First Kid

  • Review Date: April 16, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1996
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Goofy '90s comedy with pratfalls and some gunplay.
  • Review Date: April 16, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1996
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Even if he is the "First Kid," Luke is still a kid and needs to go out and experience life like any other boy. If kids don't get the love, attention, and care they need, they'll act out.

Positive role models

Simms grows to see Luke as a boy who needs to get away from the demands of being the son of the president of the United States and simply have fun like any other boy. Luke transitions from bratty to likeable over the course of the movie.

Violence

Lots of comedic pratfalls in this one. Characters fall into walls, trip on floors, roller skate into giant birthday cakes. As the new kid at his school, Luke encounters bullying, and gets into two fistfights with another boy. During a climactic scene, characters pull guns as Luke is nearly abducted.

Sex

Brief nonsexual glimpse of Luke's bottom as he moons the press corps at the mall as a prank.

Language

"Sucks" is said twice, "hell" is said once, and Sam is often called a "dork" by the bullies at school.

Consumerism

At a roller rink, Sinbad's character dresses as a giant Coke Classic mascot on wheels. Characters are seen eating McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, and Dunkin' Donuts.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Early in the film, Secret Service officers are seen at a bar holding and drinking beers, and one character appears quite intoxicated.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Sinbad vehicle about the growing pains of the president's son is filled with comedic pratfalls. We get a brief glimpse of bare bottom when the "First Son" moons the press corps as a prank. There is some bullying, and the idea that learning to box will fix that problem. There is a sublot involving an online stalker, but this topic is dealt with less in a substantive way and more as tools to advance the story, but the fact that they are in the film does offer families the chance to discuss these issues in more constructive ways.

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What's the story?

Luke Davenport wishes he could be like any other 13-year-old boy, but as the son of the president of the United States, he's never allowed to have any fun and doesn't even get to spend much time alone or with his parents. This causes him to act out in various bratty ways, but when Secret Service officer Sam Simms is hired to protect Luke, Simms tries helping Luke navigate the difficulties of becoming a teenager -- from asking out a girl, dealing with bullies, or simply learning how to dance. Simms is willing to bend the rules to help make Luke's life more fun, but when the Secret Service has enough of Simms' permissiveness, Luke runs away, and everyone must work together to find him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

FIRST KID can't seem to make up its mind as to whether or not it's a coming-of-age film about the son of the president of the United States, or a vehicle for Sinbad to play a Secret Service man and get into zany hijinx. It tries to do both, and while the results aren't as awful as some other kids' movies, the pratfalls don't draw a whole lot of laughter, nor is there much empathy for the First Kid until perhaps halfway through the film, where he starts to actually seem like any other awkward 13 year old and not a spoiled brat.

Through the magic of the "boxing montage," First Kid Luke is taught to stand up to bullies by learning how to punch harder. While some parents out there certainly applaud this solution, others may want alternatives. Still, Serviceman Simms helps Luke ask out a girl and teaches him to dance, and while the results are about what you'd expect, as something watched for pure entertainment purposes, you could do better, but you could also do much worse.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the problems Luke faces as "the new kid" at his school trying to have a life as the son in a prominent family. How are Luke's problems similar to and different than the problems other new kids face?

  • As a film released in 1996, when the Internet was still new to many people, how is the issue of cyber-stalking handled then compared to how it might be treated today? What can you do to be safe online?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 30, 1996
DVD release date:March 4, 2003
Cast:Robert Guillaume, Sinbad, Timothy Busfeld
Director:David M. Evans
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some violence, language, and brief partial nudity

This review of First Kid was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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