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Is Better Nate Than Ever Kid Friendly? Parents Guide

Wondering if Better Nate Than Ever on Disney+ is ok for kids? With a charming cast of newcomers, tons of fun and energy, and a heartwarming story for all ages, Better Nate Than Ever is a joy to watch. From the creator of High School Musical The Musical The Series, Time Federle shares a semi-autobiographical tale of a kid trying to achieve his dreams of being a Broadway star. Here’s what parents need to know in this Better Nate Than Ever Parents Guide.

Better Nate Than Ever Family Friendly

Better Nate Than Ever Parents Guide Review

Nate Foster (Rueby Wood) is a middle-schooler who dreams of theater and being on Broadway, much to the chagrin of his older brother, Anthony (Joshua Bassett). After being overlooked again for a leading role in his school play, his best friend, Libby (Aria Brooks), is determined to cheer Nate up. She finds a casting call for a Lilo & Stitch Musical in New York City; the only problem is they live in Pittsburgh and have no parental permission.

When Nate’s parents just happen to be going out of town for the weekend, he and Libby hop on a bus to New York City with a dream and a cardigan. Ok, scratch that Miley reference, but you get the drift. They run into some issues with their plan, including running into Nate’s Aunt Heidi (Lisa Kudrow), who is estranged from the family after missing her sister’s wedding many years ago for an audition and an opportunity for her chance on Broadway. Hoping Heidi doesn’t tell on them, Nate and Libby have to think quick so Nate can finally get his shot at his dream.

What is Better Nate Than Ever Rated?

Better Nate Than Ever is rated PG for thematic elements, mild language, and a suggestive reference which means it may not be suitable for kids of all ages.

Language

Words like loser and weird are directed at some kids. A character says they have a “pornographic memory,” as a mistake.

Mature Content

A character is bullied at school and called names. 

Two middle schoolers travel to New York City on their own without parental permission and lie to them.

When Libby reveals she may have feelings for Nate, Nate proclaims he’s “not like that.” 

There are strained familial relationships between some of the characters.

Better Nate Than Ever Kid Friendly

Is Better Nate Than Ever Appropriate for Kids Under 12?

Better Nate Than Ever has been described as a Ferris Bueller for theater kids, and it’s every bit as fun as that sounds! You don’t have to be a theater kid to appreciate this film. You don’t have to be a parent to appreciate this film. You don’t even have to be a kid to appreciate it. But if you’re someone who has ever felt different or unsure if it’s ok to be who you are, then you can relate to Nate. 

When I first watched the film, I wondered why Nate didn’t say he was gay. And then I appreciated that this is an age-appropriate, LGBTQ friendly movie, because Nate, at that moment, didn’t have to define his sexuality. Maybe he didn’t know. Maybe he wasn’t ready to say it out loud or maybe he’s still trying to figure it out. But it’s his story and his journey. 

Wood has an infectious zeal  and a heart of gold that makes you smile. While it may be too much for some people, it was a great contrast to his doubters. Although Brooks plays his best friend, Libby was not a sidekick. She is a star. While Libby is struggling to also find her place, Brooks commands the screen with her confidence and sass. When a student overhears Nate’s and Libby’s conversation and says they’re so weird, Libby proclaims, “We know.”

Tweens and teens will want to watch the film as Joshua Bassett (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series)is one of the stars. A bit underused, Bassett manages to bring to life one of the most heartfelt moments of the film. I wished they fleshed out more of his story and the pressures of sports and his relationship with Nate. 

Another underdeveloped story was that of Aunt Heidi and Nate’s mom. The rift was addressed a few times, but the resolution came a little too quickly. However, anytime Lisa Kudrow is on screen, you remember why you love Lisa Kudrow. 

Better Nate Than Ever teaches kids to follow their dreams and that it’s more than ok to be themselves. In a world where social media and comparison plagues these kids, especially in middle school, Nate is a respite. This joyful coming-of-age film tells kids to shine and there’s a spot for everyone at the theater kids’ table. 

With overflowing talent, authentic stories, and bright musical numbers, Better Nate Than Ever is a family-friendly win. Based on a series of books, I hope we get more Nate in the future.

Better Nate Than Ever Parents Guide