Australian Council on Children and the Media

Curious George

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Short takes

Okay for all ages, most suited to preschoolers.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Curious George
  • a review of Curious George completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 17 August 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Curious George is a cartoon that will be enjoyed by children under eight, particularly preschoolers.
Children over the age of 8 Some children over the age of eight may be bored by this movie although others may also secretly enjoy it.

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: Curious George
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ted (Will Ferrell), a cautious historian, loves working at Mr. Bloomsberry’s museum, where every week he gets to bore a group of schoolchildren with his anecdotes from the past while their teacher Miss Maggie Dunlop (Drew Barrymore) adoringly hangs on every word. Ted is devastated when he learns that Mr. Bloomsberry (Dick Van Dyke) may have to close the Museum for financial reasons. Desperate to save it from being turned into a parking garage at the insistence of Junior Bloomsberry (David Cross), Ted inadvertently volunteers to lead an expedition to Africa in search of a lost idol.

While what he finds is not exactly what he is looking for, Ted nevertheless does not return empty handed. He is accompanied by a curious little monkey (Frank Welker), later named George, who has stowed away on the ship after being infatuated by Ted’s yellow hat. While George means well, his curiosity often gets the better of him and lands him, or rather Ted, in one difficult situation after another.

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.

Sibling rivalry

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.

The burly doorman in Ted’s building blasts through doors a number of times. He roughly evicts Ted from the building.

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 scene, scenes which could scare or disturb children under the age of five, include:

  • George gets caught in traffic and is nearly hit by a car or truck a number of times.
  • When Ted wants to be rid of George and can’t get him to go away, he calls Animal Control. George desperately tries to cling to Ted but is forcibly yanked away by two strange men and placed in a dark cage. George appears very distressed.

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 scared or 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.

It is unlikely that children over the age of eight would be disturbed by anything in this movie.

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.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Product placement

None of concern.

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

There is no coarse language; however Ted at one stage refers to himself as an idiot.

In a nutshell

The main message of Curious George is that with effort, persistence and honesty your dreams can come true no matter who or what you are.

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

  • determination
  • courage
  • kindness
  • creativity

Parents could also discuss with their children the importance of discussing feelings rather than acting out of jealousy or anger, and that being too curious can sometimes have unfortunate consequences.

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