A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although the movie is rated PG-13, this Web site is definitely marketed to a younger audience. There are links throughout the site that lead to product promotion pages, and the games available often take on a violent spin. However, not everything on this site is inappropriate for elementary kids; in fact, there are some games and activities just right for that age. But, if you don't want your first grader begging to see a movie designed for the over 13 crowd, then it might be wise to avoid this clever bit of online marketing.
Is it any good?
Letting the kids visit Hasbro's G.I. JOE a lot like letting them indulge in an ice cream sundae before supper. Sure, you know it's not good for them, but there are definitely worse things. With the assortment of machine guns and assault rifles strewn about the pages, it would seem this site was designed by the president of the NRA. Some of the features are just obvious commercials for the line of movie-related merchandise, but there are some truly fun games that salvage the site. From heart-pounding spy missions to a Family Feud-style trivia show, these online activities are fun, without being overly violent. The site is at its best when it offers up retro comics and kitschy stop-motion action figures, rather than the high-gloss modern Joe.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why movies these days are rated PG-13 but marketed to much younger kids. Do you think young kids, especially boys, will think a movie is cooler if it has a higher rating and will then want to buy the products? Is there a stigma to G and PG-rated movies amongst kids? Would G.I. Joe be un-cool if it was just PG? Read "Help! My G-Rated Kids Want to See PG-13 Transformers" for some handy advice.
Do you think movies are now made because of their marketing possibilities? Can you think of a movie you've seen in the summer that didn't have related items like toys and video games accompanying its release?
G.I. Joe began as a kids' action figure toy. Today it's a movie for teens and adults. Can you think of any other kids' franchises that have grown with audiences? What about Harry Potter? Go to "Harry Potter By Age and Stage" to find out how to adapt when characters grow up.