This Marvel Mom is excited about the newest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Wakanda Forever! Black Panther hits theaters on February 16 and, in my opinion, it’s going to break some records. Should your kids see it? Is Black Panther kid friendly? Black Panther parent movie review.
I went into the screening expecting a good film based on other reviews I’d read; I left the movie screaming WAKANDA FOREVER! and ready to declare my allegiance to the new king.
I can’t stop thinking about scenes and messages and lessons in Black Panther. It’s *that* kind of movie.
So, yeah, you can say I loved Black Panther. How’s that for a short and sweet review?
Side note: If you haven’t started watching the Marvel movies in order before Infinity War, it’s time to get on that!
I’ll also have an Avengers: Infinity War parent movie review (but there is a preview up on the blog if you want to check it out!
Black Panther Parent Movie Review: Is Black Panther Kid Friendly?
Not so fast- just like any good Marvel fan knows, you don’t leave until the end of the closing credits. Not during the credits; but after they end.
Protip: there are two end credit scenes in Black Panther. Don’t you dare leave before you see them both!
Same for this blog- I have things to say about Marvel’s Black Panther!
If you don’t know anything about Marvel’s first black superhero, be sure to check out these 5 things you need to know about Black Panther.
First I’m going to give a general Black Panther review, and then I’ll address it from a parent’s point of view.
Black Panther Review
I have friends who had the honor of attending the Black Panther red (err- purple!) carpet and screen the movie with the filmmakers and stars.
While none of them would give me spoilers (I tried!), they all said it was “an experience, not just a movie” and that it moved them on multiple levels. They said this film makes an impact beyond the theater.
Sounds like a tall order for “just” a movie based on a comic book character, right?
I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting that order to be filled.
I was totally wrong. It was filled, alright.
I had tears in my eyes multiple times from the performances as well as sweeping visuals that transported me to Africa.
It moved me so much that I want to start a petition to re-theme the Pandora section of Walt Disney World to Wakanda.
Because: WAKANDA FOREVER!
This country and its people deserve a lasting legacy at the Disney Parks, and I hope someday that it happens. This might only be something a Disney-nerd like me cares about, but, well, I care!
“An experience” is indeed an excellent way to describe this movie.
Black Panther Country of Wakanda
From a cinematic perspective, this was so beautifully done.
As we enter Wakanda for the first time, I got goosebumps and a little teary-eyed at what we saw.
It helped that the three actors on scene at that time were similarly affected by the sight of their beloved homeland: you could feel the pride and love of their African home come through the screen.
Wakanda is fictional. But I still felt that way.
I’m not sure I can remember the last time I was sucked in as quickly as I was by Wakanda and her people.
This movie is basically an embarrassment of riches: the actors, the music, the message.
The plot moves the story along, but anyone with a little comic book background will be able to guess where we’re going as things progress.
Some twists and turns, but nothing I personally didn’t figure out a few minutes in advance of the reveal. But I was also hoping/looking for it- so that might have factored in.
The Women Of Black Panther
The easy way to set up a superhero movie is to focus on the (typically) male hero and his (typically) male foe.
Black Panther said, “Nah, we know what’s up. Our women are going to be front and center, and they will carry this movie.”
Every single woman you see in Black Panther is a warrior.
She may also be a scientist, a pilot, a spy, a general, a bodyguard, a mother, and a woman in love.
But make no mistake: she’s a warrior first and foremost.
Often the “strong female” is portrayed far too masculine. Not in Black Panther.
These women were not forced to be anything other than what they were: brilliant, beautiful, feminine, and fierce.
I knew from the start that there wouldn’t be one of those moments where the women needed saving- they handled what needed to be done.
My favorite character was T’Challa’s sister, Shuri.
The brilliant scientist and- oh, yeah, Princess– is geek girl goals, y’all. You are going to love her!
You’re going to love all these women who know how to take care of business.
Sorry… I can’t stop myself!
Black Panther Parent Movie Review: Is Black Panther Kid Friendly?
There are so many lessons to be learned that I want to shout YES, Black Panther is kid friendly!
I want to encourage everyone to take your kids- all of them- and have a real discussion around the family table afterward about how the movie treats gender and race.
The lessons learned in Black Panther are told without a heavy hand; I never felt preached to.
I took in what I was seeing and hearing and understood the impact this movie will have on the black community. Black superheroes and brilliant black scientists and a rich and vibrant African culture all on screen in one of the biggest movies of the year?
This is BIG. Winston Duke big, y’all! (He was fantastic- one of my favorite characters to watch on screen!)
But I hope the impact goes beyond color or race and that we all take note of these lessons shared from the storytelling in Black Panther.
“It is your time,”- indeed.
Like I said- I want to say those things and give my blessing to even the youngest of children to see this movie.
However, I can’t.
What Age Is Ok For Black Panther
This movie is rated PG-13.
Which doesn’t mean you have to wait until they are 13 to see the film, in my opinion.
Typically I can sum things up by saying if your child has seen all the Marvel movies, then they should be fine with this one.
But Black Panther had a little bit more personal violence going on that makes me hesitate with a younger child.
There are multiple scenes of hand-to-hand fighting where we see spears piercing bodies. Bloody wounds, deaths, and a throat cutting take place.
It was a little intense to watch at times, and I’m an old lady!
The scenes are important and serve a purpose, so definitely not gratuitous. But still might be a bit too much for a young child.
There was no sex or much explicit language- not on the level of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 at all (one character does flip the bird, however).
My children are 15, 12, 11 and 6. Here are my recommendations for each age based on my children’s maturity levels.
Teen/Tweens Should be good to go. And I’d say this is an important movie for them to see. Unless they are highly sensitive, children in this age range will be able to follow the story and enjoy it. There is fighting and violence because it’s an action movie. I plan on taking my three older children to this movie and having some talks afterward.
8 to 10-years old Depends greatly on the maturity level. If they have seen and understood the previous Marvel movies, these superhero lovers probably going to be fine. Just remember the up close and personal nature of some of the fights as you decide what to do here.
If your child of this age is highly sensitive, you may want to avoid the movie or screen it ahead of time.
And I’d possibly avoid 3-D movies at this age, however. It can make the whole experience a bit more intense! My screening was an IMAX 3-D experience, so, yes… intense!
7 and Under I say, “proceed with caution” in this age range. I’d mostly say don’t do it, but there are exceptions of course. Most likely it’s not appropriate for your kid, I mean, it’s got a PG-13 rating for a reason.
It is rated PG-13 due to violence and adult themes so a child who only watches Thomas the Tank Engine is probably not ready for this one.
Here’s where that parenting thing comes in: know your child and know what they can and can’t handle. My youngest happens to grasp the line between fiction and reality well. She doesn’t repeat lines from movies that she shouldn’t (at least, I haven’t been called into school just yet over it!).
But does she *need* to see Black Panther? We’re going to say no at this time- and that will break her Marvel-loving heart a little.
Ahhh… parenting. It’s not always easy for a good Marvel fan to be a good parent, is it? She can get her fill of WAKANDA FOREVER! in another few years.
Other Marvel Parent Movie Reviews
Be sure to come back for more Parent Movie Reviews– they’re included in every movie review I write!
Like BLACK PANTHER on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackPantherMovie
Follow BLACK PANTHER on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theblackpanther
Follow Marvel Studios on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvelstudios/
BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres everywhere on February 16, 2018!
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.