Australian Council on Children and the Media

Dinosaur Island

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Short takes

Not recommended under 7, parental guidance recommended 7-10 (Violent and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Dinosaur Island
  • a review of Dinosaur Island completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 17 February 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes, and some coarse language.
Children aged 7-10 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 10 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: Dinosaur Island
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language, some scenes may scare young children
Length 83 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

One day Lucas Winton (Darius Williams) discovers a mysterious crystal hidden away in his grandmother’s house. Later, when Lucas is on a plane on his way to visit his father, the crystal begins to act strangely and Lucas is magically transported to an unknown island full of dinosaurs. 

On the island, Lucas meets a girl named Kate (Kate Rasmussen), who was stranded on the island in the 1950’s. The two of them must work together and use what they know about geology and dinosaurs to avoid being attacked and to find a way home.

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.

Separation from parents; animal distress and cruelty to animals; death of a family member; natural disasters; plane crash

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 dinosaurs frequently attack Lucas and Kate. Sometimes Kate and Lucas try to fight back with sticks and other objects but mostly they run away.
  • Lucas and Kate are kidnapped by some of the island natives. The natives bind their hands, poke them with large sticks and lock them in a cage.

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:

  • The grandmother’s house looks very dark and scary. When entering, Lucas mentions that the house creaking could be “the screams of a thousand tormented souls”.
  • When Lucas is flying on the plane, the crystal creates a giant black cloud which the plane flies into. The plane then undergoes some extreme turbulence. People begin screaming and panicking. The plane starts falling out of the sky and then the pilots and the rest of the passengers magically disappear. Lucas wakes up a little bruised on the island. This scene may be scary and disturbing to children.
  • There are many dinosaurs throughout this movie. They frequently attack Lucas and Kate, and make scary screeching sounds.
  • There are earthquakes, volcanos and planes falling out of the sky and crashing on the island.
  • Kate and Lucas are almost eaten by a giant plant
  • Kate and Lucas run towards an erupting volcano and there is lava all over the ground

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, including the following:

  • The grandmother has died. Lucas talks about how he still misses her and he doesn’t want to get rid of her things. This discussion of death may be confronting for some children.
  • In the native camp, there are dinosaurs which are being held captive in cages and one is shown dead with a spear through its eye.
  • Kate’s little dinosaur pet is injured and thought to be dead. Kate starts to cry. This emotional scene may be confronting for young children.

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.

Some younger children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by 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.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • ‘screw it’; ‘butt’

In a nutshell

Dinosaur Island is an entertaining action movie with dinosaurs on a mysterious island. It teaches children about the importance of working together and using your brain to solve problems. This movie is ideal for children over the age of 10. Because of the violent and scary scenes in the film, parental guidance is guidance is recommended for 7-10 years olds and this film is not recommended for children under the age of 7.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • working together is important
  • always try to use what you know to solve problems

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

  • valuing your friends
  • bravery
  • the importance of learning

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss  the importance of not being cruel to animals and the importance of listening and participating in class.

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