Published March 25, 2000|Updated Sept. 26, 2005

The Family Movie Guide should be used along with the Motion Picture Association of America rating system for selecting movies suitable for children. Only films rated G, PG or PG-13 are included in this weekly listing, along with occasional R-rated films that may have entertainment or educational value for older children with parental guidance. Films are categorized as "recommended for family viewing," "recommended for family viewing with reservations" and "not recommended for family viewing," with a description of content that led to that categorizing.

Recommended for

family viewing

+ SNOW DAY (PG) _ Nickelodeon presents a lively, family-friendly story of puppy love and tame rebellion on a chilly day off from school. No profanity, but some rude wisecracks. No nudity, although co-star Emmanuelle Chriqui wears some revealing costumes as the main object of affection. Romance never moves beyond chaste kisses. Violence is limited to snowball snipers and a couple of car crashes. Mild child endangerment.

+ STUART LITTLE (PG) _ Aside from a few vague double-entendres, there is nothing objectionable about this adaptation of E.B. White's beloved novel of a mouse adopted by humans. Children should be thrilled by Stuart's computer-animated antics, while adults feel cozy with familiar voices such as those of Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane and Chazz Palminteri. No profanity, nudity or sex, and the mild violence is depicted as harmless slapstick.

+ THE TIGGER MOVIE (G) _ Nothing objectionable at all about this Disney 'toon, although the old-fashioned songs and watercolor backgrounds may seem dull to children. No violence, profanity, nudity or sex, nor even veiled allusions to those subjects for grown-ups as some family friendly films attempt. Harmless fun for ages 3-8 that will play just as well again and again on home video.

+ TOY STORY 2 (G) _ The sequel to the 1995 computer-animation breakthrough lives up to expectations in almost every regard. No profanity, nudity or sexual themes, and violence is kept to a mild-mannered minimum. Children will enjoy the further adventures of Buzz, Woody and the rest of the toy chest, and the movie contains enough technical awe and warmly defined emotions that parents will be just as entertained.

Recommended for family viewing, with reservations

+ BICENTENNIAL MAN (PG) _ Robin Williams is charming, but this movie might be boring for young children. No violence, some mild profanities. Williams' character, a robot, is taken apart occasionally, raising mature issues of mortality.

Not recommended

for family viewing

+ THE CIDER HOUSE RULES (PG-13) _ Too slow-paced for younger sensibilities, containing subplots dealing with incest, abortion and infidelity. Numerous profanities and crude remarks, but no violence. One scene includes female rear nudity. Adult themes.

+ DOWN TO YOU (PG-13) _ Sex is a popular topic in this teen-dream comedy, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. as a celibate guy. Julia Stiles plays his girlfriend, who prefers casual sex to relationships. Several jokes hinge on nipple-piercing, the couple's three-month celibacy period after first meeting, and close friends who either work as porn stars or share some of the same promiscuous attitudes. No nudity, although it is suggested for humorous effect. Several profanities, no violence.

+ GALAXY QUEST (PG) _ This spoof of the enduring Star Trek phenomenon is probably funnier for fans, with inside jokes mostly older viewers will appreciate. One is the cheap-TV look of the production, appearing more like an entertainment rip-off on the big screen. Most of the violence is death ray and fisticuffs stuff. Harsh profanity, a measure of gross-out special effects and concentration on Sigourney Weaver's cleavage may concern parents.

+ HANGING UP (PG-13) _ Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton and Lisa Kudrow play estranged sisters reunited by the failing health of their father, played by Walter Matthau. Neither the older demographics or somber dramatics will interest anyone under age 14. No violence or nudity, and any sexuality is played for mild laughs by Matthau's crusty character. Mild profanity until two "f-words" occur late in rapid succession. Restless alert.

_ STEVE PERSALL, Times Film Critic