If there’s one thing the Barbie movie has completely nailed right out of the gate, it’s marketing. Because since the first teaser trailer dropped earlier this year, it’s been BARBIE EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE. Naturally, your kids are going to want to see it when it opens in theaters everywhere this weekend.

But is the Barbie movie actually meant for kids? The answer is complicated, because, well, it’s yes and no. Because it’s basically a kids’ movie for adults, if that makes sense.


While the Barbie toy is iconic (legendary, even), the trailer for the movie makes it clear the movie is targeted toward a more mature audience. But just because kids don’t understand nihilistic humor (“Do you guys ever think about dying?” the film’s star, Margot Robbie, asks her fellow Barbie pals in one brilliant scene) doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t watch the movie. Or handle curse words or innuendos that will likely go right over their heads.

That being said, here’s a handy—and non-expert—guide for parents about whether or not your kids should actually see the movie that everyone on earth is gearing up for this weekend, or if they’re better off having a serious case of FOMO instead.

What to consider before taking your kids to see the Barbie movie

First things first: the movie has garnered a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. This means if your kid is under the age of 13, they should probably go with a parent or guardian. The reason for the PG-13 rating is due to “suggestive references and brief language.”

Basically, this means there is cursing of some form, but it’s limited to only a few instances. Additionally, there is one scene where a group of men are harassing Barbie—with one of them slapping her on the behind. She, in turn, punches him in the face (feminism!) and ends up in the slammer with Ken.

Another scene features a child melting a doll’s hair with a lighter. While that can certainly be labeled as dangerous behavior, it doesn’t mean all kids who watch the movie are going to become little Barbie pyromaniacs.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide to purchase a ticket for yourself and your Barbie-loving kid this weekend.

  1. Do I care if my child hears a few swear words?
  2. Is my child of an age or maturity level where they would understand a sexual innuendo?
  3. Am I prepared to answer questions about said sexual innuendo if so?
  4. Am I prepared to talk about any of the scenes meant more for adults/teens?
  5. Am I prepared to hear the endless whining about wanting to see the Barbie movie because everyone is seeing the Barbie movie and OH MY GOD IT’S SO UNFAIR?

I, too, wrestled with the idea of taking my almost-eight-year-old to see the movie that she has already assumed she’s seeing because, well, it’s Barbie. And then I thought about movies like “Shrek” and “Big” and “Aladdin” (the scene with Princess Jasmine in the red outfit is a canon event for all, let’s get real), and pretty much every Pixar movie in existence (even “Frozen” has a penis size joke, after all). Not to mention all the totally inappropriate movies I watched as a kid with quips and puns that went completely over my head!


And I decided I’m going to take my daughter to see it. If she has questions, fine. If she, as I suspect, is completely oblivious to everything meant for my humor and not hers—great. If she has questions, well, that’s OK too. She’s already quoting the flat-foot scene like crazy, and who am I to deny her the opportunity to wear hot pink to the movie theater and enjoy the comedic stylings of a banger cast of actors?!

The bottom line here is that each kid is going to react to this movie differently. You know your kid best (and your own comfort zone as a parent), so ultimately you’ll make the right call about the Barbie movie.