Movie News & Reviews

Family Watch: ‘Strange Magic’ enjoyable by all ages

Bog King, left, in “Strange Magic” is voiced by Alan Cumming and Marianne is voiced by Evan Rachel Wood.
Bog King, left, in “Strange Magic” is voiced by Alan Cumming and Marianne is voiced by Evan Rachel Wood. Lucasfilm

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

Strange Magic

Rating: PG for some action and scary images

What it’s about: Fairies and elves fight off goblins with love and vintage love songs in this George Lucas-backed cartoon.

The kid attractor factor: It’s an animated fantasy with “Star Wars” story elements and sing-along pop hits ranging from Elvis to Lady Gaga.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Song or no song, “there’s no shortcut to love.”

Violence: Yes, fairies fighting goblins.

Language: Disney clean.

Sex: Love potions, smooching and such.

Drugs: Not so much as a hint.

Parents’ advisory: Nothing terribly offensive turns up in this Disney-released LucasFilm cartoon. OK for all ages.

Black or White

Rating: PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight

What it’s about: A grandmother and grandfather from two different sides of the family, and from two different races, go to court to fight over custody of a little girl.

The kid attractor factor: Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, a kid having more sense than some of the adults around her.

Good lessons/bad lessons: Even judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin is a tricky notion in a politically correct era.

Violence: A nasty, bloody fight.

Language: Some profanity

Sex: Barely discussed.

Drugs: A major theme, as an alcoholic and a crack addict partake in their addictions.

Parents’ advisory: Too adult for small kids, who just won’t follow it, but OK for 13-and-up.

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