MPAA Rating: PG, for intense adventure action and some scary moments
Age range: Ages 8 and up
Runtime: 93 mintes
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: July 11, 2008
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Summary
Scientist Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) receives some bad news at work when he finds out that his lab -- which is devoted to the study of plate tectonics in the name of his brother, Max -- is on the verge of being shut down. Lost in his bachelor life and his troubles at work, Trevor forgets that his teenage nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) is coming to stay with him for a couple of weeks. When Sean arrives, he is obviously miffed about staying with Uncle Trevor, but a box filled with some of his late father's belongings brings Sean and Trevor together as Trevor tells Sean about his dad.
One item of interest from the box is Max's book, Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne. The book is science fiction, but to Trevor's surprise, he finds handwritten notes in the margin -- notes that give him information that could help him find out what really happened to Max. Trevor immediately makes arrangements for a trip to Iceland, and Sean convinces him to let him tag along.
Once in Iceland, the two hire a beautiful mountain guide named Hannah. She helps them find the point of reference they were looking for, but in trying to escape from a terrible lightening storm, they end up trapped in a cave where they only way out is down. What the three explorers find is beyond their wildest imagination; they discover that a whole world exists within the earth's center. Is this fascinating world filled with mushroom forests and dangerous creatures where Max ended up too, and will they suffer the same fate as he did?
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Guide Review
Forget about this movie being realistic or thought provoking; it is all about the effects and the fun. The 3D experience definitely makes this movie. Without the 3D, Journey to the Center of the Earth is an OK movie with some pretty unrealistic special effects, but watching all of the peril in 3D is kind of fun.
Parents should know that the movie contains several scenes with scary, human-eating creatures which could be very frightening for young children. The main characters spend most of the movie trying to escape perilous situations in the center of the Earth.
Also, the movie contains a heavy element in that Sean's father has been missing and presumed dead since he was very young. His memories and discoveries about his father could prove unsettling for some kids. At first, Sean behaves like a teen with a chip on his shoulder -- acting sarcastic, disrespectful and displaying a stereotypical teenage anti-authority attitude. As the movie continues, though, we see that he is is a good kid who just really feels cheated about having had to grow up without a dad.*For more detailed examples of this movie's content, please see the overview below.
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Content OverviewThe following lists a few of the most prominent examples of possibly offensive content in the movie (may contain spoilers):
- Gigantic fish with snapping teeth jump out of the water at some people on a boat. The people beat the fish back with sticks in the manner of hitting a baseball with a bat. The movie also contains creatures such as sea monsters, dinosaurs, and carnivorous plants that attack, chase after, or frighten people.
Sex/Nudity (Very low)
- Both Trevor and Sean find Hannah attractive. Sean informs Trevor that he has "dibs on the mountain guide."
- Trevor and Hannah kiss twice during the movie.
- No profanity is used, but there is a play on words when Sean laughs at the fact that a certain type of rock is called "schist." During a perilous situation later in the movie he exclaims that he's in "deep schist!"
Bad/Disrespectful Behavior (Medium)
- When Sean first arrives at Trevor's house, he is rude and sarcastic to his uncle and his mother. He obviously does not want to stay with Trevor, and he lets everyone know how he feels with caustic comments and annoyed facial expressions.
Scary Scenes (High)
- Trevor, Sean and Hannah are trapped in a cave during a lightening storm. They find there is no way out, and they fear that they will be stuck there. They fall down a very long hole. They later end up in the middle of a sheet of rock so thin that if they move it could crack and send them plummeting to their deaths. Several other perilous situations such as these occur in the movie, but no one is actually killed or badly injured.
- The scenes listed under "violence" could be particularly frightening for children.
Sad/Unsettling Scenes (High)
- Sean and Trevor miss their dad/brother and grow very sober as they go through some of his belongings.
- Trevor finds the place where Max lived in the center of the earth, and they decide that Max is dead. They find his journal and Sean becomes emotional when he hears that his father's last thoughts were of him.
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Discuss the Movie
- After watching Journey to the Center of the Earth,children may have questions about the following topics: plate tectonics, geology, earthquakes, lightening storms, dinosaurs, the center of the earth, losing a parent, teenagers having bad attitudes.