Is Disney’s The Jungle Book too scary for young children?


Is THE JUNGLE BOOK too scary for young children??

Before I answer my title question I just want to say that Disney’s live-action film THE JUNGLE BOOK is phenomenal. I highly recommend it. See it in 3-D if you can. I wish that we had.

Okay so back to my question, is The Jungle Book too scary for young children? I was worried about this because Bug, who is seven-and-a-half years old, can be sensitive to certain things. He loves animals and is very matter-of-fact about animals. He knows food chains, understands predators and things of that nature. But a couple of days ago we saw a dead deer on the side of the road and he started bawling about it. So I began thinking if taking him to see The Jungle Book might be a mistake. He also crawled up my lap and buried his face in my shoulder for the final fight scene of Kung Fu Panda 3 (which WAS pretty intense). I could only imagine how much more intense The Jungle Book would be.

So I talked it over with him. I explained that this movie would have a lot of “wild animals being wild animals”. And that tigers roaring, animals fighting and wolves hunting can be a little scarier on a big movie screen. He assured me that he was fine, he would be okay and if he got scared he could just hide his face on me. I really didn’t want either of us to miss out seeing this movie on the big screen. So I decided, let’s do it.

I think this movie did well to have a PG rating. It certainly is not a G movie. I think as a parent you know your child and I would not want this movie to just have a blanket G rating so that parents just take their kids to go see it without deciding if this is a good viewing option for their child.

Other than the use of the word “shut up” there was no language in this movie that would give it a PG rating. There were no suggestive themes or inappropriate behavior that would have given this movie it PG rating. It is PG for the intense scenes.

So without giving away too many spoilers, I’ll briefly go over the intense scenes so you can make a decision on whether it’s right for your child. Bug is seven and I do consider him a young child so for the purpose of this evaluation I am going to consider children between the ages of five and seven as young. Would I take a child younger than five? No. So if that’s the question you came here looking for an answer to, there is your answer. But 5 to 7 years old is a gray area for this movie. What bothers my seven year old may not bother your five year old. Children process things differently.

The first intense scene involved Shere Khan throwing a wolf off a cliff. It was abrupt and shocking but done so quickly and viewed from a distance that Bug didn’t process it immediately. He asked a few minutes later “Did that wolf die?” I don’t think that scene would bother most 5 to 7 year olds.

Intense scene two is a water buffalo stampede. Think the stampede from The Lion King. Intense, yes. Terrifying, not too much. Shortly after this scene is a mudslide. Momentarily intense.

Kaa, the snake, wasn’t at all scary in my opinion. Bug wasn’t scared. I wish there had been more scenes with Kaa. A very small part for such a large snake.

And now that brings us to King Louie. He is quite an intimidating fellow. He is based on a legendary character– Gigantopithecus — and exaggerated in size. (Click here to see more fun facts behind the scenes of the making of The Jungle Book). These scenes were not too scary but they do end up with the temple ruins crashing down on top of King Louie.

Okay I want to stop here and say that I do not mean to disregard all the beautiful, funny, and extraordinary parts of this movie. But the point of this post is to determine whether the intense scenes are too much for young children… And to not give away too much of the plot of the movie.

So now that means we are to the end of the movie and the final intense scene. Again not to disregard everything else that happened. Mowgli is now standing up to Shere Khan. What follows involves one very angry tiger, one very fierce bear, a panther and a pack of wolves fighting. Add fire, Mowgli being chased up a tree by Shere Khan and being slashed at and finally Shere Kahn’s demise. I put my arm around Bug at this point and he assured me he was okay. He said “I am okay, Momma. He was a bad guy.”

So my final opinion is that no this movie is not too scary for most young children-in the 5 to 7 year old range. But ultimately, you know your child best. If any of the scenes I described sound like they would be too much for YOUR child then don’t risk it. Wait until comes out on DVD and watch it on the small screen.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Did you take your young children? Did they love it?



And check out this video of Shere Khan!


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