The Pitch

Teenager goes back in time, meets his parents as teenagers. Things get complicated.

Content Advisories

Rated PG. 1980s PG language; your kids are gonna hear some serious s‑‑‑. A character is gunned down with multiple shots to the chest. Teenage drinking, smoking, and “parking”. In the 1980s, a movie marquee in the background reads "XXX Rated / Orgy American Style". Our hero plans to fake a sexual assault. On his own mother. She’s then actually sexually assaulted. Characters solve problems with their fists.

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I didn't have time to build it to scale or paint it

On paper, the success of Back to the Future seems as improbable as a time machine built out of a DeLorean. For years no one wanted to make this combination science fiction-comedy-action-romance; Disney was turned off by the attraction of a mother to her own child, and every other studio was looking for something raunchier, in the vein of Porky’s or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The production shot for four weeks with Eric Stoltz in the role of Marty McFly, before deciding that he was miscast and starting all over again with Michael J. Fox. What emerged, however, was one of the most entertaining movies to ever come out of Hollywood—packed with charm and laughs and thrills. Fox and Christopher Lloyd (as Doc Brown) are arguably what make the movie work, but I’d also credit the preposterous score by Alan Silvestri, whose bombast makes the stakes of a chase around the block feel bigger than the destruction of the Death Star, and which had my kid literally leaping up off of the sofa. You may find yourself wanting to explain the various 1950s and (especially) 1980s references to your kids, but the fish-out-of-water comedy is played so broadly that they’ll get what’s going on.* And as far as time paradoxes go, your kids have seen things far more complicated in the “Quantum Boogaloo” episode of Phineas and Ferb.Chris Ereneta

*If your kids do ask questions, consider using the pause button. This is one of those scripts so tightly written that it’s easy to talk over a setup for a later callback.

Edited & designed by Chris Ereneta. Suggestions, feedback, and rants welcome at, @WatchWithKids, or on Facebook. More about this site.