Night at the Museum Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is divorced, unemployed and about to be evicted—again. Yet the string of failures he calls his life pulls him up short when he realizes his habitual instability is causing his ten-year-old son Nick (Jake Cherry) to lose faith in him. Desperate to change this past pattern, Larry agrees to take a menial job as a night watchman at the New York City Museum.
Because babysitting a dark building full of inanimate statues, miniature panoramas, taxidermy animals and preserved skeletons doesn’t sound like it should take much skill, Larry pays little attention to the job training or instruction manual provided by the three elderly security guards (played by Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs) whom he will be replacing. But the sun has barely set before he regrets having not asked the experienced gentlemen a few more questions about the post.
The first clue noticed by the novice shift-worker that something unusual is afoot is the disappearance of the large T-rex display by the front door. But the mystery of the missing dinosaur proves to be the least of his perplexing problems after Larry stumbles into the enormous, now-ambulatory skeleton a few moments later. While fleeing from the frightening creature, the hunted man discovers the beast is not the only artifact that has literally come to life. Everything in the museum has been resurrected and is now living out its history, including an aggressive Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), a horse-riding Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), a miniature gun-slinging cowboy (Owen Wilson) and an equally tiny Roman centurion (Steve Coogan).
In the ensuing mayhem a mischievous monkey from the African Mammals exhibit steals Larry’s keys, leaving the defenseless man to fend for himself amidst troops of bayonet-bearing American Revolutionary Soldiers, swarms of miniscule, poisonous-dart-blowing Mayans and some large-as-life, hungry lions. Although all of these potentially life-threatening situations are played for laughs, they may still scare very young viewers. Other content concerns are minimal, consisting of a couple of mild profanities, some terms of deity used as expletives, and a few verbal sexual innuendos.
Yet, for a silly story aimed at children, the film (which mixes live action and computer animation) does offer positive messages about teamwork, cooperation, and taking control of one’s life—with an ample helping of history appreciation on the side. Playing out like an amusement park ride, Night at the Museum may be the perfect choice for an enjoyable night at the movies with your kids.Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson. Theatrical release December 21, 2006. Updated March 14, 2009
Night at the Museum
Rating & Content Info
Why is Night at the Museum rated PG? Night at the Museum is rated PG by the MPAA for mild action, language and brief rude humor.
Spend a night at this museum and you’ll be sure to see plenty of silly antics, slapstick violence and moments of mild peril. These include warring factions, stalking animals, brawls, shootings, sword fights, explosions, vehicle crashes, and the effects of an Egyptian curse. A couple of deaths are implied, a wax dummy is seriously injured when he is cut in half, and scrapes and bruises are shown. In a comedic fashion, a character is tied to a railroad track, shot with poisonous darts and mentally tormented. A few sexual innuendos are spoken, along with a couple of mild profanities and some terms of deity that are used as expletives.
Page last updated March 14, 2009
Night at the Museum Parents' Guide
What does Teddy Roosevelt mean when he tells Larry, “Some men are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them”? Which of these two statements describes Larry? Which describes Teddy? How can you apply this message in your life?
Larry is reminded that if people don’t learn from the past, them may make the same mistakes in the future. What does Larry learn from the past? How does that change his future? Although the movie is an exaggerated example of this council, how is it true in real life? What lessons can you learn from history?
The most recent home video release of Night at the Museum movie is April 23, 2007. Here are some details…
DVD Release Date: 24 April 2007
Night at the Museum comes to DVD in either a Single Disc Version (wide or full screen) or a 2-Disc Special Edition (wide screen). Both options offer commentaries by director Shawn Levy and by screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. But if you’re willing to pay the extra admission on the two-disc edition, you’ll get the movie wrapped in a cool, Three-D package plus an archive of bonus extras. These include deleted and extended scenes (with optional commentary by director Shawn Levy), an alternate opening scene, a blooper reel, and theatrical trailers. There is a collection of featurettes too, such as Directing 101, Bringing the Museum to Life, Acting with Nothing, Monkey Business, Building the Museum, Historical Threads (a look at the costumes), The Making of Night at the Museum, and a storyboard comparison (introduced by Shawn Levy). And if that’s not enough, there are also two DVD-ROM games, Explorer and Reunite with Rexy. Whatever you chose, Night at the Museum‘s audio track will be presented in English (Dolby Surround 5.1 DTS), French (Dolby Surround) and Spanish (Dolby Surround), with subtitles in English and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
Another movie set in a museum (that also includes a mischievous monkey) is Curious George. Miniature men interact with life-sized characters in the film Indian In The Cupboard. New York City is not the only place where nightfall brings strange changes… it happens in the world of Shrek too.