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"The Hobbit" - A Parent's Guide to the Holiday's Biggest Blockbuster

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"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens in theaters this weekend.

Despite being an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's children's book, is the PG-13 rated film appropriate for kids? MomLogic's Lawrence Yee breaks down the film.


Plot: Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is enlisted by Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to help a company of dwarves reclaim their mountain kingdom from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, the group encounters trolls, elves, goblins and a sneaky character named Gollum (Andy Serkis).

Violence: "The Hobbit" is filled with action sequences. Enemies range from hulking trolls to fearsome, fang-baring wargs. It's standard fantasy fare -- lots of clanging swords and axes. Luckily (mild spoiler), the heroes often remain unscathed from perilous situations. Young viewers may find the decapitations and disembowelments disturbing.

Sex: There are no depictions of sex in "The Hobbit." In fact, the only major female character is Galadriel (Cate Blanchett).

Profanity: The dwarves mumble and grumble, but there is no obvious profanity.

Drug use: Wizards Gandalf the Grey and Radagast the Brown take deep puffs from a pipe. In one scene, Radagast appears to get quite high.

Adult themes: The sense of doom and death that permeates "The Lord of the Rings" is absent in "The Hobbit." As the title suggests, it's a journey rather than a life-or-death mission. The plotline does revolve around the loss of a parent, in this case, Thorin's (Richard Armitage) avenging his father Thrain's death.

Summary: At 169 minutes, even the calmest kids will begin to fidget. They also may not be accustomed to "The Hobbit's" 48-frames-per-second visuals (which makes everything look hyper clear). The characters are likeable, but there is little emotional investment. Kids will probably care more about the action sequences and struggle with some of the dialogue and length of the film.

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