Australian Council on Children and the Media

Eragon

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Short takes

Not recommended under 13 (Viol. Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Eragon
  • a review of Eragon completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 December 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 13 Parental guidance recommended for children between the age of thirteen and fifteen years depending on parentsu2019 assessment of the film content and the childu2019s level of exposure to fantasy films, and violent images.

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: Eragon
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate violence
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

For thousands of years Dragon Riders maintained peace in the kingdom of Alagaesia. but they were betrayed by one of their own, Galbatorix (John Malkovich), who slaughtered all of the dragon riders along with their dragons before proclaiming himself King of Alagaesia.

While hunting in the mountains, Eragon (Ed Speleers), a 17 year old farm boy, stumbles upon a large blue dragon’s egg which has been magically transported there by the elvan warrior Arya (Sienna Guillory). Eragon takes the egg home where it hatches a baby dragon named Saphira (voiced by Rachel Weisz). When Eragon releases the young dragon for its first flight it transforms into a fully-fledged adult dragon able to communicate telepathically with him.

Eragon meets Brom (Jeremy Irons), a fallen ex dragon rider, who convinces him to take his dragon and seek out the Varden, a group of rebels. However, Eragon receives a dream message from Arya, who is being held prisoner by an evil sorcerer called Durza (Robert Carlyle). Eragon must free Arya and continue in his attempts to overthrow King Galbatorix.

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.

Supernatural themes

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 considerable violence in this movie including:

  • a battle with dragons, swords impaling soldiers, soldiers being struck by axes; some blood spurting and trickling from wounds.
  • a soldier is shot in the chest with an arrow.
  • a soldier leaps at Arya and knocks her from her horse.
  • village youths are dragged off against their will to join the King’s army.
  • Eragon is burned on the hand by the dragon’s egg.
  • Arya is held prisoner by Durza, who uses invisible forces to torture her.
  • an Urgal says that he will “find the boy and kill him before he becomes a man.”
  • Durza stabs an Urgal in the foot with a spear, the man screams in pain.
  • guards bully and threaten Brom.
  • Razacs (demonic creatures) kill Eragon’s uncle by appearing to cut his throat although no blood is depicted.
  • there are sounds of women screaming and people being attacked but images of the attack are not shown.
  • Eragon is attacked by an Urgal, which is stabbed in the back by Brom.
  • Brom bashes an Urgal in the head with a flaming torch and another across the face.
  • Eragon shoots an arrow at a group of Urgals, the arrow bursting into flames and exploding as it hits the Urgals flinging them in all directions.
  • a Razac leaps from a tree pulling Eragon from his dragon, Eragon uses magic to bring a tree vine to life, which wraps itself around the Razac’s throat lifting the Razac up into the trees while it strangled it.
  • Brom impales a Razac through the chest with his sword.
  • Eragon and Brom fight with staffs with Brom knocking Eragon down.
  • Brom tells Eragon how he killed a man in revenge and how the man’s dragon died as a result.
  • Durza kills an Urgal by touching a long black fingernail to the Urgal’s temple; a trickle of blood runs down the side of the Urgal’s face.
  • Durza uses his fingernail to touch Arya on the side of her face and a black web-like bruise appears on Arya’s chest and begins to spread.
  • when Eragon attempts to rescue Arya he fights Urgals and Durza. Violent images include, Eragon shooting Durza in the forehead with an arrow, Eragon shooting a number of guards in the forehead with arrows, a stranger (youth) shooting guards with arrows, Brom getting speared in the shoulder, the dragon bitting off the head of a guard.
  • Brom slowly dies from his spear wound.
  • an Urgal grabs a Varden by the throat and breaks his neck.
  • a large battle scene erupts when the Urgals attack the Varden stronghold. A wall explodes as hundreds of Urgal’s storm through wielding weapons attacking the Varden. There are images of swords impaling chests and cutting throats, throwing weapons being wielded and cutting throats (there is minimal blood and gore).
  • a dragon spews fire over hundreds of Urgals setting them on fire.
  • a dragon picks up a man in her mouth and throws him some distance.
  • Durza uses dark magic to create a demonic dragon to attack Eragon and his dragon, Eragon is told to rip Durza’s heart out of his chest.
  • good and evil Dragons do battle in the sky with the evil dragon viciously biting the good dragon on the head and neck. The good dragon falls to the ground badly wounded with large bloody bites taken from the dragon’s neck.
  • Durza hurls fireballs at Eragon and good dragon. Eragon jumps from his dragon to land on the evil dragon.
  • Eragon uses his sword to impale Durza through his heart resulting in Durza and the evil dragon exploding in flames.

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:

  • Durza is a sorcerer possessed with demonic spirits. At the start of the film Durza is seen as tall handsome, pale man with red hair and maroon eyes while commanding an intimidating and threatening presence. As Durza uses more and more of his demonic powers he gradually transforms until he is left looking evil and unhuman complete with black teeth and corpse-like mouth etc.
  • the Urgals are bald headed, tattoo faced, sharp teethed,, brutish looking men.
  • a butcher chops up pieces of raw meat and dead rabbits are shown hanging in the window.
  • a sorcerer walks through a wall of fire.
  • Brom sets fire to Eragon’s uncle’s body and his house.
  • Durza uses dark magic to resurrect Razacs (demonic mercenaries), which burst from the ground, accompanied by bats The Razac are scary demonic creatures with maggots crawling over their faces.
  • when Saphira hatches she is a friendly and looks like a puppy with wings. As an adult she has a definite feminine appearance to her face, but can take on a scary, threatening appearance.
  • the King’s dragon revealed at the end of the film is scary, and evil in appearance.
  • the dragon-like creature created by Durza’s dark magic is completely evil in appearance, very dark and scary.
  • the scenes when Eragon is learning to ride his dragon look reckless and dangerous and may scare younger children.
  • Eragon has the ability to see through his dragon’s eyes. When this happens Eragon’s eyes become reptilian in appearance.

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 are likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

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.

Many children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes described above.

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.

Many children over the age of thirteen years should be capable of coping with the violence and images presented throughout the film, but parents need to be aware of their own child’s level of susceptibility and previous exposure to films depicting fantasy and frightening images. 

Product placement

None

Sexual references

None

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None.

Coarse language

No coarse language; infrequent put downs

In a nutshell

Eragon is a fantasy action adventure based upon books written by Christopher Paolini which targets a younger adolescent audience.

The main messages from this movie are the triumph of good over evil, the masses rising up to overthrow tyranny, youth overpowering corrupt evil adults and youth recognising their destiny. The film emphasises the message, “without fear there can be no courage”.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include the self-sacrifices made by a number of the film’s characters on the behalf of others.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the real life effects and consequences of war and violent acts and how these acts have a negative impact on the victim’s families.

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