Why is The Golden Compass rated PG-13?
Official MPAA Rating: The Golden Compass is rated PG-13 for for sequences of fantasy violence.
Riding on a wave of controversy based on anti-Catholic and anti-Christian content in the book upon which this film is based, The Golden Compass‘s main concerns for parents (aside from the portrayal of a tyrannical, religious governmental ruling body) will be depictions of violence toward children, animals and adults. The child protagonist is in constant peril and is often fearful of adults. Children and their animal “souls” (represented by real animals that follow them closely) are seen locked in cages and being separated by electric shock therapy. A battle develops that has people killing one another with spears and guns. Two polar bear-like characters viciously fight each other. Sexual content is limited to a mention of an unwed pregnancy (and Nicole Kidman’s form-fitting dress). Social drinking is depicted, and one child drinks what looks like wine and then spits it out. No anti-religious remarks toward a specific religious group or faith are heard. No profanities were noted.