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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


PG-13 rating becomes new PG rating

Henry Pearson
Movie ratings create controversy since these evaluations are subjective.

Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) was founded in 1922 due to the lack of censorship of films and the increase of complaints of distribution at the time. Now every film must go through the Motion Picture Association, as the MPPDA was renamed in 2019, to get a full theatrical distribution around the United States. As well as the rating system, established in 1968, they’ve been reducing piracy and have elevated copyright protection.

Over the years, the rating system has gone through several changes. Rated X changed to NC-17, and the birth of the PG-13 rating, in 1984. After “Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom” and “Gremlins” were both released featuring light violence and brief shots of gore, there were several complaints from parents and critics about the PG rating.

The film did not have enough violence to receive an R-rating, thus the MPAA created the PG-13 rating. “Red Dawn” was the first film released under the PG-13 rating in 1984.

Parents take their young or teen children to see light action films and superhero films, regardless of a PG or PG-13 rating. So is PG-13 the new PG? Films with a G-rating have been receding, recently, leaving the PG-rating to be open for films just appealing to children.

Marvel and DC films have been made with hard action, visually appealing characters and settings, and light-hearted comedy, designed to appeal to children, adults and fans. And not just in the theater, with the rise of physical media, parents can easily show their younger children these films, and even R-rated films.

And some animated features have been released straight-to-video, and have received PG-13 and R-ratings.

But in the late eighties, after the birth of the PG-13 rating, comedic films were released with a PG rating, with one or two f-bombs in a sexual or non-sexual manner. But little-to-no complaints were addressed from parents and critics.

More superhero films, action films and most romantic comedies have been released with a PG-13 rating, for either language, action or thematic elements, with little-to-no sexual scenes or dialogue. The Marvel and DC films and mini-series have been made for the appeal of children and adults alike.

Every parent is different, and the rating system is often subjective, in the end. To find out more about the rating system and it’s history, check out the MPA’s website now.

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