Thematic elements

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"Thematic elements", or "thematic material", is a term used by the Motion Picture Association of America and other film ratings boards to highlight elements of a film that do not fit into the traditional categories such as violence, sex, drug use, nudity, and language, but may involve some degree of objectionable content. This rating reason raises a warning to parents and guardians to learn more about a film before they allow their children to view it.[1]

These thematic elements may include autism, death, disease, discrimination, self-harm, defiance, child abuse, dysfunctional families, homelessness, gambling, driving under the influence, STDs, hate, coming-of-age issues, crime, corruption, miscarriage, verbal abuse, teenage pregnancy, addiction, disability, hazing, infidelity, politics, social issues, dystopian societies, disasters, mental illness, existential crises, abortion, religion, and other serious subject matter or mature discussions that some parents and guardians feel may not be appropriate for their young children.[1]


Films with strong thematic elements include Life, Animated, The Cider House Rules, Zootopia, Coco, Juno, The Aviator, The Color Purple, In Her Shoes, I Love You Phillip Morris, Finding Dory, My Girl, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, Hop, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Hunger Games, Warrior, A Beautiful Mind, Inside Out, White Oleander, 42, Only Yesterday, God's Not Dead, God's Not Dead 2, God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, The Fault in Our Stars, Isle of Dogs, Wonder Park and UglyDolls. Mild thematic elements appear in many other PG and PG-13-rated drama and, primarily, documentary films.


  1. ^ a b "Reasons for Movie Ratings (CARA) FAQ". MPAA. Retrieved 30 May 2012.