Hmm. The source I checked gave it a “G”, which surprised me.
I see that it is rated “G” in Canada, but I wasn’t looking at a Canadian site, and can’t find it right now. Perhaps they changed it before release, possibly by roughing up some language.
It might also be that the threshold between G and PG has shifted downward, so that only really innocuous (and thus difficult to make interesting for adults) movies are rated G. For instance, I recall (and confirmed at IMDb) that Star Trek: The Motion(less) Picture was rated G, which struck me as surprising given that horrific oopsie with the transporter – my gut feeling is that it would definitely get a PG nowadays.
When the Robert Wise Director’s Cut was released on DVD in 2001, Paramount resubmitted the to the MPAA, hoping to get what they viewed as a more commercial PG this time. They got it, due to the revamped soundtrack being more “intense”. The MPAA content advisory cites “Violence, Profanity”, both of which were present in the original G-rated theatrical cut. The movie came out when I was in high school, and we wondered how a movie that ends with a guy banging a robot got a G. Our joke was the rating board had all fallen asleep from boredom by that point and didn’t realize what was happening.
I remember an interview with John Waters at the time “Hairspray” was released. He claimed to be disappointed to have gotten a PG. He said he had been hoping for a G, as he thought a John Waters-directed G movie was the most subversive thing he could think of.
IIRC, the original PLANET OF APES – where a guy is shot and killed, and another is captured and lobotomized, and a third resorts to profanity bordering on blasphemy upon realizing just how awful the situation is – was rated G.
Another factor to consider is that the standards for what constitutes a G and PG rated movie have changed since 2004. For example, the MPAA seems to be more sensitive about scenes that could be too scary or intense for younger children so it gave Finding Dory at PG to ward off potential parent complaints.
To summarize: The creators (writers, artists, directors, producers, etc) have been realizing that material doesn’t have to be completely watered-down pablum to be suitable for children, while the ratings people have been forgetting the very same thing.
Indeed; we took my nephew (who was then 3) to “Finding Nemo,” and several of the more frightening scenes (such as the attack at the beginning, in which Nemo’s mother dies) really scared him, to the point that he was bothered by it for several days afterwards.
And, yes, that proves the general thesis pretty well: G is dead, long live PG and, for films for a general audience, PG-13. Sing is about as innocuous as a modern movie can be: It’s an old-fashioned musical starring funny animals with a positive, uplifting message and songs they can hear on the radio.
If Sing is too much for a G, the rating may as well mean “infant movie” or similar.
Further evidence: I am a proud uncle of a three-year-old girl. She loves the movie Frozen, has loved it for practically her entire life, and Frozen is rated PG. If a Disney Animated Canon Princess Movie is getting a PG, the G rating is too narrow to apply to any wide-release film. It no longer has a commercial niche, because it can no longer apply to any films a real theater has any commercial business exhibiting.
Not only that, but the PG/PG-13 threshold has shifted downward. I remember as a kid, you’d occasionally get a flash of titty or maybe a few “shits” or other bad language, and quite a bit of violence in a PG movie.
When was the last time anyone recalls seeing ANY nudity in a PG movie, however fleeting? Or even a PG-13 movie for that matter? It seems to be the exclusive province of R movies now. Same for foul language; I can’t remember hearing much in PG-13 in a long time. Violence seems to be the only thing that distinguishes a PG from a PG-13, and in other ways, the R movies have taken most of the mantle of language and nudity.
Question for you or anyone else who has seen the movie: What does its “rude humor” consist of? Things like fart jokes?
And, for those who can remember that far back, is that “rude humor” the kind of thing that would have been considered at least mildly shocking or surprising in a kid-friendly movie way back in the 1940s or 50s or 60s?
My impression is that our cultural notions of what’s crude and vulgar have changed over the years. Nowadays we have more tolerance for scatological humor and “bad words,” but less tolerance for racial/ethnic stereotypes. But there are still enough people with old-fashioned sensibilities left around that they’re afraid to give a G rating to a movie that has anything that could be considered at all offensive by yesterday or today’s standards, just because someone, somewhere, would be bound to complain.
Yeah, between the shift in ratings standards and studios preferring PG/PG-13, the trend is quite noticeable.
While these are based on release date and some late year release could make the list, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Despite needing only about $11M to make that top 200 list. (Vs. about $85M for PG, $130M for PG-13, $83M for R. The NC-17 list ends at 31 with $15k.)