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The Canterville Ghost | 2023 | PG | – 1.4.2

content-ratingsWhy is “The Canterville Ghost” rated PG? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic elements, peril and some violence.” The evaluation includes some flirting, discussions of love, a drowning, a near drowning, many encounters with a ghost with one ending with a mansion in flames and people running in fear, a few swordfights with one ending in two men being stabbed through the chest, discussions of family feuds, discussions of the advent of electricity and automobiles, discussions of the supernatural and hauntings, and several arguments and some mild language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.

Animated tale based on the 1887 Oscar Wilde story: an irreverent American family arrives in England and moves into an empty mansion, even after learning of its ghostly tenant, determined not to allow an ancient ghost to scare them away. With the voices of Toby Jones, Freddie Highmore, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Meera Syal, Stephen Fry, Miranda Hart, Emily Carey, David Harewood, Jakey Schiff and Bennett Miller. Directed by Kim Burdon & Robert Chandler. [Running Time: 1:29]

The Canterville Ghost SEX/NUDITY 1

 – A wife kisses her husband on the cheek tenderly.
 When a teen girl jumps onto a horse running uncontrolled with a young man on its back, she straddles the horse and sits face-to-face with the young man; they later ride together on the same horse. A woman calls a teen girl and a young man “love birds.” A young man professes his love for a teen girl, they hold hands and are then married. A young man and a teen girl seem to be flirting in a few scenes.
 A ghost complains to a teen girl that women wearing trousers is “against nature.” A woman comes into a room where a ghost floats over her husband in bed and she complains about the ghost because she is in her undergarments (she is wearing a robe). A teen girl wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.

The Canterville Ghost VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – Two men swordfight and one is slashed on the face (we see a bloody cut); they continue to fight and run each other through (we see blades through each of their chests and out their backs without evident blood).
 Two young boys dressed as a ghost swing from a balcony and hover over a table until a ghost becomes upset and throws their pumpkin head on a banquet table spilling food and causing people to run screaming; the ghost throws a flame at a tapestry that catches fire and the flames spread through a mansion and up the stairs, the ghost levitates people off the floor and spins them around, makes glass light bulbs explode and drop shards to the floor, and two young boys jump from a balcony onto a sheet held by two people to escape flames; a chandelier falls to the floor and pins a young man under it, heavy beams collapse to the floor in flames and a teen girl rushes back into the building to save the young man but cannot lift the heavy chandelier without help.
 A man startles a teen girl and she falls off a broken bridge into water, she swims to retrieve something and is held under water by a vine that wraps around her ankle; she struggles to surface and then falls still until a young man dives in and helps her to safety. After passing through garden gates a teen girl is told that she is dead; we see her lying motionless outside the garden as people try to revive her with several blasts of energy (we see her body lift off the ground in a force field). A teen girl is wrapped by vines and cannot move; she breaks free, fights with a giant horned beast using a sword, and cuts one of its skeletal arms off.
 A stair runner rises up behind a man as we hear a booming voice calling out to him, the man runs up the stairs and trips (complaining of pain in his coccyx), goes back to retrieve a stuffed bear and the bear is lifted off the ground by a glowing ghostly hand and the voice tells the man to leave the house. A ghost pulls off his own head and two young boys grab it and play catch with it; one boy kicks it. A ghost becomes angry, threatens a young man with a sword and tells him that he curses all of the young man’s family.
 A teen girl falls asleep reading a book about a ghost and wakes up when her candle is extinguished and the windows in her room blow open; something writes a message on a window pane and the teen hides under her bed and watches a glowing ghost with chains on his wrists walk through the room and pass through a closed door. A teen girl looks at a portrait of a man as a booming voice speaks, she looks away and back again and the face in the portrait is staring at her. A sheet rises up off the floor and when two young boys are shown to be under it a teen girl throws a book at them, hitting one, who says, “Ow.” A book falls off a shelf by itself. Thunder rumbles accompanied by spooky music and wind blowing in the introductory sequence. A large bird squawks loudly and swoops around in several scenes; it starts a man in one scene when its shadow is cast on a wall making it look enormous. A woman imitates a man screaming and says that he is in an asylum and that all he does is yell like that after seeing a ghost. A large fire laps out of a fireplace and taps a man on the back; he lurches forward (he is not burned). A ghost replaces his head with a partial disembodied skull and puts two balls in the eye sockets, making them roll around, and with worms wriggling in his mouth hoping to scare a man. A ghost rises above a man lying in bed and speaks with a booming voice as a woman enters the room and complains about the ghost because she is in her undergarments. A disembodied partial skull talks to a ghost and tells him that he has lost his edge.
 A ghost with a sword and a teen girl with a tree branch swordfight. A teen girl speeds in a car and a ghost drives, steering between trees until they reach a gate that he cannot pass and the teen stops the car with screeching tires. A young man riding a horse yells and nearly falls off the horse as it runs; a teen girl rides next to him, jumps onto the other horse and pulls the reins to a stop just at a cliff’s edge. A teen girl climbs up a stone wall and collapses gasping when she sees a man on the other side snip a rose bud off its stem. A ghost is zapped with electricity when he touches an electrical device and he glows and thrashes briefly. A woman identifies herself as a “ghost hunter” and has equipment that shoots glowing strands of electricity. A ghost shoves many small sandwiches into a woman’s mouth and pins a man against a door with forks through his hair; the woman is rolled on a wheeled cart, the man is bumped onto the cart and they roll out of the room yelling. A man tells a ghost not to interrupt a banquet and snaps a flashbulb toward the ghost a few times causing him to wince. A woman is zapped by a glowing purple beam of light and we see that her flesh has turned purple, but she seems OK otherwise. We are told that a man plotted to kill another man and we see him cutting a board in a bridge to weaken it. A teen girl finds a ghost in a room behind a wall of bricks where we are told that he was imprisoned; we see a skeleton on the floor.
 A man describes several people at a party; one woman lost her leg in a card game, and one woman lost all her teeth in a riding accident (we see her with dentures that pop out of her mouth). People search for a ghost and exclaim that they will, “bust that ghost,” and “cook this old buzzard’s goose.” A woman talks about capturing and experimenting on a ghost. We are told that a man killed his wife by drowning her and he is cursed to remain a ghost on the property where it happened. A ghost relates a story when his wife fell off a bridge and into water where she drowned because he was unable to reach her in time to save her. We hear that a ghost has been haunting a mansion for 300 years. A young man talks about two families not getting along. A young boy asks if there is a bathroom because, “I gotta go.”
 Two young boys play swordfight and generally cause mayhem running through a mansion; we hear things crashing and shattering in a few scenes and they each blame the other. Two young boys exclaim when a woman answers a door and one says, “She has donuts on her head,” when he sees her hair coiled in buns; they ask if she is a zombie and if she wants to eat their eyeballs. A teen girl protests having moved with her family and being uprooted in several scenes. Two young boys yell for their mother to punish their older sister. Two young boys dress up as a ghost wearing a large sheet and a glowing jack ‘o lantern for a head.
 A woman wears a green cosmetic facemask. A ghost burps loudly. A ghost blows raspberries. A young man and a teen girl shovel manure at the base of a tree (we see the manure in a wheelbarrow).

The Canterville Ghost LANGUAGE 2

 – 1 mild scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 2 anatomical innuendos (clutching his brassicas, right in the Hamptons), 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (dodo, creepy, humdinger, hideous, relic, greased pig on market day, weaselly faced, dinosaur, little old English lady, gloomy, pathetic, insufferable, rude, love birds, strange lady, insane, weird lady, outrageous, hellhound, mannequin, vile blaggard, codswallop, crazy talk, beggar, fool, strange, pure evil, unruly, horrid, nasty, reckless, shoddy English workmanship, no manners), exclamations (darned thing, in your face, woa, oh boy, oh please, spare me, whoops, give it a whirl, shenanigans, kick your [anatomical term deleted], you ruined it, oh my goodness, ugh, the game’s afoot, bust that ghost, cook this old buzzard’s goose, goodness gracious, gosh, let that be a lesson to you, heavens no, I hate it), 1 religious exclamation (e.g. heavens no). | profanity glossary |

The Canterville Ghost SUBSTANCE USE

 – Several people at a banquet hold glasses of wine (we do not see them drink), and a man and a woman give a ghost two bottles containing a tonic and a lubricant (he does not use them).

The Canterville Ghost DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Death of loved ones, family feuds, the unknown, the unexplained, ghosts, love, Hamlet, Oscar Wilde, progress, science, electricity, adventures, grudges, prophecies, accidental death, murder, High Society.

The Canterville Ghost MESSAGE

 – Love is the greatest adventure. Make the most of your life since it is fleeting.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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