Should Your Kids See The New Fantastic Beasts Movie? Here's What Parents Need To Know

It’s a magical movie, but darker than you might expect.

Millennial parents are now in an interesting position when it comes to the magical world of Harry Potter films. Many watched the original eight movies when they were young themselves and now that there is an entire spin-off series of movies, who could blame them for wanting to dive back into that world with their own kids? The Fantastic Beasts series is full of magic and intrigue and fun, but remember; just as with the original Harry Potter series, the movies get darker as they delve deeper into their story. And Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a far less kid-friendly than the original Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore goes dark.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third installment in the series and picks up five years after Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald left off. This time around, Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) has entrusted magizoologist Newt Scarmander (Eddie Redmayne) to help him stop Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) from attacking Muggles in his proposed war against non-magical people and seizing control of the magical world. Newt was first introduced to fans in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them when he traveled to New York with a suitcase full of magical creatures, and some of the friends he made along the way are back to help him and Dumbledore stop Grindelwald’s army.

In this movie, the beasts are scarier.

The beasts in the first Fantastic Beasts movie were, by and large, funnier than they were menacing. Not so in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. When deciding how your kids will react to the movie, imagine scorpion-like creatures or giant prison beasts with tentacles instead of cute little thieving creatures who hide jewels in their fur.

The movie includes several mature themes.

Kids might also struggle with the fact that Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore is full of adults dealing with grown-up issues like an upcoming election where Grindelwald hopes to officially take over. He uses hatred for Muggles (who he refers to as “animals”) to try to win the election, and his followers use Unforgivable Curses to control their enemies. Or torture them, or even kill them. It is probably too much for young kids to follow.

But positive messaging makes it worthwhile.

Older kids, on the other hand, would do well to catch Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. As Common Sense Media points out, there is some inclusive representation, with Black and Asian supporting characters and gay characters as well. The message of the movie also leans towards being cognizant and respectful of everyone’s differences rather than trying to force them to be the same, and that’s always great for older kids to see.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is rated PG-13.

The movie has been given a rating of PG-13 for fantasy violence, particularly towards magical animals. And while the cursing in the movie is pretty mild, the subject matter is complicated enough that kids 13 and up would be the ideal age group for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is playing in theaters across the country. If you want to catch up on the first two movies, you can stream them both on HBO Max and Peacock Premium

Ultimately, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore feels like it was made for millennials who might want to enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane in the magical world of Hogwarts, not for little ones who could either get confused, bored, or frightened of the beasts themselves.