Is the new Disney Jungle Cruise movie ok for children to see? Jungle Cruise Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent guide to the Disney live action release. No spoilers! #JungleCruise May contain commissioned links.
Jungle Cruise Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
Whether you laugh at the jokes or groan, Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie has officially sailed in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. All aboard.
Disney has had some great success (Pirates of the Caribbean) and not so great success (Haunted Mansion) with ride to movie adaptations. But does this pleasure cruise have us asking for another spin or begging us to get off?
In this Jungle Cruise Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, we explore the visuals, the story line (no spoilers!), and fully breakdown that PG-13 rating for parents, including my kids’ age recommendation for watching this film. Is the Jungle Cruise movie the 8th wonder of the world or too scary to be a family film?
Can we say CGI HEAVY? Director Jaume Collet-Serra definitely loves his special effects. This Disney film relies heavily on technology. And while at times it does seem not as realistic (ahem, Dolittle vibes), overall the visuals lend to the adventure cruise for a summer film. This is one film I would opt to see in theaters versus at home, just for the sheer amount of visual effects included.
Loosely based on the popular Disney attraction, this turn of the century 1916 based film has a nostalgic film feel. Romancing the Stone meets Indiana Jones with a twist of Pirates of the Caribbean and a pinch of The Mummy, there’s humor, mystery, and the duo of The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson (“Moana“) and Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns“) to take us on one heck of a summer adventure. Everyone knows that your Jungle Cruise skipper makes or breaks your ride experience. And Dwayne Johnson, even though I had my doubts with his very similar roles as of late, still delivers.
Lovers off the classic Disney attraction will appreciate the subtle (and not so subtle) tributes to the beloved ride. And yes, that includes the jokes. Be prepared.
Very similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, there are darker, more horror-based parts of the film, balanced with the over-the-top Dora The Explorer slapstick moments. It’s a very unusual balance, but like the Disney ride and the jokes – it somehow all works together. Trying very hard to not give away any plot spoilers, I will say that while the storyline keeps a pretty good pace throughout the film, the 2 hour 8 minute length sometimes “drags,” even during the intense, suspenseful parts. Maybe a little too CGI heavy at times, the director loses a bit of the story focus to play a little too much with special effects. Editing department? Hello?
But if we base purely on summer flick vibes, this Disney live action film is definitely that. Not heavy on the family friendly messaging (themes of trust, friendship, love), but very heavy on taking the audience on an adventure, it’s a summer film that will surprise – even if it’s for one more corny joke. No end credit scene either. So just enjoy that Paul Giamatti cameo.
That PG-13 Rating
Here we go with another PG-13 rated Disney movie. Should parents be concerned? Pirates of the Caribbean was the first ever PG-13 rated Disney film. Disney’s Cruella is the latest PG-13 rated movie. And if you’ve already seen either, you know that the PG-13 rating was intense, perhaps too intense for little kids. So what can we expect from this PG-13 rating for Jungle Cruise?
Is Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie safe for kids? Skeptical? Because I am! It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, PG-13 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). With film ratings unpredictable these days, even PG ratings oscillating between Incredibles 2 intense to Christopher Robin calm, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie is family friendly – and worth possibly paying those Disney+ Premier Access fees.
Why is Jungle Cruise rated PG-13? With a new Disney live action film, is this Jungle Cruise Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Jungle Cruise is rated PG-13 for “adventure violence.” Wait, that’s it? Just how violent is Jungle Cruise? What about swear words or adult themes? I find it hard to believe that violence is the only focus on this MPAA rating. Is Disney’s Jungle Cruise safe for kids to see? Or is Jungle Cruise too scary for kids? Hint, they didn’t disclose it all. Here’s what parents need to know before watching Jungle Cruise with your children:
Adult themes. What isn’t shared in the MPAA rating is the use of adult themes. While romance keeps it in the PG department for this film (kissing only), there is a fair amount of betting/gambling, mild discussion about sexual orientation and heavy use of alcohol consumption – with implications and overtness of “being drunk.” The drinking on screen almost became uncomfortable to watch at times, really distracting the focus from the story.
Language. Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie has well, almost no swear words. One use of h-e-double-hockey-sticks (used as a place and not an adjective/adverb). However, that’s not the end of the squeaky clean language. There are also five instances of “oh my g-d” said by a main character. One use of the word “farts” (as in old people). And there’s one phrase with a “clever” swear word substitute “shove it up your association.” Overall, mild in the language department.
Violence. Fair warning, this section is extensive. Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie oscillates between slapstick violence (cartoon-ish fighting like Dora and the Lost City of Gold) and intense scenes (like Pirates). At times it can be hard to predict what type of violence is coming our way, which could be confusing for little kids.
There is heavy use of weaponry, including swords, daggers, guns, machine guns tranquilizer darts and explosions. Some of the “deaths” or “implied deaths” either by weapons or in a fight sequence are gruesome to watch, even with the limited amount of blood used. Those with weak stomachs may want to note that there is a fair amount of bodily fluid projecting from characters on screen, small amounts of blood and closing of a wound as well.
Now we get to that “adventure violence” part. Jungle Cruise movie violence can be best compared to that of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The heavy CGI usage and scary elements depict horror in a nightmare potential realm for kids. Realistic, believable, very intense and suspenseful at times, a good portion of the film includes this type of “adventure violence.” I would say about 35-40%.
What Jungle Cruise Age Rating is Recommended for Kids?
Is the Jungle Cruise movie kid friendly? At 2 hours and 8 minutes long, this is already a doozy length of a movie for little kids. With so much nostalgia from the classic Disney attraction and the lure of Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt at the helm, it can be hard to resist the temptation for a family movie night.
BUT, as skeptical as I was about Disney slapping on a PG-13 rating on this film, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree on this one. The violence and suspense in this film can be potentially traumatizing to little kids, and this is coming from a mom who desperately wants her little 8-year old daughter to watch this ride-based movie.
Best compared to a Dora the Explorer meets Dolittle meets Pirates of the Caribbean movie, there are certainly times when you get that over-the-top slapstick bad-joke telling vibe. In fact, I would daresay that little kids could watch the first half of the film with no problems.
But I highly encourage parents to pre-screen the Jungle Cruise movie. The realistic CGI horror and suspenseful moments easily label this film as preteen territory. I would recommend mature children at least age 11 years old and up for this film – again with the stipulation that they are ok with violence and suspense typical of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
For a Disney attraction to movie adaptation, I would say that Jungle Cruise is overall a successful voyage. A few waves, a few editing mishaps, but a ton of thrills, the comedic duo of Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson is fun to watch on screen, and the summer adventure feels are definitely full force. While I’m super sad this cannot be labeled a family friendly film, it is a great film for those who want to watch a Disney film with their older kids. I am disappointed that the MPAA did not fully disclose all that is included in that PG-13 rating, but maybe they’re in de-Nile.
Follow the Jungle Cruise movie on social:
- Website: https://movies.disney.com/jungle-cruise
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JungleCruise/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/junglecruise
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneysjunglecruise/
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The all-new original Disney Jungle Cruise movie debuts in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on Friday July 30, 2021. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen this film in exchange for this Jungle Cruise Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!