Australian Council on Children and the Media

Belle and Sebastian: The adventure continues

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Not recommended for children under 9: parental guidance recommended 9-13 (Scary scenesand emotionally distressing themes; in French with English subtitles)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Belle and Sebastian: The adventure continues
  • a review of Belle and Sebastian: The adventure continues completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 July 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 9 Not recommended due to scary scenes and emotionally disturbing themes. In French with English subtitles
Children 9-13 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and emotionally disturbing themes. In French with English subtitles.
Children aged 13 and over OK for this age group but with themes that parents may wish to discuss

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Belle and Sebastian: The adventure continues
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and coarse language
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This is a sequel to the 2013 movie, Belle and Sebastian, set in a picturesque village nestled in the French Alps. Nine-year-old orphan Sebastian (Felix Bossuet) is living happily with his adopted grandfather Cesar (Tcheky Karyo) and his best friend Belle, a large white Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It is 1945 and Sebastian's cousin Angelina (Margaux Chatelier) is due to return from fighting for the French Resistance. Tragically, Angelina's plane crashes into a forest on the border of Italy, causing a large forest fire, and Angelina is presumed to be dead. 

Cesar refuses to believe that Angelina is dead and decides to hire a pilot to fly over the forest, searching for signs of survival. The only pilot available is a rogue called Pierre (Thierry Neuvic) who Cesar knows is Sebastian's father. Although Cesar is reluctant to hire Pierre, he knows it is his only hope.  Cesar tells Sebastian that Pierre is his father, but together they decide to keep it a secret. 

When Pierre agrees to fly over the forest in search of Angelina, Sebastian and Belle hide on board the plane. When resulting events cause them to makes a crash-landing by a lake near the forest, Sebastian, Belle and Pierre are stranded and decide to search for Angelina on foot. Braving the forest fire, they set off on a perilous adventure during which many new relationships are forged.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Loss of a parent; abandonment; war; natural disasters, gender stereotypes

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this film, including:

  • Cesar is very frustrated with a communication radio, so he hits it violently, causing it to break.
  • Belle attacks Pierre and bites his arm. This causes Pierre to lose control of his aeroplane and crash. No one is harmed.
  • In order to stop Sebastian from going into the fire, Pierre forcefully picks him up and locks him in a van.
  • Belle discovers a large brown bear trying to attack a young girl who has climbed up into a tree. The bear attacks Belle and Sebastian is terrified that the bear is going to kill his dog. Belle is knocked to the ground but is unharmed.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There is a graphic scene of an aeroplane malfunctioning and crashing into a forest. There are also scenes of the wreckage but no dead bodies are shown.
  • Sebastian is tobogganing down a grassy slope and can't brake quickly enough. He nearly falls off the cliff but stops himself in the nick of time.
  • There is a complex emotional scene where Cesar explains to Sebastian who his father is and how his mother was abandoned and then died. Although children under five may not understand the conversation fully, they may notice Sebastian's confusion and distress.
  • Sebastian and Gabriella venture into the forest fire and find themselves trapped among the burning trees. They must escape before the fire engulfs them.
  • Sebastian is tobogganing down a grassy slope and can't brake quickly enough. He nearly falls off the cliff but stops himself just in the nick of time.
  • Sebastian, Pierre and Gabriella need to go into a dangerous rocky cave to try and rescue Angelina. Sebastian is lowered on a rope down into a deep crevasse. The escape from the cave is very tense. They must get out as fast as possible but not fall into the crevasse. The scene culminates in a large explosion when they do not know if Pierre has survived.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, particularly those who can read the subtitles or speak French, including the following:

  • There is an emotionally distressing scene in which Sebastian discovers that his cousin Angelina is believed to be dead.
  • The scene when Sebastian is told about his father is likely to be disturbing for this age group
  • When Pierre notices that Sebastian is wearing an identity tag that once belonged to him, he gets very upset and shakes the boy. Sebastian is forced to reveal himself as Pierre's son. This is a very emotionally tense and moving scene.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by this film, although it is an emotional film for both children and adults

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some mild references in this movie, including:

  • Pierre describes how he met Sebastian's mother and they had to meet secretly because gypsy men didn't like other men being with their girls.
  • When Pierre and Angelina meet, there is romantic chemistry between them and Sebastian and Gabriella comment that they are 'head over heels'.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Mild insults such as 'creep', 'damn-mutt', 'smart-ass', 'pest', 'air-head', 'pig-headed pip-squeak',  'Mr Know-it-all',  'stupid', 'whining like a girl'.
  • For French speakers, there is some coarse language such as 'merde', which are not subtitled.

In a nutshell

Belle and Sebastian: The adventure continues is an entertaining, moving and well-made family drama. There are plenty of adventure and excitement to engage older children and the themes are complex and can be related to modern life.  Due to emotional themes and scary scenes, this film is not recommended for children under 9 and parental guidance is recommended for 9-13 year olds. Because the film is in French with English subtitles, it would be difficult for non-French speakers with limited reading skills to understand.

The main messages from this movie are that with great determination and the courage to take risks, you can be a hero.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • self-initiative
  • bravery
  • loyalty

Parents may also wish to discuss:

  • Sebastian’s relationship with his newly discovered father
  • Gabriella’s need to pretend to be a boy in order to what she wants to do

 

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