Top 10 Movies You Won't Believe Are Rated G



Top 10 Movies You Won't Believe Are Rated G

Script written George Pacheco

Are you sure kids can watch these? From The Secret of NIMH, to Brave Little Toaster, to Willy Wonka, these movies really push the limits of a G-rating. WatchMojo ranks the top movies you won't believe are rated G.

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Special thanks to our user RazorRex for suggesting this idea!
Script written George Pacheco

Top 10 Movies You Won't Believe Are Rated G

Wait a minute...what? Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies You Won't Believe Are Rated G.

For this list, we'll be ranking the films that received a G or GP rating at the time of their release, but would likely be slapped with a much stronger rating today. The reasoning behind the ratings could be due to content, or the cultural sensibilities of the time, and we're also not passing judgment on the people behind the scenes for these films. Instead, we're just taking a look back at some interesting decisions by the MPAA, while also acknowledging some slices of classic cinema. We will, however, be ignoring films that came out prior to the modern rating system, such as “The Wizard of Oz”.

#10: "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" (1970)

Hammer Studios were known shifting the creative paradigm with their horror films, inserting a controversial amount of blood and jugs into the mix. This tendency carried over into their fantasy and adventure films as well, as evidenced by this 1970 caveman epic. "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" seemed to pride itself on the tiny costumes adorning its female cast, while the uncut version of the film even included a nude scene from lead actress Victoria Vetri. The '70s may have been a different time, but there's no way a scene such as this would be allowed in a G-rated film today.

#9: "The Secret of NIMH" (1982)

Children's animated features have always been big business, but the '80s added its own spin to the genre, often incorporating some heavy duty drama and mature themes into the mix. "The Secret of NIMH" was one such film, and it doesn't shy away from some tense violence, and the emotional implications such sequences can evoke. Director Don Bluth and Co. never talk down to their young audience while adapting Robert C. O'Brien's novel for the big screen, making "The Secret of NIMH" one of the rare children's features to actually contain "something for everyone."

#8: "True Grit" (1969)

Westerns are always going to be tough for a ratings board, given that almost any film featuring gunplay is going to receive at least a PG rating. The '60s, however, were a different time as evidenced by this John Wayne classic. "True Grit" arrived at a time when westerns were becoming more and more violent, emboldened by the burgeoning spaghetti western scene in Italy. Perhaps this explains why "True Grit" serves as one of The Duke's more violent westerns, exemplified in scenes such as the one where a conversation with a pair of shady characters heads south in a shocking and brutal way.

#7: "The Andromeda Strain" (1971)

Depictions of corpses, animal death, and nudity? Slap a G rating on that and call in the kids! The first of Michael Crichton's novels to be adapted into a film, “The Andromeda Strain” is dark, tense and deadly serious in tone, with some apocalyptic repercussions on hand. Beyond this, the film was also released in the permissive early seventies, during a time when violence and sex were not as strictly regulated on screen. As a result, while movie's presentation of death and nudity isn't born out of sensationalism, it would be enough to see the film rated differently today.

#6: "Bambi" (1942)

It's the Disney film that scarred a generation, and kick-started strained conversations about death around the dinner table. It's true that "Bambi" wasn't the first Disney film, by a long shot, to feature controversial content – such as the infamous "Pink Elephants" scene in "Dumbo" – but this doesn't change the fact that the hunting and forest fire sequences of “Bambi” would at least rate the film a PG in today's world. Regardless, both "Bambi" and "Dumbo" remain essential animated viewing for children of all ages... just have some tissues ready.

#5: "The Last Unicorn" (1982)

"The Last Unicorn" was a triumph for animation icons Rankin/Bass. Yet, just as was the case with "The Secret of NIMH", there's also plenty of dark content here that belies the film's G rating. For starters, there's the Mommy Fortuna character, who is torn to pieces by a harpy early on in the film. Then, there's also the business of one peculiar tree that is turned into woman with giant breasts who attempts to smother the young magician, Schmendrick. "The Last Unicorn" is a children's film with lofty ideals and a great respect for its audience... even if it really ought to have been rated PG.

#4: "The Adventures of Mark Twain" (1985)

This film may be a bit niche, but don't let that fool you: "The Adventures of Mark Twain" is a G-rated hidden gem. That rating would definitely be tweaked by today's standards, however, as there are several dark scenes in this claymation classic that still haunt fans today. The character of "Injun Joe" certainly terrifies Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher, but that's nothing compared to the "Mysterious Stranger" sequence, wherein Lucifer – yes, that one – shows the kids how to create an entire civilization, before mercilessly demolishing their world. Try and watch this one without a shiver running down your back.

#3: "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971)

It's a timeless classic, but it also feels like an acid-fueled commerce and morality play. Creatively, it fires on all cylinders, but those pistons are sparked by scenes of apparent child murder, bizarre depictions of little people, as well as that crazy-ass boat ride. This scene is instantly memorable for all the right and wrong reasons, as Gene Wilder's Wonka turns into a howling psychopath, aided by a barrage of psychedelic lights and sounds. For this scene alone, "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" would've lost its G rating quick if released today.

#2: "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)

We've covered plenty of films thus far whose G ratings would likely have been nixed due to questionable content or themes, and it's here where "2001: A Space Odyssey" changes things up a bit. Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece raises so many mature questions about life, death, evolution and time, that it's mere heady existence practically begs for a PG or PG-13 rating. Sure, there are scenes of death and violence here in "2001," but the real heavy themes here are of an intellectual level, a psychedelic head-trip designed to be viewed, studied and discussed by adults for years to come.

Before we name our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

"All Dogs Go to Heaven" (1989)

"The Brave Little Toaster" (1987)

#1: "Planet of the Apes" (1968)

Let's forget for a moment that the iconic, OG "Planet of the Apes" just so happens to feature nudity, sexuality, dramatic themes, and a surprising amount of violent action for a G rated movie. There are also the horrific implications from the film's ending, a twist that certainly shocked audiences in 1968 – but should those audiences have included kids? It's tough to say. Standards were certainly different in the late '60s, and the Apes films blew up in popularity with kids through the '70s. But, still, the fact that “Planet of the Apes” got away with a damn dirty G rating is utterly mind blowing.