It seems like just about every movie whose protagonist is a young woman has to have a love interest for her. In some cases (Disney, I’m looking at you), the young woman’s entire adventure revolves entirely around getting her man. Not exactly inspiring for young girls who are more interested in adventures than in boys.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Directed by: David Yates Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Jim Broadbent Rated: PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality. Parental Notes: This is a darker, scarier film than the previous ones, and may be too scary for youngsters. Teens and preteens should be fine.


Written for the screen and directed by: Henry Selick Starring: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Keith David, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane Rated: PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor. Parental Notes: This is essentially a horror movie for kids. Know your child’s limitations, there are some seriously creepy themes and images in the film that may be too intense for younger children.


Directed by: Iain Softley Starring: Brendan Fraser, Eliza Hope Bennett, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, Rafi Gavron Rated: PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments, and brief language Parental Notes: Very young children may find the end sequence, which features a giant monster made of ash clouds and fire, too frightening, but kids who can enjoy the first few Harry Potter movies will be right at home.

Speed Racer

Directed by: Larry and Andy Wachowski Starring: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon Rated: PG for sequences of action, some violence and language. Parental Notes: This is a movie aimed squarely at kids. The racing scenes may be a bit intense for very young kids, but kids old enough to watch Saturday morning cartoons should be fine.

Fred Claus

Directed by: David Dobkin Starring: Paul Giamatti, Vince Vaughn, Kevin Spacey, Rachel Weisz Rated: PG for mild language and some rude humor. Parental Notes: This is a fair PG film. If you’re overly concerned about vulgar humor, you might want to keep your youngsters away, but that’s about it.

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising

Directed by: David L. Cunningham Starring: Alexander Ludwig, Frances Conroy, Ian McShane Rated: PG for fantasy action and some scary images. Parental Notes: This film is safe for just about all kids, though those who are passionate fans of the books may want to skip it.

Evan Almighty

Directed by: Tom Shadyac Starring: Steve Carell, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, Morgan Freeman Rated: PG for mild rude humor and some peril. Parental Notes: Like the ratings note says, this is PG for a little rude humor (bird poop jokes, for example) and some peril (like frightened folks getting taken for a watery ride in the ark), but it’s probably fine for all but the littlest ones.


Directed by: Kevin Munroe Starring: James Arnold Taylor, Mitchell Winfield, Mikey Kelley, Nolan North, Mako, Sarah Michelle Gellar Rated: PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language. Parental Notes: This is a solid kids movie. Some very young children may find the martial arts action a bit too much, but there is no gore and the “language” in the rating notes is very mild.