Parents need to know that Matilda is a 1996 surreal family movie based on the book by Roald Dahl. It includes a lot of cartoonish violence, nearly all of it perpetrated by a bullying school principal. Children who displease the evil principal are put in "the chokey," a dark closet lined with nails and broken glass. A girl is picked up by her pigtails and flung over a fence. A boy is tossed out of a window like a javelin. A boy is forced to eat an entire gigantic chocolate cake in front of all his classmates; when he finishes, the angered principal smashes the giant cake plate on his head. There is reference to suicide in the story line and one use of "hell," plus "oh my God" used as an exclamation. When Matilda's parents aren't neglecting her, they're berating her -- so she decides to punish them. But she also stands up for the principal's victims. The film explores themes of youthful independence and personal identity.