'Jurassic Park' given PG rating: Censors warn parents of 'disturbing scenes'

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The Independent Online
A NATIONAL epidemic of 11-year-olds wearing platform heels and deepening their voices was averted yesterday when Steven Spielberg's new film, Jurassic Park, was given a PG certificate.

But in this case parental guidance will mean guidance to as well as from parents, with the British Board of Film Classification ruling that every poster and advertisement for the film must warn that it contains disturbing scenes. It is only the second time this rider has been used for a film, and it may come to be known as the Spielberg rider as the other case was his early film Jaws.

The rider reads: 'Parents are warned that this film contains sequences which may be particularly disturbing to younger children or children of a sensitive disposition.'

One child whose parent has publicly guided him not to see the film is eight-year-old Max Spielberg. Spielberg senior says he would not allow him or his other children, who are younger, to see the movie because it is 'too intense'.

This will have given some comfort to Michael Medved, the critic of Hollywood violence, who says any parent who takes a young child to see Jurassic Park is 'guilty of unconscionable child abuse'.

British censors have been a little more lenient than their American counterparts, who gave it a 13 certificate.

The film, a special effects spectacular in which scientists use genetic experiments to bring dinosaurs to life, opens in Britain next month. It contains some frightening scenes in which dinosaurs chase children and devour the occasional adult, though much of the terror is leavened by humour.

Before it took its decision, the board showed Jurassic Park to a test audience of 200 London schoolchildren aged 8-11. 'The vast majority reported that they had enjoyed the film immensely and no ill effects had been reported from schools or parents,' it added.

The PG certificate was welcomed yesterday by Dr Angela Milner, the Natural History Museum's dinosaur expert, who has seen the film. Dr Milner, head of fossil vertebrates, said the film might scare children of a nervous disposition.

She added that the dinosaurs were very believable and very realistically done, and largely accurate in terms of today's scientific understanding. 'The meat eaters were not nice; they were pretty nasty and pretty unpleasant.'