Mythological movie magic for kids
Countries all over the world have their own ancient myths, legends, and fairy tales. These are stories that are passed down from family to family and often have an important message to share.
In this list, you’ll find lots of films rated U and PG that explore the wonderful world of myths and monsters. From friendly sea monsters to fairy godmothers, each film tells different stories from across the globe. The list will also tell you everything you need to know about what is in the film, so you can choose which one is right for you.
very mild violence, threat, language
Luca is a fantasy animation in which two young sea monsters spend the summer in an Italian coastal town disguised as humans.
In Italian folklore, there’s an old legend of Colapesce which is about a boy who stays in the water for so long that he becomes half fish!
There is use of very mild bad language ('jerk').
threat and horror
There are scenes of very mild threat in which young sea monsters are pursued by town bullies who throw spears and fishing nets in their direction. The bullies regularly torment the young characters; however, their hostile behaviour is not condoned by others. Two sea monsters watch a man who hates sea animals as he prepares fish with a blood-stained meat cleaver. A character has a nightmare that he is falling from a height.
Very mild violence includes a sequence in which a young boy is pinned against a wall by two bullies before a third punches him in the stomach. The scene soon ends after the boy's friend comes to his rescue. There are a number of illustrations showing townspeople spearing sea monsters. There are scenes in which characters shove and push each other during arguments.
Dangerous behaviour includes a boy jokingly encouraging another to look directly at the sun, but this is clearly shown to be harmful.
Contains very mild bad language and mild comic violence
Shrek is a 2001 animated comedy adventure about an ogre who finds his swamp being taken over by various fairytale creatures who have been exiled by the evil Lord Farquaad. When Shrek tries to persuade Lord Farquuard to take the fairytale creatures back, he agrees on the condition that Shrek rescues Princess Fiona, who he wants for his bride.
Shrek lives in a world full of familiar fairytale characters including Pinocchio, a fairy godmother, and Robin Hood. Look out for characters you recognise from your storybooks when watching the film.
Bad language includes uses of 'ass', 'crap' and 'damn'.
There are some scenes of mild comic violence, including a spoof of a wrestling match featuring a headbutt delivered by a donkey. There is no detail of injuries and no characters come to any serious harm, with all the violence occurring in a fantastical context.
There are some moments of mild innuendo, including a reference to Snow White not being 'easy', even though she lives with seven dwarfs.
Hercules is an animated adventure about the mythical hero who must prove himself in a series of tasks in order to regain his immortality and take his place alongside the Gods.
Hercules is the son of two Greek Gods, Zeus and Hera. Did you know that in Greek Mythology, Zeus is the god of the sky and Hera is the goddess of marriage?
Occasional scenes of mild violence feature Hercules battling a range of monsters and titans, including a multi-headed hydra which grows more heads for each one Hercules cuts off. The fights often involve characters being thrown around, but there is no clear injury detail or blood.
There are infrequent scenes of very mild threat, with the strongest sequence featuring a woman falling into the underworld. Hercules follows her in to save her, passing ghost-like souls as he does so, and appearing to age until he surfaces and returns to life.
There is occasional use of the word 'bum', used to describe people.
Contains frequent mild threat
How To Train Your Dragon is an animated adventure set in which a young inventor in a Viking community befriends a dragon.
This film takes place in a mythical Viking world where a young boy named Hiccup wishes to become a famous dragon slayer.
Scenes of threat involve Viking characters fighting against or fleeing from dragons, as well as dragon characters fighting each other. Some of the larger, fiercer dragon characters could frighten some viewers.
There is infrequent use of mild bad language, including 'butts' and 'screwed up'.
mild threat, scary scenes
Spirited Away is an animated film in which a young girl encounters a spirit world where her parents are turned into pigs. The girl braves working at a bathhouse for the spirits in order to free herself and her parents.
Chihiro meets lots of characters inspired by Japanese folklore at the bathhouse including Mizuchi (water dragons), Shikigami (paper birds), and kappa (river spirits).
Scenes of threat include a character encountering bouncing heads. A dragon is seen with bloodied cuts, leaving blood splatter on walls as it flies erratically. A large visitor to the bathhouse shoves workers into its mouth. A frog is lured by a masked spirit before being grabbed and eaten. A huge baby threatens to break a character's arm, but doesn't. A character shoots flames from her mouth.
Use of 'idiot', 'bums' and 'butt'.
mild violence, threat, language
The Sea Beast is an animated family fantasy adventure in which a girl stows away on a ship hunting for sea monsters.
Did you know that the film was inspired by creatures included on 16th and early 17th-century nautical maps?