Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 14+
Devastatingly moving drama has harsh truths, whimsy, wisdom.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beasts of the Southern Wild is a heart-wrenching fable that's so unique that it's hard to classify. It's a drama about an alcoholic father who means well but has few tools to convey his love to his spitfire 6-year-old daughter. It's a celebration of quirky friendships and the power of the imagination. It's an indictment of the deep divide that separates the rich and the poor. And much more. Expect some swearing; kids and adults both say the word "p---y." There's also lots of drinking, brutal depictions of abject poverty, an adult striking a child, and discussion about the death of a parent.
- Families can talk about how Beasts of the Southern Wild depicts drinking. Are there realistic consequences?
- What is the movie saying about fathers and their daughters and the ties that bind them? Is Wink a flawed father?
- Parents, talk to your kids about Hurricane Katrina: Who suffered most in the end? How does this movie reference the social issues that the hurricane brought to light?
- How does Hushpuppy cope with the difficulties in her life? Is she aware of them? How does she compare to other movie girls?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Steely resolve and courage can see you through the toughest of times, but you still need the love and warmth of family.
Positive role models: Hushpuppy is strong and brave and very precocious for her age. For a 6-year-old, she has a very wise outlook on serious matters, including death. She doesn't let anything keep her down, and she believes in her power and ability. Her father is deeply flawed and sometimes hurtful, but he loves her fiercely.
What to watch for
Violence: A character slaps his child once to discipline her, and she hits him back; he also taunts her to toughen her up. A child starts a fire. Three men blow up a dam.
Sexy stuff: A father discusses the night of his child's conception (but not in a lewd way). Kids dance in a brothel.
Language: A couple of uses of "s--t" and "p---y," plus "ass," "damn," "hell," "crap," and "goddamn."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking, including off-label hooch, beer, wine, vodka, and other hard liquor. A man shares his liquor with his very young daughter.