Saturday, July 7

transforced to see this movie?

A friend emailed to say that while he didn't want to sound like Bill Bennett, it really irritated him that the Transformers movie was rated PG-13, when all the marketing for the film is clearly directed at younger kids.

Turns out the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (and good luck with that) feels the same way.

"A review by CCFC found more than one hundred Transformers’ toys for children under six; Transformer promotions by Kraft and Burger King clearly aimed at young children; and advertisements for the movie on children’s television programming rated appropriate for kids as young as two.

“It is extremely disappointing that Hasbro and DreamWorks would choose to promote a film to preschool children that the industry deems inappropriate for anyone under the age of thirteen,” said CCFC’s Dr. Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids. “In their cynical attempt to wring every last dollar from one of this summer’s blockbusters, these companies have shown little regard for children’s well-being or parents’ desires to limit their children’s exposure to violent entertainment.”

Speaking as a parent, we're really used to this. It's really more disappointing that the film industry wants its Burger King toys and box office, too. If I were in that 15-17 boys demographic that moviemakers seem to find so essential, I don't think I'd want to see a movie that had been pushed to little kids.


  1. You asked for a review, and I can now pass on what the husband reports. From HIS perspective, a die hard, lifelong Transformer fan, it sort of stunk. His actual words? "GM product placement wet dream. If they could have figured out a way to make Optimus Prime a GM, they would have"
    The kids however, loved it. And the questionable scenes that made it PG13 flew over their heads (ages 9, 7, and 5)

    But back to what you were saying in your post, I cannot agree more. Even my three year old was excited about this movie, more from the exposure he gets from his older Transformer addicted siblings, but the Transformer PLAYSKOOL toys are a problem too. The three year old did not go to see the movie obviously, but he wanted to. Really, have you seen the Transformers Mr Potato Head? The Playskool Optimus Prime? We waited with baited breath for months to see what the rating would be. Although we made the educated decision to let them see it anyway, we really hoped it had been at least a PG.

  2. My very sensitive to this type of thing now 15 year old reports that he had no trouble seeing why this thing got the rating he received. he said it bothered his that "that stuff" would be in a "kids'" movie.

    He's such a good kid.

    And these people suck. But what you expect from the folks who brought us the Hummer?

    Hey, and doesn't THAT mean that the combat versions of those vehicles that they built for our troops were built by GM? The ones that were under-armored?

  3. As a child of the 80s, Transformers will forever be burned into my memory as a cartoon I enjoyed in my childhood.

    I've long since given up on expecting anything other than vapid commercialism from Hollywood. I think about what H.L. Mencken said: "No one ever went broken underestimating the taste of the American public."

    Suffice to say, I won't be lined up in queue eager to see this latest reincarnation.

  4. And it was transparently obvious that the writers dropped in a couple of curse words and two or three sexual references that had absolutley nothing whatsoever to do with the plot (such as it was) simply to get the PG-13 rating and avoid the dreaded "kiddy" label.

  5. I don't understand the whole transformer thing but it made $152 million in its first week. I need to ask my son, now in the US Air Force, what he thought of the movie. I was content to turn off reason and go see Live Free of Die Hard instead.

  6. I saw it at a free preview and we were discussing the rating afterwards as well. The marketing should match the product. I would imagine many younger kids would be terrified. PG-13 is an accurate rating, I'd say, but the marketing does not reflect that demographic.


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