Australian Council on Children and the Media

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 6 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2
  • a review of Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 December 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes
Children 6 and over OK for this age group

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: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 begins as the young and creative inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is invited to work with his idol Chester V (Will Forte) at the Live Corp Company – a place of innovation which aims to better mankind through scientific design. The company has been asked to clean up the island after the food storm caused by Flint’s previous innovation which aimed to turn water into food. In actuality, it caused the food to come to life in the form of creatures known as ‘foodimals’. Chester sends Flint out on a mission to find his old machine and destroy the apparently dangerous foodimals.

 Although Chester tells Flint to keep the operation secret, Flint tells his good friends and they come along to help. Once they arrive on the jungle-like island and begin to encounter the foodimals, Flint and his friends gradually realise that they are not evil and dangerous as Chester initially suggested – they merely want to live in harmony with their own family and friends. Although Flint is still intent on obeying Chester and cannot see his mentor’s scheming plans for what they are, he slowly comes to believe his own friends. He then makes the difficult decision to protect the foodimals from Chester.

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.

Friendship; good versus evil; acceptance of diversity; invention and science

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 mild animated violence in the film, including:

  • Flint throws his monkey into a vortex that is supposed to transport them to the island, but the monkey shoots back out almost immediately and appears to have been electrocuted. He is OK, however.
  • A giant taco with teeth chases the group and tries to bite and eat them.
  • Chester gets eaten by the large Cheeseburger foodimal near the end of the film.

 

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 in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Some of the foodimals initially look quite frightening – for instance, the giant tacos have large sharp teeth and look as if they want to eat Flint and his friends.  

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.

Some of the younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the foodimals.

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.

Nothing of concern

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.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Various foods shown in the film and also some associated merchandise

Sexual references

There are very limited sexual references in the film, including:

  • Monkey, Flint’s pet and companion, drinks some coffee and burns himself, saying ‘Hot!’ A woman walks past at the same time and says ‘Not so bad yourself, Monkey’.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

Some mild coarse language that young children may imitate, such as “shut up”

In a nutshell

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is an animated adventure centred predominantly on friendship and trust. Flint allows himself to be manipulated by Chester, and because he idealises his mentor, Flint forgets that his friends have always had his wellbeing as a priority. The film also demonstrates that situations are not always as simple as they may seem, and that all individuals should think critically and come to their own conclusions as opposed to having blind faith in the opinions of others. It is generally a family-friendly film, although there are a few scenes that might be scary for under sixes.

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

  • The importance of trusting in your friends and not taking the people you love for granted.
  • Never doubting your own abilities and knowing that despite potential inexperience or lack of skills, everyone is able to make a worthwhile contribution to society.
  • Viewing other people in a realistic manner, without either idealisation or devaluation, and acknowledging them irrespective of their potential flaws.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Balancing independence with relationships with friends and family.
  • The need to accept difference, as opposed to destroying or fearing those who are different.

 

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