie that the family can enjoy from the couch.
Bringing together a diverse coming-of-age story, family struggles, peer pressure and real-life conflict – Chang Can Dunk is a relatable, feel-good movie that teaches kids important life lessons without being completely “Disney Channel over-the-top.” But this movie is NOT perfect by any means – even by my Asian-biased standards.
It takes about half of the movie to start warming up to the main character, with Bloom Li pretty stiff and lacking likeability. But with more action, humor, plot twist, and family dynamics in the second half – along with being watchable for large span of ages and teachable moments for families – this Disney+ original eventually wins you over. Right in the tween/teen sweet spot – heartwarming, with redeemable values and relatability – this is a movie that I actually cannot wait to watch with my 10-year old tween and 14-year old teen…TOGETHER.
Follow Chang Can Dunk on social media:
- Website: https://ondisneyplus.disney.com/movie/chang-can-dunk
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlus/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneyplus
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneyplus/
Looking for more parent movie reviews and TV reviews like Chang Can Dunk Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Check out these popular posts:
Chang Can Dunk, the all-new Asian American Disney+ original live action film streams exclusively on Disney+ starting Friday, March 10, 2023. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen the 2023 Disney+ original film Chang Can Dunk in exchange for this Chang Can Dunk Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide. All photos courtesy of Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!
Leave a Reply