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What Parents Should Know About Safety | Parents' Guide

Everything Parents Need to Know Before Streaming Safety on Disney+ With Kids

SAFETY, from left: Thaddeus J. Mixson, Jay Reeves, 2020. ph: Chuck Zlotnick /  Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection
Football movies always makes me cry. They are just so heartwarming! Safety on Disney+, inspired by a true story was no exception. It's inspirational, fun, and full of love. Fans of Remember the Titans and The Blind Side will enjoy this drama.

When Clemson University freshman Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves) decides to take in his little brother, Fahmarr (Fay) McElrathbey (Thaddeus J. Mixson) from a complicated home situation, he learns the true value of teamwork, family, and leaning on others during hard times. But while this is definitely a feel-good tearjerker, there are a few elements of the movie that parents might want to be aware of before streaming with their kids.

  1. It's very sports-centric.
    It's a football movie, so obviously it's going to be focussed on sports. That means intense practicing, talking about plays, playing football games, and more is all par for the course. It's great for those interested (and not too overwhelming), but it could be boring for some little kids.
  2. Violence and anger is common.
    There's fighting on the field, coaches yelling at players, and players trash-talking other players often in this movie. In one scene, Ray's little brother, Fay, calls him, and you can hear yelling and banging on a door in the background. Ray decides to go home to check on his brother. When he gets there, Ray tries to take his brother from the apartment, but three men confront the brothers, and the scene is very tense. Later, Ray loses his temper a lot with Fay, often to the point of his other teammates telling him to calm down.
  3. It centres on addiction and shows how it affects lives.
    There are no scenes where the characters use alcohol or drugs, but it is a heavy and prevalent topic throughout the film. Ray and Fay's mom is in prison because of drug possession, and it's implied she couldn't take care of them because of it. The brothers visit her in prison, and there's a distressing scene about CPS. Their mother's addiction is why Ray takes in Fay, first living in his dorm room until they're caught, then in an apartment after Fay has a stint in foster care. There's also an emotional scene where Ray convinces his mother to give up her parental rights. There might be a discussion to have with your child about addiction.
  4. There's some cussing.
    Most of the dialogue in the movie is pretty clean, but I did hear "damn."
  5. Some underage drinking and partying is shown.
    When college students aren't in class or playing football, they are shown partying and underage drinking in one scene.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, some of the more intense scenes may be a little over their head or distressing for younger viewers. And little kids may completely lose interest. Overall, this was a beautiful movie about the love of two brothers, the strength of one 18-year-old, the loving support of friends and community, and the journey toward success (with a little football thrown in). If you do decide to watch it as a family, it opens the door for important conversations to have with your kids about the harmful effects of drug addiction. Grab your popcorn, press play, and remember: crying, laughing, and cheering are all OK!

Image Source: Everett Collection
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