The BS of the MPAA

Pig'sSaysAdios

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Yeah, the ratings system has gotten pretty dumb. You never truly know what your gonna get when you see a movie. I don't understand how you can have a film that's PG that most parents wouldn't show their young kids, yet at the same time a movie like "Frozen" is somehow the exact same rating.

I can tell you, that's really screwed me up before. When you see an animated film that's PG and it's clearly marketed as a family film, the first thing you expect is something like Pixar/Disney/Dreamworks etc. Because of that, "Coraline" completely scarred me. It was so dark and disturbing, yet the advertisements didn't make it seem that way.

I know for a fact there's now way in heck this scene would've happened in a Pixar movie:


Eerr, yeah. Let's just say that scene didn't go over well with my mom.
 

D'Snowth

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Like KANGAROO JACK: originally, it was intended to be an adult movie, and I believe it was PG-13 or even R to begin with, but test audiences were only interested in the plot thread involving the kangaroo . . . so they decided to add additional filler scenes with the kangaroo, bump the rating down to PG, and market it as a kids movie.

But then again, I really don't quite understand why MY COUSIN VINNY is rated R. Joe Pesci's usual potty mouth (along with Marisa Tomei)? Check. Basic plot about clearing two yout's of a murder charge? Check. Comically mentioning the kinds of things that go on in prison? Check. Is all that really worthy of an R rating? I mean, there's otherwise virtually no sexual content (unless you count Vinny and Lisa's somewhat provocative manner of discussing plumbing), nor is there much on-screen violence that I can remember.
 

Drtooth

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I felt the same way about The Birdcage. They drop F bombs and Robin Williams, Nathan Lane (what a stretch), and Hank Azaria played gay characters in the 1990's. Maybe a statue wang is shown for comedic effect in one scene. There's a reference to a politician dying while doing a prostitute, but nothing is shown as far as sex scenes go. Make your own joke about Robin Williams and Nathan Lane being unattractive here. It's clearly R because it comes off as an adult's movie without being that kind of an adult movie. By any means, PG-13 would have worked, but not a lot of teenagers would want to go see that, unless they related to gay themes in movies.

Yeah, the ratings system has gotten pretty dumb. You never truly know what your gonna get when you see a movie. I don't understand how you can have a film that's PG that most parents wouldn't show their young kids, yet at the same time a movie like "Frozen" is somehow the exact same rating.

I can tell you, that's really screwed me up before. When you see an animated film that's PG and it's clearly marketed as a family film, the first thing you expect is something like Pixar/Disney/Dreamworks etc. Because of that, "Coraline" completely scarred me. It was so dark and disturbing, yet the advertisements didn't make it seem that way.
G meant something back in the day. Even Hunchback of Notre Dame was G rated. Yeah, sure, Disney did tone things down to make it palatable, but...ehhh...they didn't tone things down really that much. No dead Esmeralda with Quasi clinging forever to her corpse, but still managed to be Disney's most disturbing movie. And it's stiff competition. I can't think of a kid's movie where someone sings about how they're perversely aroused by a woman and blaming it on sinfulness, calling on her to either be forcibly married to him or burn in the eternal inferno.

And it got a *&^%in' G rating.

Sure, Angry Birds got a Pedo joke in, and the assumption that the Pigs are baby eaters (which raises so many questions about if the birds only lay fertilized eggs). Even then, that's nothing compared to just The Lion King. Then again, I totally agree that Laika's movies have themes that are creepy, disturbing, downright depressing, or older kid enough to earn those PG ratings. Kubo was a tear a minute, beautiful film with some very distressing imagery that would scare the crap out of anyone under 8. The film basically opens up with the mother getting severe brain damage.

Thing is, the TV ratings get it right with Y and Y-7 (usually followed with "FV", fantasy violence). Even the darn Games rating board had to come up with E-10 for games that are slightly more violent than E games, but not quite 14+. Seems G and PG are supposed to be the Young Audiences welcome and some scenes may disturb kids, but comes off more as G is for babies and PG is the hip film for all them coooooool kids.
 

Pig'sSaysAdios

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Thing is, the TV ratings get it right with Y and Y-7 (usually followed with "FV", fantasy violence). Even the darn Games rating board had to come up with E-10 for games that are slightly more violent than E games, but not quite 14+. Seems G and PG are supposed to be the Young Audiences welcome and some scenes may disturb kids, but comes off more as G is for babies and PG is the hip film for all them coooooool kids
Yeah, TV gets it right. They're even quite thorough about it, giving it letters within the PG and TV-14 ratings like DLSV when necessary. I actually remember being quite surprised the first time I saw a PG rating on a regular Cartoon Network show, but the more I thought about it, it makes a lot of sense.
 

Drtooth

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The PG ratings on Cartoon Network vex me. Clearly they want the cartoons to look like they appeal to the older fanbases, yet they still consider cartoons for kids and consider the network a children's network in competition with Nick and Disney. It's complicated. I tend to think that Steven Universe, Regular Show, TTG, and Adventure Time might be considered more adult and worthy of a PG. But they have kid's merchandise and are kid friendly somehow. Regular Show baffled me because it's about 20 somethings. All the others listed involve kids to teenagers (though...uh...TTG seems to have them either be teenagers or 20 year olds or somehow remembering the 80's). It certainly deals with topics like dating, marriage, getting stuck in dead end jobs, and other things not in a child's wheel house. Plus, early episodes of Regular Show got away with saying things like "screwed."

Then there's the likes Clarence and Uncle Grandpa, which are far more kids' shows. Seems they're using the PG the same way kids movies also use them, to make the ratings look a little more adult. It's confusing.
 

D'Snowth

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Robin Williams, Nathan Lane (what a stretch), and Hank Azaria played gay characters in the 1990's.
There's you answer right there: they were gay characters. You know how it is: the Moral Guardians must always shield our tender, innocent youth from witnessing homosexuality, because it will otherwise brainwash them into becoming part of this dangerous cult! :rolleyes:

And yet, ironically, ABC Family was airing shows that had all kinds of homosexual subtext - they had more lesbian kissing scenes than most major network shows do during the so-called "Lesbian Kiss Sweeps Week."
 

Drtooth

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There's you answer right there: they were gay characters. You know how it is: the Moral Guardians must always shield our tender, innocent youth from witnessing homosexuality, because it will otherwise brainwash them into becoming part of this dangerous cult! :rolleyes:

And yet, ironically, ABC Family was airing shows that had all kinds of homosexual subtext - they had more lesbian kissing scenes than most major network shows do during the so-called "Lesbian Kiss Sweeps Week."

Yeah, but The Birdcage was much earlier in the decade. ABC Family wasn't even Fox Family at that point. Plus, I like to think that sort of thing being on ABC Family/Freeform is in direct protest of the 700 Club and Pat Robertson still having a choke hold on the network. I give ABC all the respect in the world for trying to smoke him out, too bad the old buzzard is probably immortal and has more lawyers than Vader has Stormtroopers.

But I think Birdcage proves the point that, yeah, Moral Guardians (we tend to forget how okay Homophobia was in the 90's after all), but the fact that there is no way anyone under the age of 25 would have wanted to watch that kind of movie. Doesn't have explosions in it, you see.
 

D'Snowth

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there is no way anyone under the age of 25 would have wanted to watch that kind of movie. Doesn't have explosions in it, you see.
Oh yeah, that was something they brought up in that "On the Buster Scale" episode, where Buster's viewpoint was practically if a movie doesn't have explosions, it's not a movie.
 

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I realized a number of previously G-rated kids movies that would be rated PG today, all for one reason: depictions of smoking.

Take 101 DALMATIANS, for example: what was something that Cruella de Vil did throughout the whole movie? Smoke. THE CHIPMUNK ADVENTURE: what's the first thing we see the bad guys doing? Smoking at the yogurt shop. Even MFS, there's that humorous little scene where one of the guards is smoking, and invisible Pepe tells him, "Smoking is veddy, veddy bad for you, h'okay." Because apparently today, showing a character smoking or consuming alcohol is automatically worthy of a PG rating.
 

Drtooth

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Oh yeah, that was something they brought up in that "On the Buster Scale" episode, where Buster's viewpoint was practically if a movie doesn't have explosions, it's not a movie.
I'm sure a lot of gay teenagers went to see Birdcage, because things weren't as progressive in the 90's as they are today. Maybe some Robin Williams and/or Nathan Lane fans. But other than that, I don't see too many younger movie goers sitting through, more importantly, paying for something that would carry the same weight on the small screen they can rent for 3 bucks on home video. Even today, more movie goers want to see something big budget and impressive enough to want to see in a theater than a small comedy film...and then complain about how Hollywood only makes big budget movies. Which ticks me off, because of all the "movies aren't original anymore" and "they aren't as good as the old days" rants, it's not like those people were going to say "Hey! Let's not wait for Keanu to hit Netflix, and pay full price for it."

I realized a number of previously G-rated kids movies that would be rated PG today, all for one reason: depictions of smoking.
Remember that awful and unfair "Truth" commercial that basically said that Jim Henson accepted money from the tobacco industry to have his characters smoke in The Muppet Movie? By which, it was just some background thugs from the El Sleazo Cafe, none of them good guys or even Muppets? Kinda the reason why.

I have a distinct memory of seeing Oliver and Company in theaters, having the disgusting bad guy take a long drag on his cigar and blowing it into the Dom Deluise guy's face. And then Dom's character choking and having red, watery eyes. I must've been in Kindergarten or first grade and they did a whole "smoking is bad" lesson about how second hand smoke makes you choke and have red, watery eyes. The prophecy has been realized. I don't see how villains smoking to effect that old cliche is going to make kids all the sudden want to take up smoking. And yeah, we know the whole Flintstones selling cigarettes bit, but the show was never meant for kids specifically. That and the poorly animated Japanese lending firm commercials should be much more popular on the internet.

While I can complain about recent trends to even eradicate so much as the mention of junk foods in kid's programming, I don't think kids are going to be that inclined to want to smoke if a villain in a movie who looks like a big fat b&&%ard smokes. Sure, there's leeway with old Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and even some Mickey Mouse cartoons (Brave Little Taylor had a big scene with the giant rolling Mickey into a large cig made out of hay), but there's a lot of stuff that shouldn't be shown to kids on those anyway (not that they'd appreciate it). But when the mere act of Smoking pumps a rating up to hard R? That's plain ridiculous. Keep it out of G's and PG's maybe. Don't show a Marvel super hero enjoying one if you have to.
 
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