Australian Council on Children and the Media

Catch That Kid

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Viol. Themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Catch That Kid
  • a review of Catch That Kid completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 April 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the level of violence and scariness itu2019s not recommended for children under 8.
Children aged 8-13 Children 8-12 will need parental guidance to view this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Children over the age of 13 will be okay to watch this movie with or without parental guidance, depending on parentsu2019 interpretation of the contents.

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: Catch That Kid
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Low level violence, Mature themes
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Maddy Phillips is a young girl with an adventurous spirit who loves wall climbing and longs to be like her father Tom, who used to be a climber but now runs a Go-Kart speedway for the local youths. Maddy’s mother, Molly, is head of a security firm that is installing a state of the art security system for the Harderbach bank which is run by mean spirited Mr Brisbane. Maddy’s two friends Austin and Gus are her loyal companions and together they spend a lot of time at the Go-Kart track. Gus’s older brother Chad races Go-Karts when he’s not working as a security guard at the Harderbach Bank together with megalomaniac Phil who prefers the use of savage guard dogs and the baton to high tech security.

One day Tom suddenly collapses and becomes paralysed from an injury he’d sustained during his climbing years. The distraught family is told that his only hope is experimental surgery that’s only performed in Denmark at the cost of $250,000. Molly approaches Brisbane for a loan but because the security system won’t be ready for the date he had insisted upon, he refuses. The bank manager, Mr. Hartmann, tries to intervene on Molly’s behalf but Brisbane is unmoveable.

Maddy decides to take matters into her own hands. She persuades her two friends to help her rob the bank which she insists she’ll pay back when she has the money. The threesome then come up with a bold scheme which involves Austin manipulating the electronic security system and the guard dogs, Gus fixing three ‘get away karts’ and Maddy scaling the 100 foot vault to reach the safe. Their plan seems doomed when Molly insists that Maddy baby-sits her baby brother Max on the night of the heist. Undeterred, Maddy takes Max along with her and the four children embark on a night of high suspense, danger and excitement.

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.

Crime, serious injury

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 movie including the following:

  • Chad gets really angry with Gus, his go-kart mechanic, when the wheels fall off and he starts pushing him about.
  • Gus accidentally burns himself on a barbeque and the marks are shown.
  • Austin pretends to want to find out about handling Rottweilers. The trainer shows him a few commands then lets the dogs off and they chase Austin over a fence.
  • Phil sets a spider on fire with an electronic baton. (Children in the audience gasped at this scene).
  • Gus crashes his go-kart but is not hurt.
  • Phil teaches Chad self defence techniques and hits him in the groin with his baton. Chad is doubled over in pain.
  • Phil hits Chad over the head.
  • The dogs chase Maddy, Gus and Austin through the building, barking viciously. One of the dogs attacks Austin’s bag.
  • Chad hits Phil with the electronic baton. Phil falls down writhing on the ground. Then Chad accidentally zaps himself and he falls on top of Phil.
  • During the police chase Gus lets out a pile of jacks which puncture the police cars’ tyres causing them to crash. No-one is injured.

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.

As well as the above mentioned violent scenes there are some scary scenes in this movie including the following:

  • Maddy is climbing up a water tower when her equipment fails and she falls a long way before the ropes hold her.
  • Tom collapses and can’t feel his legs.
  • The vicious Rottweilers, barking and drooling.
  • Maddy climbs up the vault using open safety deposit boxes as a staircase at first and one opens onto her nearly knocking her off.
  • Maddy has to get from one side of the top of the vault to another and uses rods like monkey bars which she has trouble hanging on to. She eventually loses her grip and falls, lands on a platform and falls again, but has a safe landing.
  • Phil corners the children in a threatening manner and tells them that their screams won’t be heard by anyone.
  • The children are pursued on their go-karts by the police at high speed and go under a truck at one point.
  • Austin’s go-kart runs out of fuel and he has to jump into Gus’s.

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.

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

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 could be concerned by the following:

  • Tom collapsing and becoming paralysed
  • the vicious Rottweilers
  • the spider being set on fire.
  • Phil’s megalomaniac character. He is portrayed as a Nazi guard and Chad as a member of the Hitler youth.
  • Maddy falling from a great height.

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 would probably find this movie more suspenseful than scary, however they might be disturbed by the spider being set on fire.

Product placement

None of concern.

Sexual references

In one scene the bank Manager, Mr. Hartmann is being seduced by a woman at a party. He takes her into his office where Austin and Max are hiding and Austin covers Max’s eyes while Hartmann and the woman are kissing.
Phil tells Chad to “take care of his privates” after he has hit him in the groin.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity except Bart Simpson showing his bottom on TV.

Use of substances

There is alcohol at the party.

Coarse language

There is no coarse language.

In a nutshell

The take home message is probably that it’s okay to rob a bank if it’s for a worthy cause.
Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • friendship
  • loyalty
  • courage
  • compassion.

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • lying to parents
  • manipulating others for self gain
  • disobeying authority
  • stealing gets rewarded.

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