Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that although this adventure is animated, it's not aimed at kids. Some people may misinterpret the fact that it was created by the same filmmakers responsible for The Polar Express as an automatic thumbs-up for kids. But the considerable violence and sexual innuendo are comparable to the content of popular live-action flick 300. As those familiar with the ancient epic poem the movie is based on know, Beowulf defeats the monstrous Grendel ... but not before Grendel kills a lot of innocent people in disgusting, harrowing ways. The violence includes dismemberment, impalement, bashed heads, people being eaten alive, and more. Animated or not, it can be hard to watch (even more so in 3D, an option that some theaters are offering).
Lots of sexual innuendo and partial nudity (it's animated, but the animation is very realistic). Beowulf strips completely naked in preparation to fight Grendel. Various people and items conveniently obscure his genitals, but his bare buttocks are shown several times during the fight. The drunk king wears a robe that half falls off; a buxom woman's cleavage is shown heaving and jiggling. Later she's propositioned by one of Beowulf's warriors, who says things like "my loins are burning" and that he won't be quiet when he comes. A bare-shouldered woman and soldier share a sleeping bag. The king demands his queen produce an heir; Beowulf has a younger mistress in addition to his wife. Grendel's mom can take the form of a gorgeous woman (Angelina Jolie) who emerges dripping wet and naked from the water.
Grendel -- a disturbing, oozing, pus-filled sight in and of himself -- kills mostly at random. He impales victims, snaps necks, rips off heads and eats them, tears people in two, throws men into fires, squishes heads, etc. Most of the violence is fast, but there's still a great deal of it. Beowulf dismembers Grendel's arm after a long hand-to-hand battle. Grendel's mother kills almost an entire group of warriors, who are shown as shadowy, bloody figures hanging from ceiling beams. Beowulf battles an angry, murderous dragon. Beowulf's army slaughters its enemies on the battlefield.
Milder than the rest of the film: "damn," "hell," etc.
The message seems to be that men are all-too-easily seduced by beauty and the promise of power.
Drugs / Tobacco /
The Danes and their visiting mercenaries drink a lot of mead in the mead hall. Some men are so drunk that they pass out on the table.