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Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix That Are Safe To Watch

Choosing the Right Movies for Your Kids

Good movies for 12-year-olds on Netflix can be quite difficult to find. How to choose the right films for your children can be quite a tricky thing. There is no one size fits all criteria when it comes to selecting films that are appropriate for your youngster.  Have you ever seen an adult bringing a scared child out of the movie theater?  I have experienced cupping my kid’s ears and eyes when an explicit scene suddenly appears.

The task of finding movies that are age-appropriate these days is becoming harder and harder. We also have to put up with the irresponsibility of trailers that are placed in supposedly child-friendly films. How many times were you shocked while watching a certified family-friendly movie, when suddenly during the intermission, an R-rated movie is previewed to the generally young audience?

It really is hard to stay up to date with what is showing these days on the silver screen, and how they do it. Making the right judgment call when your kids are badgering you to see some movie you know nothing about or see something just because everyone else has seen it can be quite daunting.

Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

With distance learning very much a part of your children’s reality and with the many curtailments in place, Netflix is a go-to platform for movies and entertainment. Here are some family-oriented movies that are ideal for kids 12 and under. Whether you are hankering for a comedy or perhaps some action and adventure, this list should cover it.

Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Therefore, to all you couch potatoes, here is Netflix to the rescue for movies the entire family can enjoy. This list goes all the way back to the film catalog of many years ago. The list also encompasses movies, animated features, and even documentaries.

  • A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)
  • The Willoughbys (2020)
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
  • Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution (2019)
  • The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
  • The Farthest: Voyager in Space (2017)
  • AlphaGo (2017)
  • Before the Flood (2016)
  • Bill Nye: Science Guy (2017)
  • I Am Bolt (2016)
  • Mercury 13 (2018)
  • Secretariat (2010)
  • 20 Feet From Stardom (2014)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2018)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
  • Dr. Suess’ The Grinch (2018)
  • Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)
  • White Fang (2018)
  • Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
  • Queen of Katwe (2016)
  • Benji (2018)
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins (2016)
  • Ella Enchanted (2004)
  • Song of the Sea (2014)
  • The Croods (2013)
  • Paranorman (2012)
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012)
  • Hugo (2011)
  • Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011)
  • The Smurfs (2011)
  • Incredibles 2 (2018)
  • Mary & the Witch’s Flower (2018)
  • Newsies: The Broadway Musical (2017)
  • April and the Extraordinary World (2016)
  • Coraline (2009)
  • Bolt (2008)
  • Lilo & Stitch (2002)
  • Meet the Robinsons (2007)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
  • Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
  • The Witches (1990)

Movie Ratings – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Whenever we want to check if a movie is appropriate, we check the ratings. Typically these are the ratings that we come across.  “G,” means general patronage which a green light for all and sundry to see. “PG,” is parental guidance meaning parents should be around for any questionable scenes that need explaining. “PG-13” means that there are scenes that are inappropriate for kids 13 and below, and R-18 means kids below 18 may not watch the movie.

But those are all relatively vague caveats. What may be inappropriate for some parents might be OK for the next. It can really be a hit-or-miss affair when it comes to basing your judgment on these rating systems. So what is a concerned parent to do when it comes to looking for stuff to watch on Netflix for a 12-year-old?

Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix

The Right Way To Find Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Believe it or not, there is a much better way to find good movies for 12-year-olds on Netflix. One need not make the ratings the end-all authority that tells you if a movie is all right to watch for a 12-year-old.  This an age when they are already beginning to understand what is age-appropriate. As a parent, you can also decide what is best for your kid, based on the values that you teach.

You can also take into consideration things like your child’s personality, their passions, and even their disposition. What could be harrowing to an 8-year-old may be very amusing and entertaining to an older kid.

What Exactly Is Considered Age Appropriate For a 12 Year Old Child?

The manner in which our children devour and watch media greatly impacts how they turn out. This a very strong influence on their emotional, social, psychological, and physical growth outcome. This is the reason why we have ratings. As evaluations determine the matter of age appropriateness, these take these matters into consideration.  The criteria of developmental stages are what guides the professionals and authorities to select what movies are the best match for every stage of growth of our children.

In this post one will find the developmental rules and that are used in determining the various age ratings. It is important to point out, however, that even though we look to our experts on these matters, there are no two kids that are exactly alike. They will hence have different needs. Children, after all, mature and develop at different rates. Thus it is safe to say that age-based ratings and classifications are merely guideposts or a peg.

At the end of the day, parents are still the best authorities when it comes to knowing what is best for their respective children.

What Is Happening Internally at the Age of 12 – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Cognitive Milestones

Once a child turns 12 years old, they begin to acquire a changing sense of humor. They begin to understand and comprehend non-concrete relationships and double meanings. This does not however that they are no longer prone to childish opinions and arguments that have a basis on naiveté. You can also expect that 12-year-olds can tackle some abstract thought processes and even hypothetical argumentation.

Emotional and Social Developmental Milestones – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

By the time your child hits 12, your preteen will disdain the idea of being a “pre” anything. For their role models, they will idolize teens a few years older. Furthermore, the approval and acceptance of their peers will become more important. They will consider this essential for their purposes of identity. Also, expect that 12-year-olds can be quite hard on themselves when it comes to how they physically look.

When it comes to their general appearance they will want to look like their peers so they blend in and conform. It is also safe to expect some inconsistency in behavior. Since your child is straddling both adolescence and childhood, you will observe that sometimes you are dealing with a child, but at the very next moment you have a teen before you. This can go back and forth many times so do not find it confusing.

It likewise wise to expect that there will be many mood swings and emotional instability. If you feel that your kid is acting irrational, try to be patient and keep a cool head. As emotions can go from north to south in just a jiffy, be prepared too to find out that the influence of friends and peers is a strong current to deal with.

Changes in Physical Appearance

As your kid hits the age of 12, puberty is in full swing. Changes will depend on each individual kid. They will be at a stage wherein a multitude of developmental changes are taking place. If your kid is a boy, he could be at the beginning of a growth surge at this stage. Additionally, some hormonal changes could result in some intense emotions. Kids will not usually understand this rollercoaster of feelings.

This also the point at which curiosity about sex intensifies. As a result, many at this age juncture can experiment with their bodies. They will also become a lot more self-conscious about appearance.

Adept With Technology

Expect the 12-year-old of today to be extremely adept with technology. This is because they are exposed to it at a very early age. These kids are very technologically oriented and driven. Unfortunately, their but their skills might not be at the same pace as their judgment, which could be lagging behind. As a result and as a safety precaution, adults would be wise to review certain safety protocols with them. For instance, passwords should be safely guarded and never shared.

Other safeguards they should be taught is to not click online contests, and they should never share personal data. Kids should also be told to calibrate privacy settings to the most secure level. Be aware too that this the last year that you can subject your children to some forms of censorship. The moment they turn 13, they are no longer under any restrictions. It will not be long until they can go to websites not needing their parent’s consent or supervision, so this is a crucial time for parents to take advantage of.

An effective way to prepare children to enter the world of less censorship and control is to have very open dialogues about social media and other content that needs some discrimination. They should learn how to manage their privacy controls so they are never hacked. As for movies, they should also know how to discern what is and is not appropriate media. Your kids should also learn not to overshare. It is quite normal and expected that preteens will explore their identity on the internet.

They should, however not use anonymity, and learn to take responsibility for what they do, say, or post. Inculcate in them positivity and make them aware of things like tagging, flagging, online bullying,  and supporting people who are victims of harassment online.

Some Major Considerations Of Movies – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix

The Target Age

A good question to ask is what age group are the producers targeting? There are times when a film’s intended target group is rather apparent. For instance, it is obvious that your child is the intended audience especially if they are familiar with the cast of characters. However, ambiguity can easily creep into a storyline. There can be some ostensibly age-appropriate players but can be put in situations that are not exactly what you expect from a child-friendly plot.

Many movies can have characters that are truly for children but may have plots that are more for an adult appreciation. As such, your work as a parent is cut out for you. It will be needed that you make a judgment based on what you feel is appropriate for your children. Make sure to consider the many dynamics at play to make an informed decision.

Production Quality of the Movie

While the issue of quality is a subjective one, there are still some pegs that are worth looking out for. First, it is not abnormal that your kids will like something you do not, and vice-versa. To establish some standards,  do you find that the storyline is a sensible one? Are the characters of the film multi-dimensional and relatable? Or is it the opposite? All you have are stereotypes. This can limit your child’s appreciation of the diversity that in life that truly exists. Does the movie have a credible script and lines?

After watching the movie, is your kid asking relevant questions? Was the movie able to engage them intellectually at a good level? How is the movie pacing? Did it drag or move flawlessly from scene to scene? How was the musical score and effects overall? One cannot underscore the importance of production values for a movie to be effective, whether it is a drama, comedy, or action flick. There is a world of a difference between a movie put together with quality in mind, and a crass, cheap production.

Be wary of the latter, and there are many of those lying around. A good movie for your 12-year-old should have them asking relevant questions afterward. If not they should at least feel some kind of emotional or moral lift once they have finished the film.

Educational Content Of The Film – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Educational content is of primary importance if you are shopping around for good movies for 12-year-olds on Netflix.  There is nothing wrong and it is quite all right to opt for films that are purely for entertainment. It is, however, always a great bonus when children are able to pick up some lesson here and there. Many production houses these days try to incorporate into stories some educational value. Many of them employ the use of music as vehicles of lessons to impart feelings, stress friendship, and even teach about safety.

Stories are given more value these days that impart themes of diversity and its many dimensions/ Ethnicity is also much celebrated in many movies and is considered age-appropriate for even the very young. Stories that hearken to history are also very much in use to promote a sense of where we came from.

Role Models and  Inherent Lessons – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Movies can have a profound effect on children. As such, a parent must take the time and effort to select movies that impart the values you wish your children should have. Younger children generally respond well to explicit and literal messages in a film. They will react better to direct messages and not implied ones. 12-year-old kids and older, however, can be communicated with using less direct modes and with even some amount of ambiguity.

There will be many opportunities for parents to dialogue about views and values. It is relatively safe to expect that a 12-year-old can take on more complicated facts of life such as rejection, failure, and dissatisfaction. At this age, they can already clearly tell the difference between what is clearly right, and obviously wrong. A 12-year-old can also tell the different shades that are present in dramatic scenarios.

A movie’s characters are also something to closely look into. As mentioned earlier, role models are important. Are the characters in the movie personalities that you do mind if your child imitates them? How are the adults represented in the movie? Are they responsible, decent, and take charge figures? Do the people come across as relatable characters? Are they realistic?  

Do these characters suffer consequences if they behave badly? Children of the age of 12 should be shown that there are consequences for their actions, whether good or bad.  As this age generally tries to conform and blend in with their peers,  they should also learn not to disdain individuality.  It is quite a real situation that kids this age could be grappling with how to select the right choices. They could also be identifying with what ethical behavior is all about.

The portrayal of media characters and scenarios as a basis for having a dialogue for what is the right behavior is a role good movie selection serves.

Sex, Violence and Vile Language

While it is true that movies created for kids that are 12 years old and younger do not contain vulgar language and curse words, graphic sex, and violence, many go close to the border. For instance, there may be violence in animation, flirtatious behavior, and illicit kissing rather than full-blown sex, kissing and flirting instead of full-fledged love scenes, and words like “frigid,” and “shoot” instead of the actual “F” or ‘S” words. These many factors come closer to what they represent as the age is pushed older

Some offer guideposts for the amounts of sex and violence in addition to graphic language that is acceptable for a certain age group. Still, as a parent, do not surrender your authority and always reserve the right to make a decision when it comes to your own 12-year-old. You have the right to make these decisions based on your core values.

As for violence, perhaps epic scenes that happen in the dimension of comic book sagas can be accepted. Your 12-year-old could want more violent action in this context. However, research has indicated that excessive or constant violence in movies seen by kids can result in a lack of compassion and conversely trigger more aggression. This the reason why having appropriate content for kids that are 12 years old should portray what happens when you are accountable for your actions.

While it is not altogether recommended that violent situations should be totally avoided, as 12-year-olds are beginning to weigh ethical questions,  parents should still stay away from realistically violent shows. Such realism could still frighten your kid.  Perhaps the limits would be some horror that is light in nature.

More Use of Graphic Language

The referencing of body parts such as “butt” or boobs” can be allowed and is age-appropriate. This is after the stage to determine what is foul language and what is not in your family. The use of profanity in a script can greatly influence how parents will allow a movie to be seen. Some parents may deem the use of some profanity acceptable, depending on the context, such as a comedy. If that is the case then parents should still be able to draw the line for how certain words are used.

Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Sex in Cinema – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

12-year-olds think that they old enough to watch sex scenes, however, it is still not the right age for children to see adult sexual intercourse simulated. The usual teenage kiss and inter-gender engagement are age-appropriate, however, more mature sexual encounters and activity should only be portrayed by older characters that can own up to the ensuing results. Ideally, when youngsters like 12-year-olds witness sexual content, this should be a trigger for talks on responsible sex.

Excessive Consumerism and Promoting Materialism

All too often the subliminal placement of material goods is in movies. These are products of marketing deals struck between movie producers and big business. Do you think that Pepsi soda can is on the table by accident? What about the Mercedes sedan driven by the dad? Do you think that car brand choice is random? Not at all. Every commercial brand you see in a movie is likely part of a marketing deal.

Consumerism in a film does not make it bad per se, however, it should be in check when it sends the wrong message to your youngsters. Let them know about it so they can be more discerning when they see a product placement.

A 12-year-old might also have the curiosity to learn more about the ways and gimmicks advertisers employ to make an audience patronize their products. Point out to them the cinematic techniques that a director will use just to call your attention to a specific brand. You could even invent a game to identify the movie sponsors.

Cigarettes, Alcohol and Other Substances – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

Having g alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs can at times be essential for the story or for purposes of being historically faithful. These substances could also be key in establishing many characters and needed to create the various personalities. However, there are so many cases of having such substances unnecessarily. Many times in the movies, the depiction of alcohol, drugs, and smoking is shown in a manner that does not have health or social consequences.

Many adult comedies in fact trivialize alcoholism and drug use to the point that it is misleading to the young. Parents should provide rules for what is appropriate at each stage of development and maturity of our youngsters. Thus parents need to make that judgment call ultimately. This would be tantamount to you as a parent saying what you feel is OK for your kids to see when it comes to substance use.

Make certain that whenever drugs or alcohol come up in a movie, use the opportunity to talk about the pros and cons of its use and why it is relevant to a story. Also, remember that no underage usage of substances is justified unless it explicitly identifies consequences. Likewise, adults shown using substances must also be depicted suffering consequences.

Parents can initiate discussions about the substance shown in movies and identify what is fictional depiction versus reality. These stationers in movies are perfect chances to discuss such topics within the family.

Reviews and Viewer Comments

Why do some parents rely on the opinion of others to make up their minds about certain movies? When it comes to our kids, we should be strong advocates of what is appropriate for their age. If you have a doubt that a movie has content that is not right, then do not hesitate to red flag a film. Never be a fence sitter, waiting for what other parents have to say.  Personal opinions are just as important as developmental guidelines identified by movie boards.  

While they rate films using the same yardstick, it is still up to you as a parent if you want to abide by those ratings cast by any rating board.

What You Can Do AS A Parent Now – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

For parents to best evaluate and come up with sound decisions on what their 12-year-olds can watch, here are some guidelines to help you.

Familiarize yourself with the rating jargon and the rating system. Raters employ the use of threshold amounts for movie depictions of violence, sex as well as foul language. The moment these threshold levels are hit, a movie is downgraded to a more mature rating category. While this may seem sensible for producers, it is not a very viable approach for parents who may want to shield their children from cursing and foul language. For many parents, just one curse word or street jargon may be too much too soon.

Make the time to watch with your kids. It is strongly suggested that co-viewing movies with your children as frequently as possible is the best form of protecting what they see and hear. Our children’s movie content should not only be age-appropriate. These films should positively strengthen a family’s core value system. Unfortunately, the volume of content accessible to our kids is overwhelming and everywhere. While it is perhaps not possible to screen everything our youngsters see, at least grab every opportunity when you can co-view with them.

Patronize channels that are known to be family-friendly. Whenever you cannot co-view with your kids, at least point them to wholesome sources of entertainment.  There are still many reputable and decent media outlets  that do care about the quality of content they put out.  

Good Movies for 12 Year Olds on Netflix

The Bottom Line – Good Movies For 12 Year Olds on Netflix

The reality about this is that you have to be the one to make sure that your 12-year-old, or any kid, sees what is only appropriate. There is a time and place for everything, and your role as a parent should enever be surrendered when it comes to media access. Do your homework and check what media resources have to say about certain movies. Find out about their ratings. This a good guidepost but it is not an end-all evaluation. If you have the time find out for yourself if a movie is appropriate for viewing.

Last but not least, if you find yourself watching a movie with your kids that you deem unacceptable, there is always the simplest option. Turn the device off.

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