Early Man Parent Guide
If you call it soccer instead of football, you may be at a disadvantage with this UK production.
Parent Movie Review
What is the name of the sport played with a black and white checkered ball? If you call it soccer instead of football, you may be at a disadvantage with this UK production.
Using stop-frame techniques, Aardamn Animation sets out to prove what many Brits have believed all along: Football is in their blood because the history of their involvement with the sport goes back to prehistoric times. According to this account, the game kicked off after a meteor struck the earth (in the vicinity of present-day Manchester). It continued to evolve, and by the Bronze Age, both playing and spectating had become almost a religion.
Unfortunately, a small tribe still stuck in the Stone Age is unaware of the wildly popular pastime. It isn’t until their metal-seeking neighbors trespass into their valley that the group discovers there is a more advanced civilization. The primitive band is promptly cast off their turf by the greedy Lord Nooth (voice of Tom Hiddleston). After the foul treatment, they are unsure how to reclaim their valley. That’s when Dug (voice of Eddie Redmayne) accidentally stumbles into their modern city, discovers the football arena and witnesses the competitive sport. Bravely (and naively) he challenges the home team to a high stakes game where the champions will win the right to the contested land.
The comedy in the film comes from watching these unmatched rivals prepare for battle on the field, along with portrayals of ancient materials adapted into modern-day conveniences (like using a beetle for a razor, or pigeons for telephones). It is all a bit silly, with a whole lot of slapstick thrown in. With the exception of some evil intentions and mild sports violence, the film will be appropriate for most ages of viewers.
However, the humor will likely be best appreciated by audiences that are avid football fans and/or those who get it’s distinctly British nuances. As I don’t fit well into either of those categories, many of the jokes flew over my head. Yet there was one thing I did catch – a new explanation for those occasions when soccer enthusiasts appear to be behaving like Neanderthals.Directed by Nick Park. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Eddie Redmayne . Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release February 16, 2018. Updated February 16, 2018
Rating & Content Info
Why is Early Man rated PG? Early Man is rated PG by the MPAA for rude humor and some action.
Violence: The animation contains frequent slapstick antics and mild sports violence. Natural disasters are depicted, including erupting volcanos and meteorites hitting the earth. Skeletons of dinosaurs are shown. A character with greedy intentions invades the homeland of a group of people, and throws then off their land. Rabbits are hunted (unsuccessfully) for food. Spears and bow and arrows are used as weapons. A large wild animal attacks characters. Characters sneak into forbidden areas, attempt to steal things and are chased by authority figures. Characters are threatened with death and enslavement. Teammates on a football team verbally mock their opponents and attempt to injure them. Characters make bets on sporting competitions. A female character is deemed incapable of playing a sport.
Sexual Content: Male characters are seen without shirts and in their underwear. Nakedness is presumed when characters are seen showering and in a bath tub. Naked male buttocks are briefly shown. Mild sexual innuendo and potty humor are included. Characters embrace.
Profanity: Infrequent mild profanity and name-calling are heard.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated February 16, 2018
More parents' guide for Early Man after the break...
Early Man Parents' Guide
Dug and his group are disadvantaged in the competition because they know nothing about the sport. What kind of support does their team get? Who is on board with Dug's decision to wager their freedom and homeland on winning the game? Who is not? What physical and physiological challenges do they face? Which of these issues proves the most crippling for their chances of success?
Are you a football/soccer fan? Does the sport ever feel like a religion to you? What is the most important part of the game for you? What different motivations are depicted in the characters in this film? Can you relate to any of them?