Wondering if The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is ok for kids? This prequel to the Hunger Games films is as violent as the other movies, and doesn’t quite have the same impact. With strong performances by some of the actors, those who love Panem may be frustrated by some of the film. Here’s what parents need to know in this Parents Guide to The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Parents Guide
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes place 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem.
THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage. His parents have both died, his father killed by rebels in District 12.
Coryo Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute chosen unfairly from a poor District 12. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. Snow unites with Lucy Gray to try to turn the odds in their favor. He needs prize money and she needs to live. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.
Parents need to know that The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is extremely violent and earns that PG-13 rating.
Age Rating: Why is The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Rated PG-13?
Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is rated PG-13 for strong violence and disturbing material which means some content is not suitable for kids under 13 years old.
Language is mild in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. There is a couple uses of a** and words like piss and stupid.
Violence: Is The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Too Scary for Kids?
If your kids haven’t seen any of the Hunger Games movies, then The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes isn’t the film to start with. Much like the other Hunger Games movies, there is a lot of violence and death and one of the most violent of all the Hunger Games films.
Expect close up shots of characters dying and being wounded by weapons, being impaled, being hun, gory scenes of slit necks, emotional and physical trauma, foaming at the mouth from poison, animal cruelty, and more.
The brutal killings are cruel and psychologically disturbing.
Mature Content: Is The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Kid Friendly?
Not only should parents be cautious of the violence in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, but the emotional anguish and torture is high, too. Characters are pitted against each other to fight to the death, including children. Some scenes may cause distress to young kids. There were some scenes in which I was wincing and covered my eyes.
A child with special needs is put in the arena of the Hunger Games.
There is no sex or nudity in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, but there is some kissing and characters in underwear. A male character is shirtless in a non-sexual context.
Characters drink alcohol.
Is The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Appropriate for Kids Under 13?
You can expect violence, brutality, death, trauma, characters drinking alcohol, and mild profanity in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. To sum it up, it is not kid friendly for children younger than 13 years old. And even then, be cautious with some tweens and teens.
If your kids have seen the other Hunger Games movies, then they are comparable, but The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes feels even more violent than its predecessors. At 2 hours and 37 minutes, the film not only feels rushed but sometimes too long as parts get tedious.
The 3rd act is probably the weakest, with a rushed ending. The books (as they tend to) delve deeper into the character buildup and internal struggles of the characters. I missed some of that here.
However, as a Hunger Games fan, Coryo Snow’s story of how he becomes who he is in the future is an interesting one. It can show how easily one can change with power and status. Teens and tweens will likely have conflicting feelings over young Snow being a heartthrob. But it will keep them coming back for more.
Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler dazzle, even as they fight for their lives.
An entertaining installment that may not be quite as good as the originals, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes definitely stands on its own merits and charm. I’m not tired of the franchise.