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Always popular with young people for decades now, films carry with them their own set of concerns such as representations of violence, diversity and stereotyping. The following section explores movies and the related issues that are relevant for different age groups.

Kids have always enjoyed watching movies, and as films have become available through more and more media this popular activity has come to play an increasingly influential role in their lives: nearly half of Canadian teens say that movies are their favorite entertainment medium. [1]

In this section, we examine some concerns related to the movies kids enjoy and we offer tips for talking about problematic film content such as violence and gender and racial stereotyping.

  • It can take young children several viewings to fully absorb and understand the story and images in a movie. Indulge their need to watch a favourite movie over and over again. They’re learning more every time, as well as getting comfort from the familiar.

Though young adolescents may seem “all grown up”, there are still many issues that need to be addressed relating to movie content. Many movies aimed at the “tween” age group (11–13) contain material that isn’t appropriate for young teens. The rating systems don’t necessarily help either: films that were rated Restricted (17 and over) at the cinema may become 14A when released on home video in Canada.

The Internet has revolutionized how young people watch movies: half of Canadian teens say that they download movies without paying for them at least once a week. [1]