What to Read Next

Yahoo! Exclusive: A Mom’s eye view on carting the kids to ‘The Avengers’

Thelma Adams
The Reel Breakdown
May 4, 2012

There's no way on earth if your children watch TV that they are unaware of "Marvel's The Avengers" and even that it's opening this weekend. From Avengers toddler's slip-on canvas shoes to the Lego Marvel Superheroes Quinjet to Iron Man action figures, a simple trip to Target has already saturated your kid with Marvel marketing. So: Should you take the heirs to this PG-13 rated movie? That's going to be a "yes" — and I don't think you have to wait until they're thirteen despite the official rating (and one off-hand reference to "weed").

Sex: I don't know about your kids, but in my household (my kids are now 12 and 16 but we've been watching movies since they were nursing), overt sexuality is the tipping point for whether they should see a movie. Is there boobage? No. Cleavage? Yes. But I don't think that any child seeing Gwyneth Paltrow flirting with Robert Downey Jr. while wearing hot pants, or the voluptuous Scarlett Johansson tied to a chair by villains while wearing a skin-tight cat suit will be at all upset. Face it: you've seen your kid in the bathtub. They're curious. But they don't need to be exposed to any graphic sexual content — and that just doesn't exist in "The Avengers." How do you know when it's too much? They flinch, or say "gross!"

[RELATED: 'Avengers' star Tom Hiddleston told Chris Hemsworth to really hit him]

Violence: There's comic-book violence and then there's "Saving Private Ryan." Your kids probably know the difference in very broad strokes. Let's take The Hulk, who inflates to a giant green mass of toddler rage when he gets angry. When he takes a villain and thumps him back and forth and back and forth on the ground, he's like a tantrum-tossing three-year-old with a stuffed bunny. This is both funny and true and certainly not threatening. There are none of those aspects that make it seem hyper real, like entrails, or body parts, or corpses. Yes: There is a large body count, and massive destruction of civic property, but even a child can tell that this is happening in cartoon world, in the same realm as "Tom and Jerry" (as opposed to the raunchier "Ren and Stimpy"). And no superheroes were actually harmed in the making of this film.

General Scary Factor: I would call this the "will your kids be able to sleep at night after seeing the movie" question. My kids wouldn't have been scared, even when they were seven and eight. (OK, with my kids, six would have been OK, too). But if you have a child who goes sleepless at the prospect of an alien-induced apocalypse — and you know who you are — there's no harm, no foul. See the movie yourself and, when it comes out on VOD, you can make that decision. Movies are not broccoli; don't force it. If you have a child who tends to be on the more fearful spectrum, don't force them to see a hyper-stimulating adventure. There's no nutritional upside. Even though the tickets are pricey when you add in kids and nosh, be prepared to walk if something triggers angst in your child. It may just be that they didn't get enough sleep the night before, or ate all the Gummy Bears in the first five minutes and are in a sugar slump. Also, some kids don't have the attention span to sit out a movie like this one that clocks in at well over two hours.

[RELATED: Weekend Picks: 'Marvel's The Avengers' (and some other films)]

What "The Avengers" does have is a lot of entertainment and action that works on many levels, some childishly innocent and some adult-friendly snark. And the underlying theme that we must work together, finding our inner strengths and blending them — even if we're The Hulk, Black Widow, Iron-Man, Thor et al — is a strong and positive message that can be talked about on the ride home from the movie theater along with the simple joy of saying "Hey, wasn't that cool!"

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Help Erase Credit Card Debt with a Personal Loan

Are you paying too much on your credit cards? Consider a Personal Loan to help consolidate your payments.

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Is it Time to Retire?

If you have a $500,000 portfolio, download “The 15-Minute Retirement Plan” by Forbes columnist Ken Fisher’s firm to learn more.

G700 Millitary Tactical Flashlight

Get 75% Off World's Coolest and Brightest Flashlight. Check it Out Today!

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

If you drive less than 55 miles/day OR have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/ Month! See if you qualify.

Earn Cash Back On Dining Out.

It's easy to save money in the new year when you get cash back on all purchases. Learn more about simple and flexible credit card rewards here.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

The New Fuel Behind Oil's Death Spiral

A stunning breakthrough in chemical engineering has unleashed a massive supply of fuel that could hand the United States 100% energy independence.