March 3, 2024

Is the Movie ‘Barbie’ for Children? Why the Movie is Rated PG-13

  • Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for the movie “Barbie”, in theaters now.
  • “Barbie” has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association.
  • Here’s what you need to know about the movie before you decide if it’s suitable for children.

“Barbie” may be a hit with critics, but it may not be entirely suitable for children, depending on their age and maturity level.

Greta Gerwig’s new film, now in theaters, is based on the famous doll and her idiosyncratic history. In the film, Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) living in Barbie Land begins to malfunction. So she goes to the real world with her partner Ken (Ryan Gosling) to find out how to fix herself.

Despite the doll being marketed to children, the film seems to be trying to appeal to older audiences who have memories of growing up with Barbie. As well as that, “Barbie” has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for suggestive references and short language, which means it’s not entirely child-friendly.

Here’s everything we know about the movie, so you can decide if your child should see “Barbie.”

There are three swear words used in the film, but one is bleeped out.

Ryan Gosling as Ken and Margot Robbie as Barbie i "Barbie."

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie as Ken and Barbie in “Barbie.”

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The MPA rating is mainly focused on the strong short language and suggestive references in the film. Throughout the film, there are several sexual biases.

In one scene seen in the trailer, Ken asks to stay at Barbie’s house. “To do what?” she asks, he says, “I’m not really sure.”

In another scene, Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) makes fun of the “flat blob” Ken is “packing in those shorts.”

Most of these jokes will probably go over the heads of children.

There are also a few scenes where mild adult language – words like “bitch” and “crap” – are used. In a big scene, the word “motherfucker” is also bleeped out for laughs.

There is mild violence, but it is often used for laughs.

Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa as Kens in Barbie

Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa as Kens in “Barbie.

Warner Bros. Pictures

There are also a few scenes with fairly violent fights. In the trailer, we see Barbie slapping the person for touching her body without permission. In another scene, seen in the trailer, we see all the Kens fighting each other.

However, the Kens in the battle scene do not specifically use real weapons and the battle comes off more as a joke than a show of violence.

The film contains heavy themes about gender inequality and death, which parents may want to discuss with their children.

Margot Robbie as Barbie i "Barbie."

Margot Robbie as Barbie in “Barbie.”

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

The film raises many questions about death and the purpose of life, which may be topics parents want to discuss with their children before or after seeing the film.

As seen in the trailer, Barbie asks her other dolls if they have ever thought about death. This is a catalyst for Barbie’s journey and a key theme as she learns about real life and mortality.

Gender inequality and the influence of patriarchy are other key themes within “Barbie,” especially when the dolls move on to the real world. This may also prompt questions from younger children.

While children’s movies sometimes deal with death (see: last year’s hit movie, “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish,”) “Barbie” presents this theme in a philosophical and existential way, where it’s more likely to provoke questions from your child.

“Barbie” is in theaters now.

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