'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb': Should Your Kids See It?​

night at the museum: secret of the tomb

Going to the museum with your kids is fun, but seeing those Eygyptian pharaohs and tiny diorama cavemen actually walk and talk? That's a whole new level of cool -- and the reason why the Night at the Museum movies, in which Ben Stiller plays a night guard at the Museum of Natural History who discovers that the artifacts come alive at night, have become such a big hit with families. On December 19, the third movie in this series, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, hits theaters, and kids will likely be clamoring to see it. So should you take them to the theaters? Here's what parents should know:


In the latest Museum flick, Stiller learns that the ancient Egyptian tablet animating the artifacts must be fixed to keep the "magic" of the museum alive. To repair the tablet, he flies to the British Museum in London with his "friends": a diorama cowboy (Owen Wilson), a wax statue of Franklin Roosevelt (Robin Williams), and others.

Consider this movie a tour of the British Museum's finest artifacts, only animated, giving your kids a true cultural experience at the movies.

But parents, be warned: while it's beautiful to behold Greek statues stretching their limbs (or stumps) and now-extinct birds soaring through the vaunted halls, some of the artifacts are downright frightening. At one point, a Triceratops skeleton chases popular characters through the museum until they are rescued by Sir Lancelot (Dan Stevens). Then they battle a many-headed serpent; so if snakes give your kids the creeps, this is one scene where you may want to cover their eyes.

More from The Stir: Ben Stiller on 'Night at the Museum' & the Hardest Part of Raising Kids

But there are plenty of kiddie hi-jinks in Museum to make up for it.

Wilson's cowboy character and his tiny friend, Roman General Octavius, end up in a diorama of Pompeii right when the volcano erupts and nearly engulfs them in molten lava. But their monkey mascot, Dexter, saves the day by peeing on the lava, and them. Since kids love toilet humor this will probably elicit some giggles (let's just hope it doesn't give kids any ideas, on how to put out fires or otherwise).

As for the parents, the third Night at the Museum installment is full of "adult humor" that will probably fly over most kids' heads. For one, Octavius keeping hinting he harbors a homosexual crush on his compadre Wilson, Hugh Jackman appears in a cameo referencing his famous "Wolverine" character, and the British Museum's cheeky night guard (Rebel Wilson) performs the legendary lift-up dance from Dirty Dancing.

Then, of course, this was Robin William's last movie, and there's a sad scene where Stiller says goodbye to him that is all the more poignant in retrospect -- and one that may have parents weeping.

More from The Stir: Robin Williams Remembered at 'Night at the Museum' Premiere

From potty humor to iconic '80s movie references, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb will sweep both kids and adults up in the magic of museums. Just be sure your kids can stomach watching the museum's more frightening artifacts come to life. Here's a clip of the dinosaur chase scene to give you a taste of what's in store:

What do you think of the Night at the Museum movies?


Image via 20th Century Fox

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