With the film version of the highly-acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton set to hit Disney+ on Friday, many parents are already planning their family's next movie night. But is Hamilton appropriate for kids under age 5? There are a few things parents should know before deciding to include young kids in their viewing party.
Shot onstage in 2016 at The Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, the film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. It's been given a PG-13 rating "for language and some suggestive material" ahead of its Friday premiere on Disney+, according to Forbes. And while Miranda has promised fans they'll get the same show on Disney+ as they would have attending a live performance, he did admit to making one change to ensure the film earned a PG-13 rating.
"You're getting the whole show, every note & scene, & a 1-minute countdown clock during intermission," Miranda tweeted when asked if the PG-13 rating meant the film had been changed at all. "But MPAA has a hard rule about language: more than 1 utterance of [the F-word] is an automatic R rating. We have 3 [F-words] in our show. So, I literally gave two [F-words] so the kids could see it."
That means parents should expect one utterance of the F-word in Hamilton. According to Miranda, the film mutes the F-word in the song "Yorktown" and in the song "Washington On Your Side." It's worth noting that, in both New York and London, children under the age of 4 are not permitted into the theater for performances of Hamilton due to the show's strong language.
Language aside, the musical's plot also includes mature themes such as infidelity and death. While the references to infidelity in Hamilton may go over the heads of kids 5 and under, parents should be aware of their existence prior to hitting "play," and they should also be aware that a number of characters in Hamilton, including Alexander Hamilton himself, die, which could prove upsetting to very young children. Additionally, parents may need to explain pertinent historical events and context to younger children before watching to help them understand what's happening onscreen.
Parents may also want to consider the length of the film. Hamilton is expected to run 2 hours and 40 minutes, which could mean lots of breaks and pauses for restless and wiggly children 5 and under. Thankfully, Hamilton's arrival on Disney+ means families can experience this hit Broadway musical on their own time at home, meaning parents can pause, fast forward, and rewind as often as needed.
Romper reached out to Common Sense Media for their advice and received the following emailed response from a representative:
"I would say that while the music is fun for all, the complex plot including lots of American history that’s hard for even some adults to understand, guns and duels, affairs, and strong language makes it most appropriate for older kids/tweens."
Parent reviews on Common Sense Media likewise suggest reserving the film for kids 10 and up, but only individual moms and dads can decide if their tots are ready to experience this hit on Disney+.