Percy Jackson and the Olympians is one of the most popular TV shows in the world after its release on Disney+ in December 2023. With any new series like this, parents want to know if the show is okay for their kids to watch. Our team at The Parent Watch put together a list of things from the show that parents need to be aware of before deciding if the show is going to be okay for their kids. As a parent, it's always stressful trying to figure out if shows are okay for kids. Luckily, Percy Jackson and the Olympians is going to be okay for most kids.
For those who don't know, Percy Jackson and the Olympians is based on the best-selling middle-grade book series by Rick Riordan. It follows 12-year-old Percy Jackson, who finds out he is the son of the Greek God Poseidon, God of the Sea. Percy and two friends, Annabeth Chase, the daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, a satyr, get caught up in the middle of a feud between Poseidon, Zeus, God of Lightning, and Hades, God of the Dead. The series features a great cast with lots of recognizable stars.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is rated TV-PG, but it might be disturbing for some younger kids
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is rated TV-PG, which basically means it's parental guidance suggested. There's no actual age restriction on the content.
In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Greek Gods are brought to life. Rick Riordan, the author of the story and one of the show's writers, reimagines the Greek Gods and their children, the demigods, existing in the modern world. He draws inspiration from Greek mythology, which guides the series. The rules of Ancient Greece and these stories are not always the most appropriate for children, but this show does a really good job of presenting this world more appropriately.
Still, there are some things that might be disturbing for younger viewers. Obviously, the biggest thing is that the demigods are always in danger. Percy references it in his opening monologue, that Half-Bloods, the half-children of the Gods, are constantly in danger. Outside of Camp Half-Blood, there's always monsters on their tail, and those chosen for quests are often put in immediate danger to accomplish a mission or task that benefits humans or the Gods, although it's usually the latter. There are many, many references to killing, being killed, and death of the demigods. That's my biggest worry when watching with young kids, and explaining complex ideas in a way that's palatable is always tough.
In the first episode, Percy's mom is "killed" by the Minotaur, and it's a launch point for the series. It's revealed later that Sally Jackson is not actually dead, but she's been kidnapped. It's confusing for kids, but it's obviously a much better solution to this part of the story than Percy losing a parent in the show's premiere.
Additionally, there are monsters, and usually, the monsters are visually striking. Early in the series, we meet Alecto, played by Megan Mullally. She's one of the Furies, but she's more of a winged creature with sharp claws. In the first episode, there's a Minotaur, a half-giant, half-bull. That's the scariest monster we've seen so far, but the monsters do get more frequent and scarier throughout the first season.
The violence and weaponry is one of the other elements of the series that might not be appropriate for some kids. It's based on Greek mythology, so there's lots of weapons of war from ancient Greece, including swords, daggers, spears, chariots, bow-and-arrows, and more. Percy wields a ballpoint pen that turns into his sword, Riptide, while Annabeth wields a celestial bronze dagger.
With these weapons, Percy vanquishes a few monsters in first few episodes (and will do the same to others as the season goes on). There is no blood and gore, though. The monsters do not bleed; they simply turn into dust and wait to reform in the depths of Tartarus, which is a subject for another time. There are no guns or other things like that in the series.
As with other middle grade shows, there's often conflict between the kids and main characters. There is some bullying and arguing among the campers at Camp Half-Blood. Many of the Gods aren't exactly nice to the demigods, either, so that could be difficult for some kids to understand, too.
Is it okay for kids?
Overall, Percy Jackson and the Olympians is going to be okay for most kids around seven years old and up. Parents know their kids best, so if your child is five years old but has seen other shows and movies like this, it's probably going to be okay. On the flip side, you might have a 10-year-old who doesn't like monsters or gets stressed during action sequences, and this might not be the best show for them. Content-wise, I'd feel comfortable with a se As mentioned, there is a lot of talk about death and dying, so that might be upsetting or raise a lot of questions for kids who are unable to understand what's being referenced. There are also thrilling action and adventure sequences, usually with monsters in pursuit, that could be unsettling for some kids of all ages, especially if they care about Percy, Annabeth, and Grover.
I watched the first two episodes with my almost four-year-olds, and they didn't quite grasp what was going on and asked many questions. One was a little scared of the Minotaur during the scene in which Percy fights the monster, but after reassuring them that it was pretend and not real, they seemed okay with it and haven't mentioned it since. Having read Rick Riordan's book series and knowing what scenes are on the way, I don't think I'll be continuing to let the toddlers watch the rest of the season without checking it out first and having the remote ready to fast forward.
Disney did a good job, from what I've seen, of making a thrilling adventure appropriate for all ages. And, I don't think we're losing anything by Percy Jackson and the Olympians being TV-PG instead of TV-14 or something like that. We might get there in future seasons. Similar to Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the Olympians gets a bit scarier, darker, and more mature as Percy and Annabeth get older.