Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 6 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy
  • a review of Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 November 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to 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: Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 63 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

After rescuing Charlie who falls over the lighthouse rail, Fireman Sam is awarded a special bravery medal and offered a new job in Newtown by visiting Chief Fire Officer Boyce.

Meanwhile, the Pontypandy Pioneer Scouts go on a camping trip in the forest. Against the direction of Fireman Sam that no fires should be lit in the forest, Norman and Derek light a fire to cook sausages. They fail to extinguish their fire completely, and the fire spreads, endangering the lives of the Pontypandy residents on the camping trip.

Fireman Elvis and Radar the dog lead the Pontypandy residents to safety and they are evacuated to the wharf on the edge of town. Fortunately a storm blows in and the rain puts out the forest fire, saving Pontypandy.

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.

The threat of fire; accidents and rescues

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.

None of concern

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.

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

  • Charlie falls over the lighthouse rails and is left hanging by one hand far above the ground.
  • Mike falls off the roof of a house into the harbour, and struggles to stay afloat
  • Helen gets caught in Trevor’s man-trap and is hanging upside down in a tree, unable to get down
  • Fireman Sam almost gets hit by some burning branches that fall off a tree.

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.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of 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.

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

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

The movie’s message

Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy is an animated adventure in which bravery and honour are rewarded, and doing the wrong thing results in punishment. The movie is aimed at younger children, but some children under six may be scared by the idea of a community threatened by fire and scenes of accidental harm.

The main messages from this movie are about helping others in need and pulling together as a community, and the negative consequences of doing the wrong thing.

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

  • care and concern for others
  • selflessness

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss the real-life consequences of:

  • stealing
  • lighting fires
  • ignoring orders about safety

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