Over several years, I have become fascinated by various film classification systems, particularly the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification, formerly the British Board of Film Censors), but I have also discovered the MPA (Motion Pictures Association, formerly MPAA that stood for Motion Pictures Association America) and CARA (Classification and Ratings Administration), both of which are used in the USA, and the IFCO (Irish Film Classification Office, formerly the Film Censor’s Office). The BBFC is the film classification system I am the most familiar with because I grew up with it by learning about the different classification symbols on VHS and DVD covers, VHS tapes and DVDs and what they meant. I learnt about the former Irish FCO film classification symbols by seeing them on DVDs and DVD covers alongside BBFC symbols (while most of my DVDs have the same British and Irish classification or the equivalent, for example Shrek is rated U for Universal in the U.K. and G for General audiences in Ireland, some of them have different classifications, for example the 2000 Charlie’s Angels film is rated 15 in the U.K. and 12 in Ireland) while I learnt about the American film rating system by looking up film and TV titles on IMDb.
Upon browsing the BBFC website and IMDb, watching TV adverts for films and looking at the back of DVD covers, I saw that some pieces of film rating information were more unique than the usual theme, language, sex, violence and other (U.K. VHS and DVD covers in the past would indicate the film’s theme/contents as well as how much bad language, sexual content and/or violence was in the film besides another content indicator where appropriate, but now they have more concise consumer advice such as, “Contains mild language and sex references,” on the back of the DVD cover of the 2003 remake of Cheaper by the Dozen). I have read a few other online articles or blog posts about unique pieces of film rating information (I have listed them at the end of this post) that have inspired me to write this post. Some of the pieces of information in this post are the same as those in the other articles while I have included both the British and the American rating information for some titles.
Here are the most unique pieces of film rating information that I could find from the BBFC, MPA and CARA:
Herbie – Fully Loaded: Rated U – Contains car stunts and mild language.
Charlotte’s Web (1973 animated film): Rated U – Contains a bereavement theme.
How to Eat Fried Worms: Rated PG – Contains scenes of cooking and eating worms.
Team America: World Police: Rated 15 – Contains strong language, violence and sex, all involving puppets (see also the American film rating info below – the trailer contains violence and a sex reference).
Jackass: The Movie: Rated 18 – Contains crude and dangerous stunts (other Jackass works also carry this consumer advice).
Jefferson in Paris: Rated 12 – Contains moderate sexual suggestion, violence and infrequent horror (see also the American film rating info below – the trailer contains brief violence and a brief gory image).
The Cat in the Hat (2003 live action film): Rated PG – Contains mild innuendo and crude humour (see also the American film rating info below).
Garfield 2: Rated U – Contains very mild crude language (see also the American film rating info below).
Clarkson Hot Metal: Rated PG – Contains focus on weapons.
MPA and CARA
American Pie – Rated R for strong sexuality, crude sexual dialogue, language and drinking, all involving teens.
The Powerpuff Girls Movie – Rated PG for non-stop frenetic animated action.
Team America: World Police – Rated R for graphic crude and sexual humour, violent images and strong language – all involving puppets (see also the BBFC film rating info above).
Superbad – Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use and a fantasy/comic violent image – all involving teens.
Spiceworld The Movie – Rated PG for some vulgarity, brief nudity and language (the not-as-unique BBFC consumer advice says it contains infrequent mild language and some mild sex/nudity references also at a PG rating).
The Cat in the Hat (2003 live action film) – Rated PG for mild crude humour and some double-entendres (see also the BBFC film rating info above).
Jefferson in Paris – Rated PG-13 for mature theme, some images of violence and a bawdy puppet show (see also the BBFC film rating info above).
Garfield 2 – Rated PG for some off-colour elements (see also the BBFC film rating info above).
Note: Even though “humour” and “colour” are written without the letter “U” in the official pieces of ratings info, I have subconsciously written them with a “U.”
Other blog posts and articles about unique pieces of film rating information
Fandom Rating System Wiki: https://rating-system.fandom.com/wiki/Unique_content_advisories_in_various_age_rating_systems
Flavorwire: https://www.flavorwire.com/498012/the-funniest-mpaa-ratings-descriptions-of-all-time (the info about the bawdy puppet show in Jefferson in Paris especially made me laugh more so than a man in the cinema audience laughing at Frozen II containing rude humour last year!)
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post.