Sweeney Is R, Beowulf Is PG-13

Earlier this Summer a lot of concern was raised over the MPAA ratings of two major fall season releases – “Sweeney Todd” and “Beowulf”.

Word was that ‘Todd’, Tim Burton’s film version of the Sondheim musical about a barber who slashes throats and his cohort who bakes their remains into pies, had a lot of violence and gore. So, talk began that it was to be cut down to a PG-13 by executives hoping to cash in on Johnny Depp’s bankability with the teen crowd.

The good news is the cuts aren’t being made, the MPAA has passed the film with an R rating for ‘graphic bloody violence’ which sounds like Burton’s vision is remaining intact.

The other surprise was “Beowulf”, Paramount’s CG-animated take on the epic Danish poem. Footage screened earlier in the year showed a remarkable amount of nudity, blood and violence for a CG-animated film – one with a very adult sensibility.

Now, the MPAA has ruled a PG-13 rating for the film but cited that it contains “intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity”. One wonders if the material is actually pushing into R-rated territory but managed to slip into a PG-13 because it’s animated.