My Neighbor Minifig
February 14, 2014 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Is the Lego Movie appropriate for my 5-year-old who doesn't like anything "scary" in his movies?

My son is five, and very, very into Legos. He was pretty fascinated by a Lego Movie poster, and I think he saw a trailer on TV which he liked. He's never been to a movie in the theater.

He doesn't like anytihng scary, nor does he like "bad guys" or antagonists. By way of a gauge - for movies he loves Cars, Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service. Finding Nemo (and Star Wars) were WAY too scary, had to turn off after 10 or 15 minutes. For TV, Doc Mcstuffins is beloved, Jake and the Neverland Pirates is too scary because of Dr Hook.

This makes me think we should hold off, while this makes it seem like he could handle it.If you saw the movie with a youngster, how did the handle it?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If he can't handle bad guys, don't do it. Lord Business and Bad Cop are plenty scary. Wait for it to come to DVD or VOD so you can pause it at the parts he might not be able to deal with live.
posted by Etrigan at 11:00 AM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, as wonderful a film as it is, it is absolutely a movie with Bad Guys who are definitely legitimately scary. If he was ok with the bad guys, I'd say go ahead - but it's a film with a lot of antagonist activity and a lot of direct conflict between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:04 AM on February 14, 2014

I find Kids-In-Mind [SPOILERS in that link, if you read the details] even better than Common Sense Media. They break down movies to an almost comical degree on the axes of sexuality, violence and profanity.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

He's never been to a movie in the theater.

Haven't seen the movie yet so can't speak to the bad guy/scary part, but the first time I tried to take my son to the movies we had to leave during the previews because the volume and darkness alone scared the stuffing out of him.
posted by 0 at 11:14 AM on February 14, 2014 [6 favorites]

I saw the movie with a 6 y.o. and a 10 y.o. Both enjoyed it and also said: "Too many grown-up jokes."

It's a terrific movie. I advise against it for your 5 y.o. for the following reasons:
1. Big volume, as 0 points out.
2. Fast pace = lots to process, including explosions, adult rage (Bad Cop is frustrated), threats of violence against figs.
3. A plot that is laced with the need for broad cultural knowledge in a way that nearly takes precedence over the basic storyline -- which makes it fun for adults who know "The Matrix" and the Batman franchise and see the humor in robots called MicroManagers.

Great movie! But aimed much higher than a 5 y.o. audience. Take Etrigan's advice and see it at home with pause button/comforting objects near at hand.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:24 AM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would not take this child to this movie. As great as it is, there are definitely scary bad guys, and one scene in particular in which a bad guy does something very cruel to the parents of another character. Also, as has been pointed out, most of the humor is aimed at older kids and adults.
posted by jbickers at 11:29 AM on February 14, 2014

My preschooler (who was okay with Planes in the big theater and whose fears don't align with typical bad-guy stuff) needed to leave within the first 5 minutes. The person at the ticket booth said that all the littler ones are finding it scary as she refunded the money. I wouldn't.
posted by tchemgrrl at 12:03 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I took my 4yo and 6yo, both of whom love lego, have been to see movies at the movie theater before, and get easily scared by bad guys too. I wasn't expecting the bad guy menacing in the Lego movie, and my 4yo was sitting in his seat, half-hiding his face in his jacket. He did enjoy the movie a lot, but did say that he didn't like the bad guys. I would not take your 5yo to this as his first movie theatre experience, and agree you should wait until you can watch it at home.

Both my boys enjoyed it, but I agree that most of the plot and jokes went way over their heads, this is really meant for tweens I think.
posted by Joh at 12:04 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

My 5-year-old loved it and sat through the entire thing without being scared, although she said she "almost cried" at one part because it was sad.

There's no yardstick here, as you can see from the varied responses so far. You know your kid. If I were you, I'd err on the side of caution.
posted by methroach at 12:22 PM on February 14, 2014

We have a similar issue with our almost-five-year-old-daughter. She can handle Dora now that she knows nothing terrible will every happen with Swiper, but we're finding that Mr. Rogers is much more her speed. Even Kiki's delivery service had a few moments that were just a little too tense for her, though on the whole she enjoyed it. My husband posed a similar question about the Lego movie on another website and determined that it was not going to work for us right now. Apparently some of the minifigs actually get decapitated, and the bad guy stuff sounds just too intense. The movie does look funny in the promos, though.
posted by onlyconnect at 12:36 PM on February 14, 2014

I'm in consensus with the rest-- it'll be way too much for this particular five-year-old. It's a wonderful, fantastic movie, but it's got a hardcore villain with a superweapon, and lots of brick-on-brick violence. Characters are put in real peril. Honestly, I'd say it's on a level similar to Star Wars in intensity.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:37 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

My 4-year-old is very sensitive to scary scenes in movies, but he wasn't bothered by the Lego movie because it was "just" toys, toys he knew, toys that look very toy-like, and when they break it's exactly like when he and his brother kick apart each other's creations, not like something "dying."

We did tell him in advance that there was a bad guy and some parts might be a little scary, but that there was a happy ending and everyone would be okay, but if he was scared he could climb up on a lap or close his eyes or we could leave. He was very excited through the whole movie and not scared at all.

Oh, we also previewed Lord Business in some YouTube clips so he could see the bad guy and decide if he thought the bad guy was too scary or not. That might have helped; it wasn't a surprise.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:44 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

As with any kid on a first time trip to a theater, make sure they're used to sitting through 2 hour movies. Most kids I know get bored or want to move around after 30 minutes.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:53 PM on February 14, 2014

My seven year old (who does not like "peril" in his movies) had to leave at the 40 minute mark. In particular, he didn't like it when they were running from the police ("wait, why are the police the BAD GUYS") and also there is a scene where something bad happens to a character's parents, and that was the final straw for him.

On the other hand, my boss' 7 year old laughed until he (literally) peed his pants.

On balance, though, 5 and doesn't like scary things -- I'd skip it.

We are reading the junior novelization currently, and when we finish that (so he knows EXACTLY everything that happens) we may try again.
posted by anastasiav at 1:03 PM on February 14, 2014

If you want to read the script to decide for yourself, here's the link.
posted by cazoo at 1:36 PM on February 14, 2014

If he's never been in a theater yet, I recommend waiting til summer and seeing if any of the local theaters have cheap dollar movie days for kids. Our theaters do it in the middle of the week before noon during the month of June, I think. We did that last summer with my kid who is equally sensitive to "scary" stuff and had to bail out of an Ice Age sequel after 30 minutes. But because we had only spent a couple bucks, I didn't feel so annoyed by dropping a load of cash on the experience.
posted by chiababe at 1:42 PM on February 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Went to see this today with my nearly six-year-old. He didn't seem scared by any of the parts (although the other six-year-old we went with did hide his face in his mom's arm at one point.) My problem with the movie was that it was so much longer than the few other movies he has seen in the theater. 100 minutes was about 25 too long. My kid just stopped paying attention after a while.
posted by 41swans at 6:26 PM on February 14, 2014

Whether you take him to see this movie or another one, you may want to consider bringing headphones - the volume-blocking kind. (I think we got ours at the dollar store or harbor freight for just a couple of bucks).

Not just the movies, but the previews are hellaciously loud. We just went today, and while I was surprised that I actually didn't hate the movie, the previews were a constant high level of blaring sound (and went on FOREVER.)

When my kiddo was younger, we always brought headphones to the theater because he couldn't take the high volume. No one ever said a thing to us. Now that he's older they're not necessary but they really made his movie experiences a lot more pleasant.
posted by lemniskate at 7:14 PM on February 15, 2014

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