Is the new Disney Pixar animated film ok for children? Luca Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent guide to the Walt Disney Animation Studios release. No spoilers! #PixarLuca May contain commissioned links.
Luca Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
In this Pixar Luca Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, we are breaking down the visuals, the story, the PG rating for violence, adult themes and language, my personal kids age rating recommendation and if this is the Pixar summer film that families are waiting for or is there a reason that this movie went straight to streaming on Disney+?
Every time I think that I won’t be “wowed” by the visuals of an animated movie, I’m always wrong. Pixar’s Luca is proof once again that cartoon movies keep getting better and better with the technology. From the water simulation to creation of an entire colorful Italian village, Disney•Pixar once again brings the magic of the screen home. Vibrant colors, wanderlust landscapes, mouth watering food, and and overly “bubbly” graphics gives this summer film definite family movie night feels.
Confession, I actually avoided all trailers and spoilers for Luca, and went in completely blind for this animated film. Maybe it was all Onward‘s fault, but I felt that most of the “good stuff” was given away in the Pixar trailers. So I felt really excited about a brand-new-no-remake-no-sequel Pixar film.
Without knowing and background for Luca, I was already skeptical that Luca was a “straight to streaming” move for Disney. Why skip the Premier Access? I will say that the storyline was a “slow build” for me. It took awhile to build up Luca’s character and where his journey was going to take the audience, and felt confusing at times. Is this Little Mermaid meets Finding Nemo? Or more Cars 2 with a hint of Inside Out‘s Bing Bong?
But after an hour and 35 minutes of muddling through a sea monster story, it was only during the last 15-20 minutes that I got a hint of that Pixar magic. But even this sweet coming-of-age story didn’t quite leave the sea for me. Missing that heart-wrenching pull (“Inside Out” or “Coco”), that poignant life lesson (“Wall-e,” “Ratatouille,” “Finding Nemo”), and those Pixar tears (yup, I watched twice and no “Inside Out” or “Up” equivalent eye watering for me), Luca ends up being just another adorable character without much grit.
However, there’s something in the simplicity, the sweetness, and the muted characters that brings the comfort of a soft blanket out of the dryer. While I’m categorizing this film as a “second tier” Pixar movie, we have to admit that Pixar has set the bar really high with their entire repertoire of animated films. Overall, it’s a successful summer family film filled with Disney Easter Eggs, a few laughs, and a dream of families visiting Italy again. So wrap yourself in a Pixar hug of Luca and enjoy the ride.
That PG Rating
Here we go with another PG rated Pixar movie. Should parents be concerned? Is Pixar’s Luca kid friendly? Skeptical? Because I am! 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??). With film ratings unpredictable these days, PG rating 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+ subscription fees. (I’m looking at you, Soul!)
Why is Luca rated PG? With a new Disney Pixar animated film, is this Pixar Luca Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Luca is rated PG for “rude humor, language, some thematic elements and brief violence.” What kind of language are we talking about? And how violent is Luca? Is Pixar’s Luca safe for kids to see? Is Luca ok for children or too scary? Here’s what parents need to know before watching Luca with your kids.
Violence. As a boy coming-of-age story, there always has to be some hardships/villain to overcome. Themes of fist fighting (mild), biting (also mild), use of weapons (throwing harpoons), slaps to the face, death defying daredevil stunts, and also strong bullying messaging can be found throughout this film. Violence on an overall mild cartoon level, there’s never any blood or gore.
Adult Themes. With the bullying theme strong throughout this film, there are many aspects of adult themes that go hand-in-hand. Many insults are used (see the language section below), along with strong usage of words like “murders, dead, and death,” even though this is NOT a dark film (like say Cruella). While not the main punchlines in the movie, preceptive kids may pick on using these words in their everyday, so parents, use discernment.
There’s also one character who can come across as super creepy to some small children. While not violent in any way, this character has some possible grotesque features, a creepy voice and has enough screen time to be a potential threat to nightmare realm.
Language. Are there any bad words or swear words in the Pixar Luca movie? Honestly, I’m still scratching my head at this one. I couldn’t find a single curse word after watching a few times, unless it was spoken in Italian (quite possible). Now I’ve heard rumor that G-rated movies are disappearing, so maybe this new level of movie age ratings has folks going completely overboard? (Get the pun?)
However, there are a few choice “other words” I’d like to highlight for parents. Insults are used often throughout the film, with phrases like “shut up,” “jerk,” “stupid,” “idiots,” “dumb,” and my favorite, “holy carp.”
What Age Rating Is Recommended for Kids to Watch Luca?
Luca’s run time is at 1 hour and 35 minutes, thankfully the right length for a children’s movie. While rated PG, the sliding scale definitely has a big range. And while parents know best for their kids, I overall found this Pixar film to be very mild on the PG level.
What Luca movie age rating do I recommend for kids? This is more of the relaxed summer movie flick that families will enjoy. While there are a few moments that may be a little tense for younger kids, the overwhelming themes of acceptance, friendship, honesty and love will definitely appeal to younger audiences. Definitely not on the same level as Soul or Incredibles 2, I recommend Pixar’s Luca for kids as young as 5-6 years old.
Did I mention how much that I LOVE watching new Disney films at home? Streaming Luca on Disney+ has it’s benefits. Allowing for pause button breaks in the comfort of home makes this family-friendly film more enjoyable, especially for young toddlers and wiggle worms (and for pre-screening parents). Grab your FREE Luca Printable Coloring Sheets and Kids Activities to engage your kids while you watch this summer.
Overall, Luca is an easy-to-digest summer flick that the whole family will enjoy. Stay tuned until the very end for an “interesting” end credit scene and some fun end credit stills along the way. Sweet, adorable but not quite found his sea legs, Luca misses the Pixar emotional pull for me. But can we expect Pixar perfection when the animation team had to create an entire movie from home instead of their office? Before we all count Luca out, keep in mind what a HUGE undertaking this film is, and how much of a success it is already.
All unused tissues aside, that doesn’t mean that Luca does not bring value to the family, especially in a time when Pixar animated movies are being made during challenging and frustrating pandemic times. With many themes for kids: friendship, prejudice, acceptance, bullying, courage, honesty and love, (just what we would expect from a Pixar film), there’s certainly enough feel-good summer vibes that make this Pixar film great for a family movie night in.
Follow Luca on social:
- Website: https://movies.disney.com/luca
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarLuca/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PixarLuca
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixarluca/
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The all-new original Disney Pixar movie, Luca, debuts on Friday June 18, 2021, only on Disney+. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen this film in exchange for this Luca Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!