Josie And The Pussycats Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Tired of playing bowling alleys, band leader Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), bass guitarist Valerie (Rosario Dawson), and ditsy drummer Melody (Tara Reid) can’t believe their good fortune when music manager Wyatt Frame (Alan Cumming) comes to sleepy Riverdale and offers them a huge record deal before even hearing them play. Suspicious at first, Josie and the girls figure they have nothing to lose.
Jumping to the top of the charts faster than a cat can climb a tree, the group doesn’t know that Wyatt uses rock star wannabes to further a huge brainwashing project operated by his boss Fiona (Parker Posey), the CEO of Mega Records. Through subliminal messages, Fiona can convince the populace to buy into anything, and utilizes quick success groups to deliver her message, then dumps them when their own egos become infected—like the boy band Wyatt left on a nose-diving plane in the opening scene. Now the only question is how long will these “innocent” kittens have before Fiona puts them to sleep?
Joining the litter of characters populating Archie comics in the early 1960’s, this movie’s attempt to parody our advertising saturated society is a novel approach compared to other sixties-TV-turned-movie titles that belong in the litter box. Yet I wonder if the young crowd this movie is squarely aimed at will understand why corporate logos are placed on every object, wall, and shower curtain in this movie, or will Josie simply be remembered as the most product endorsed film ever, becoming part of the marketing machine the movie is out to slam.
This whole debate may be moot, with many parents wondering about the PG-13 rating that’s been applied to these comic book characters. While the Archie Comics website has even addressed this issue (claiming the movie is obviously incorrectly rated), a sprinkling of mild and moderate profanities along with a slang sexual anatomical term (Pussycats isn’t the innocent phrase it used to be) squarely park this title into the lower end of the PG-13 classification. Add the band members’ barely there costumes and a naked man carefully holding a guitar, and you’ll likely agree that this Josie is a different breed of cat from the one you grew up with.
Starring Rachael Leigh Cook. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release April 11, 2001. Updated April 27, 2009
Josie And The Pussycats
Rating & Content Info
Why is Josie And The Pussycats rated PG-13? Josie And The Pussycats is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for language and mild sensuality.
Just a cat’s whisker better than most TV animations turned real, Josie has some fun music and a story about media manipulation that, a least for a few minutes, is somewhat engaging. However, no matter what the Archie comics website advises, we feel the PG-13 rating is justified due to language. As well, these girls are big on flesh and short on fabric.
Two men (one of them the pilot) parachute from a plane, leaving the four other occupants aboard to die. After exchanging verbal insults, a man and a woman exchange physical hits. Two women are set up to be alone so two men with baseball bats can try and kill them. Two women physically fight, including hair pulling. Woman and man physically fight. Core plot involves criminal use of media for mind control, with U.S. government approval.
Sexual Content: C+
In nearly every scene, Josie and her band members are dressed in tiny outfits that reveal a lot of leg, cleavage, and at times are somewhat transparent or form fitting across their breasts. Other sexual content: Opening song has a double sexual meaning on the soundtrack CD (see our music review), but words are obscured by screaming fans. Girl holds sign with the name of the band written on it, but it is intentionally positioned to create a double sexual meaning. Man and woman launch insults at each other, including mentioning breast and penile implants. Woman asks for change for a tampon. Woman briefly seen in an even briefer bikini. Shoulder shots of girls seen in shower and bathtub. Girls offer to expose tattoos on their bodies, but the scene cuts before we see them. Man touches woman’s back while she’s wearing a revealing backless top. Naked man- except for a carefully positioned guitar. Unmarried man and woman kiss.
No extreme profanities heard. Otherwise, at least: 2 moderate profanities, 1 written anatomical slang term, 22 mild profanities, 9 terms of Deity used as expletives or profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B
Page last updated April 27, 2009
Josie And The Pussycats Parents' Guide
If you do choose to allow your children to see Josie and the Pussycats, make sure you take advantage of the discussions this movie can initiate:
While using subliminal messages has been deemed unethical or even illegal, how do current advertising methods entice us to purchase? Can you think of specific advertisements that appeal to our sense of pride, self-gratification, or our desire to “belong to the group”?
The movie mentions how quickly trends come and go. Do the fashions fads in this film influence or represent trends currently seen? How do you think this movie will appear ten years from now?
The female costumes in this movie are often very revealing. Why are the male costumes not just as revealing? If Wyatt (the music promoter) is already able to brainwash people into buying CD’s, why would he need attractive women in revealing outfits too? How have fashion and sex appeal become a way of brainwashing our society into purchasing items?
Do subliminal messages really work? Although they became very popular in the late 1950’s, there appears to be no hard evidence to prove their effectiveness. For an informative, and what appears to be unbiased look at this topic, check The Straight Dope at http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_187.html
For more detailed information, see The Subliminal Scares at http://www.parascope.com/articles/0397/sublim.htm
Parents please note that the articles on this web site, while written in a psychological context, contain references to sexual topics that may be inappropriate for your children. Other content on this website (which deals with paranormal activities and topics) may also be unsuitable. However, they held one of the best sources on subliminal advertising we could find.
The most recent home video release of Josie And The Pussycats movie is August 14, 2001. Here are some details…
While we didn’t review the DVD edition of Josie And The Pussycats, we provide this information for your convenience:
DVD Release Information:
- Studio: Universal Studios
- Theatrical release date: April 11, 2001
- DVD release date: August 14, 2001
- Runtime: 98 minutes
- Production company: Universal/MCA
- Package type: Keep case
- Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1 aspect ratio
- DVD encoding: Region 1
- Available audio tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Commentary by director and producer.
- “Backstage Pass” featurette.
- Deleted footage.