Cheaper by the Dozen is a reimagining of the 2003 family comedy by the same name, starring Steve Martin. Don’t think this is just another retelling though, because this Disney+ version puts a whole new spin on things. Is Cheaper by the Dozen kid-friendly? I’m breaking down all of the thematic elements, including its PG rating, in my Cheaper by the Dozen Parents Guide and Movie Review. Here’s what parents need to know to help YOU decide if it’s appropriate for kids. As always, no spoilers!
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN Parents Guide + Movie Review
Disney Plus’ Cheaper by the Dozen (2022), co-stars Gabrielle Union (Zoe Baker) and Zach Braff (Paul Baker). The opening sequence gives us a great introduction to our leading characters, and their whole family. Paul and Zoe are a multiracial blended family. They were both married before and each have children from their previous marriages. Once married, they had not one, but TWO sets of twins. Add in two dogs with the best names ever, Bark Obama and Joe Biten, and you have the Baker family!
The Baker’s run their own family restaurant, Baker’s Breakfast. As Paul says, “breakfast is my jam,” meaning all they serve is breakfast all day long. As a HUGE fan of breakfast food, I wholeheartedly approve.
When Paul receives an offer he can’t refuse to invest in his “secret sauce,” The Baker’s are in for a wild ride. They uproot their family to an upscale, and slightly snooty suburb, enroll their children in private school, and Paul is always traveling for work. Is this the new life they really wanted?
Cheaper by the Dozen doesn’t shy away from Racial injustice
What sets the 2022 Cheaper by the Dozen apart from the original, is it is not afraid to bring big themes front and center. While the movie still has its fair share of laughs, there is definitely a more serious tone. It aims to get a point across, and I feel it does it well.
Racism is a huge theme throughout the film, as is raising Black children in America. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Paul and Dom, Zoe’s ex-husband, are having a conversation about Dom’s children. Paul says he truly loves Dom’s kids and considers them his own, but Dom drops a major truth bomb. Paul will never understand Dom’s kids completely because Paul is white. Black men are sometimes seen as a threat, and Dom needs to protect and prepare his children the very best way he can. It’s a very emotional scene, but very much needed.
Cheaper by the Dozen features a blended multiracial family
You really cannot get a more diverse family. The representation on screen is perfect for others to relate to and see blended and multiracial families like them.
There is even a character who uses a wheelchair. It is never mentioned why she uses a wheelchair, which I personally think is great. As a wheelchair user myself, just making it part of the story without bringing extra attention to it, makes it more acceptable.
However, I will say that I wish an actor who really uses wheelchair in real life played the part. I’m not taking anything away from Caylee Blosenski (Harley Baker), but I personally feel people with disabilities aren’t represented enough in the film industry. This was a missed opportunity.
IS CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN KID-FRIENDLY? HERE’S YOUR PARENTS GUIDE:
Cheaper by the Dozen has an MPAA rating of PG. This means the parental guidance is suggested. In this case, Cheaper by the Dozen is rated PG for thematic elements, suggestive material, and language. It has a runtime of 1 hour 47 minutes. I will say that I felt the time duration to be a bit too long.
There is a fair share of bullying in this movie. And as I said earlier, racism is a theme throughout. There are also mention of gangs, and an aunt that goes to rehab. A lot of stereotypes are brought up.
As far as language goes, there was a reference to someone being a “satanist.” Other words include: shut up, weirdo, jerks, and d@mn.
I would recommend Cheaper by the Dozen for ages 8 and up. I feel younger kids might get bored and lose interest. There are also a lot of great conversation starters you’ll be able to have with your children, so make sure you watch with them!
Cheaper by the Dozen is filled with dad jokes, humor, and heart. It doesn’t shy away from bringing awareness to racial injustice…which is exactly what our society needs to see. The representation on screen is a beautiful thing. Cheaper by the Dozen reminds us that families are perfectly imperfect. You can stream this movie exclusively on Disney Plus.
Cheaper by the Dozen Synopsis
An all-new movie premiering on Disney+, “Cheaper by the Dozen” is a fresh take on the 2003 hit family comedy. It is the story of the raucous exploits of a blended family of 12, the Bakers, as they navigate a hectic home life while simultaneously managing their family business. The movie stars Gabrielle Union, Zach Braff, Erika Christensen, Timon Kyle Durrett, Journee Brown, Kylie Rogers, Andre Robinson, Caylee Blosenski, Aryan Simhadri, Leo Abelo Perry, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Christian Cote, Sebastian Cote and Luke Prael. The movie is directed by Gail Lerner, with a screenplay by Kenya Barris & Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry based upon the novel by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. Kenya Barris is producing, with Shawn Levy, Gabrielle Union, Brian Dobbins and Donald J. Lee, Jr. serving as executive producers.
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