Artemis Fowl is finally being released on Disney+ after being rescheduled from last August and then pushed back to even later this year due to the pandemic. But reader, it was worth the wait! The movie, which is based off the first book of the bestselling series of the same name by Eoin Colfer, is about 12-year-old genius Artemis who is trying to find out what happened to his father after he mysteriously disappeared and is being exposed by the media as a criminal. The movie has several notable differences from the book, but the basic story remains: Artemis discovers the existence of an ancient fairy civilization that lives in an underground world, and he knows they are somehow connected to his father's capture.
What results from this discovery is a mission filled with moments of peril and danger, some of which aren't necessarily suited for your younger elementary kids and toddlers. If you plan on watching this new release when it hits Disney+ on June 12, keep reading for what you should know prior to pressing play with your kids, especially if they're more sensitive to hectic action scenes in movies.
What Parents Should Know Before Watching Artemis Fowl With Their Kids
- There's plenty of violence, as well as the use of weapons both physical and mental. Both the faires and Artemis wield weapons at various points in the film, including blaster guns and a sleeping dart gun; plus, the fairies have the technology to wipe the memories of humans and also control their minds through eye contact. In terms of violence, there are a bunch of fight scenes, an explosion in a prison, and a violent troll who is said to be able to eat a human in under three seconds ("a fairy in less than one.")
- The characters are constantly in peril. In conjunction with the aforementioned violence, many of our characters are consistently in danger. The troll first poses a threat to civilians at a wedding — it throws a young girl clean across a village square and destroys the entire reception setting while harming guests in the process. Then later, the troll is unleashed at Fowl Manor, Artemis's mansion, and injures all of the characters in one way, shape, or form, and nearly kills one of them (for a second there, you really believe that they are going to die).
- The plot is sometimes confusing to follow. Aside from the fast-paced action scenes, some of the slower scenes are tough to follow, as so much of what Artemis discovers about the fairy world is fictional. Lots of concepts are introduced and could be confusing for younger viewers to follow along with, especially if they haven't read the book.
- There are some creepy moments involving one of the villains, Opal, and Josh Gad's character, Mulch Diggums. One of the villains of this first movie, Opal, who has captured Artemis's father, speaks with a sinister voice and is only ever seen with a creepy bright green light emanating out of their face, which hides their identity. Additionally, Mulch Diggums, a dwarf and kleptomaniac who lives in the fairy world — and who is telling Artemis's story from a prison interrogation room — specializes in digging tunnels . . . with his mouth. In order to dig, Mulch dislocates his jaw and pulls it down to his neck, which causes his whole mouth to widen. It's not a huge deal, but it's definitely unpleasant; he even mentions to an off-camera character that if they get squeamish, they should look away before he goes ahead and casually unhinges his jaw. It's something to behold, for sure.
TL;DR: Artemis Fowl is an action-packed movie that's appropriate for most kids and tweens, but you know your kids best, so if they're sensitive to jumpy moments, characters in peril, or movie violence, just prep them beforehand and assure them that in the end, everything works out for Artemis and his friends. And if your kids don't want to watch it with you, you'll still be entertained by the film's plot, as well as Josh Gad's constant comic relief and his more adult, blink-and-you'll-miss-it one-liners.