Wondering if Jungle Cruise is ok for kids? Jungle Cruise is rated PG-13 for action, adventure, and violence. Although it may be based off a Disney ride, Jungle Cruise can get dark, especially for young kids. Think Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean. Here’s what parents need to know in this Jungle Cruise Parents Guide.
Jungle Cruise Parents Guide
While the film is inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s Jungle Cruise offers a lot more than nostalgia from the attraction. This adventure takes the audience on a thrill-ride down the Amazon with punny Jungle Cruise skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) and intrepid researcher and botanist Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt).
Nobody will take Lily seriously as a scientist since she’s a woman, so she steals (we’ll say borrows) an artifact from London and travels to the Amazon jungle on a quest to uncover an ancient tree, Tears of the Moon, rumored to have incredible healing abilities. However, the tree is also said to be protected by the jungle and others have died trying to find the tree and use its powers.
Lily runs into Frank, a somewhat sketchy Skipper, and hires him to guide her and her brother downriver on his charming, yet rickety boat. As they embark on the adventure, they run into Trader Sam, a German Prince who will also stop at nothing to get to the tree, and cursed dead (maybe) Spanish Conquistadors. Add those to other dangers and supernatural forces, and the stakes get higher for Lily and Frank.
Why is Jungle Cruise PG-13?
According to the MPAA, Jungle Cruise is rated PG-13 “for sequences of adventure violence.” The movie can get dark and has a definite Pirates of the Caribbean ghost vibe.
There are uses of hell, “oh sh–” that wasn’t completed, and uses of Deity like “Oh my g-d.”
Some of the villains and characters are quite gruesome and gross. There were times I turned my face away, because I’m not a fan of snakes, bugs, creepy crawlies, etc. Basically things you’d find in the Amazon.
There is violence involving guns, spears, fighting, punching, hand-to-hand combat, hands getting burned, explosions, etc.
One scene involves a CGI Tiger that could be scary for young kids.
A character talks about being gay and people who ostracized him because of it.
There is also a scene that includes sexual and dirty jokes when a sword is pulled out of someone.
Is Jungle Cruise Appropriate for Kids Under 13?
If your family is a Disney family and visits the parks often, then you’ll recognize some of the nostalgia and nods the Jungle Cruise gives to the fans. However, it’s not a replica of the ride, and maybe the only thing younger kids will appreciate are some of the corny jokes from the attraction – which are hilarious.
Jungle Cruise is action-packed and is certainly worthy of Adventureland material. But it’s no kids movie. Can kids enjoy it? Absolutely, if they love adventure and movies like Pirates and Indiana Jones. Just be mindful of the scary elements and characters in peril.
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt have a ton of charisma, and they make the movie, with Jack Whitehall as a lovely and hilarious bonus. Yes, you’ll laugh and groan at Skipper Frank’s jokes and puns, just as you do at Disney.
Johnson described Emily Blunt as a female Indiana Jones, and I wouldn’t go quite that far, but her spirit and energy are infectious. She delivers the right amount of sass and wit to make this character a role model for young girls, even having the audacity to wear pants in the early 1900’s.
Jesse Plemons and Edgar Ramirez make for some scary and freaky villains, and they play their roles well. The whole cast is outstanding, and they all give us a way to escape reality for a couple of hours.
Where Jungle Cruise struggles is that sometimes it tries to do too much. There’s a whole lot going on, and it can be chaotic. Some of the CGI is questionable, and the movie is too long. Sometimes it feels like it goes on for Niles and Niles.
A fantastic summer film, Jungle Cruise is a fun ride for the whole family (literally and in the movies), and if you don’t believe me, you’re in…disbelief.
Jungle Cruise is now on Disney+!