Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 14+
Inspirational stories from Tony Hawk and other pro skaters.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is a documentary about a team of famous skateboarders directed by Stacy Peralta (who previously made the best skateboarding documentary to date: Dogtown and Z-Boys). Like that movie, this one has a wealth of old photos and home movie footage to draw from, showing teen boys training hard, developing skills, and goofing off. Language is strong in the present-day interviews, including about a dozen uses of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t." One of the main characters is shown to have married and had a child while still relatively young (late teens/early twenties). In the older footage, a teen girl is very briefly -- and blurrily -- topless, and teens are very briefly seen drinking beer. In photos, one of the main characters drinks an entire bottle of "mescal." Teen skaters are shown occasionally wiping out and mildly injured.
- Families can talk about whether these skateboarders, Tony Hawk above all, are role models for teens. Does it matter whether skateboarding is a "respectable" sport?
- Was fame a goal for these athletes? Or did fame come about as a result of following their passion? What's the difference?
- How did teamwork help the individual skaters achieve success?
- Do any of these skaters present a positive body image? If so, how?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Bones Brigade shows that by practicing and developing skills, teens can excel at something they love and perhaps even make a living at it. Though the skateboarding world is sometimes depicted as rebellious and irresponsible, these folks demonstrate that you can succeed without becoming corrupted. It also celebrates the benefit of teamwork.
Positive role models: The featured skateboarders seem to have benefited from their training and their time spent in their chosen sport. Outsiders tease them for being so clean-cut, saving their money, and not spending it on partying. Some of them talk about troubles springing from family conflicts, but most of these seem to have been overcome and/or resolved over time. Tony Hawk in particular, and his work building skate parks in troubled communities, is a stand-out.
What to watch for
Violence: Some skateboarding wipeouts and mild injuries are shown in some of the flashback footage.
Sexy stuff: At an impromptu skating event, a teen girl is possibly topless, though it's very blurry, very briefly, and seen from a distance. One of the main interviewees is shown to have been married and had a baby at a relatively young age, though this isn't discussed in detail.
Language: About a dozen uses of "f--k," and a few uses of "s--t" during the interviews. Other words include "damn," "hell," "idiot," and "retarded."
Consumerism: In some of the older footage and photos, logos for Pepsi and Coke can be seen. "Slurpee" is mentioned. Tony Hawk is a brand in and of himself.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: In one sequence depicting an impromptu skating event, teens are (very briefly) glimpsed drinking beer. One of the interviewees mentions this as well. In old photos, one of the main characters is shown drinking an entire bottle of "mescal" (and eating the worm).