Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 12+
Terrifyingly realistic dinos run amok in sci-fi landmark.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids who watch Jurassic Park will see lots of people -- and a few innocent animals -- being hunted and eaten by very realistic-looking dinosaurs, but there's little actual blood and gore (although one somewhat gruesome scene involves a severed arm). There's tons of suspense, many "jump" scenes, and some chases/crashes; basically, the characters -- including children -- are in near-constant peril. (All of this is made more intense in the 3-D version, though the effects aren't as overbearing as some newer 3-D releases.) Expect a bit of mild swearing (as well as one "s--t") and some smoking and drinking, too. In the less intense environment of home, kids as young as 9 may be able to handle the fright factor with an adult at hand, but sensitive children should skip this one.
- Families can talk about how movies blur the line between science and science fiction, sometimes giving out misinformation in the process. Since it's not really possible to clone dinosaurs, why use cloning as a plot device?
- Does using headline-grabbing scientific concerns make a story more believable -- and thus more thrilling? How can you find out which parts of a story are really based in science and which are made up?
- What makes Jurassic Park scary? What's the difference between horror and suspense? Which has more impact on you, and why?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Just like Frankenstein, there's an underlying message about the dangers of playing God. But through teamwork, determination, and smarts, the main characters triumph. They also learn and change; Alan learns how to protect/care for the children, and the kids learn to survive in the wild.
Positive role models: The two children are intensely likable, smart, and brave; the adults protect them and each other at every turn. Other characters are flawed and/or have problematic motives, but they all seem to learn a lesson one way (learning from their mistakes) or another (becoming dino food).
What to watch for
Violence: Plenty of people and a few innocent animals are eaten by realistic dinos. There's little actual blood and gore, but the scare factor is high, and one gruesome scene involves a severed arm. Suspenseful scenes of the kids being hunted by dinosaurs are particularly intense. Chases, crashes, constant peril.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Infrequent swearing includes two "s--t"s, plus "hell," "crap," "damn," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "and oh my God."
Consumerism: A few brands are seen -- Barbasol, Ford, Apple. Also plenty of Jurassic Park merchandise available, and there are other movies in the franchise.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A secondary character smokes regularly. Rare drinking by adults.