Australian Council on Children and the Media

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 6 due to scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
  • a review of Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 October 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance due to scary scenes
Children over 6 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: Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Classification: G
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Based on Megan McDonald’s children’s book, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer follows a 3rd grader, Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) and her adventures during what she had hoped would be a ‘fun filled’ summer vacation.

Judy has the holidays planned out on a poster of exciting activities which have ‘thrill points’ attached. She and her friends will try to be the first to reach 100 points. To Judy’s great disappointment, she discovers that two of her best friends are going to be away. Then, to make the vacation even more disappointing, her parents don’t take her to California when they are called to help out her grandparents.

Judy and her younger brother ‘Stink’ (Parris Mosteller) are left in the care of their well travelled and carefree Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) and Judy’s summer becomes a very different one.

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 a parent; family relationships

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.

This film contains frequent slapstick violence and accidental harm, including:

  • Children fall and trip, and cars crash into things. No one is hurt.
  • A woman drives wildly through the front yards of houses, one containing a child’s inflatable jumping toy with him in it
  • Children riding on a bike are almost hit by a car
  • As part of a circus act,  a girl is sawn in half
  • A brother and sister fight, pushing and shouting at each other
  • A girl is accidently pushed out of a bunk bed – she falls to the ground but is unhurt.
  • A girl says she will ‘kill’ another girl if a frog falls on her face

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:

  • Film clips and photos of the yeti ‘Bigfoot’ are shown throughout the movie
  • A girl and her brother are walking in a dark, wooded area in the middle of the night when an opossum falls on her head
  • A horror movie which features zombies, one with an eye hanging out and another with a dismembered hand, scares Judy and her friend so that they throw their popcorn into the air and run out of the cinema screaming

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

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Dyson vacuum cleaners
  • Apple computers
  • Toyota Prius
  • Google
  • Crayola crayons and pencils
  • Sony

Sexual references

There are some mild sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A boy teases his sister, singing “k-i-s-s-i-n-g” to her and her male friend

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity in this movie, including:

  • Aunt Opal wears tight, short skirts and a low cut top revealing cleavage
  • A girl is seen in the bath covered in bubbles

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There are some mild coarse language and putdowns in this movie, including:

  • dumb
  • stupid
  • oh my god
  • poo
  • crap
  • wee
  • freak
  • loser

In a nutshell

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is an entertaining movie targeting pre-adolescents and filled with toilet humour and silly jokes. Judy’s adventures on her summer break allow her to realise that she doesn’t need to be the centre of attention in order to have great fun!

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Enjoy family time and be tolerant of siblings. Judy tries hard to avoid her brother but when she becomes involved in his interest, she has fun and earns her ‘thrill points’ with the help of her aunt.
  • Making the most of what life throws up at you.  Despite the change in holiday plans, Judy ends up having a unique but fun summer!

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

  • The importance of family relationships
  • friendship
  • forgiveness
  • Finding fun in simple things – despite Judy’s planning of elaborate activities, she found most fun in spending time with her brother and aunt.

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

  • Dangerous driving – Aunt Opal has not driven for over 10 years but takes Judy and her brother in the car. Her erratic driving could have resulted in injury.
  • Managing anger– When Judy is frustrated, she usually goes to her room, lies on her bed and screams, sometimes kicking her legs. Parents may wish to talk to children about other ways that Judy could have expressed her anger.
  • Dealing with failure – Judy feels that  her quest for ‘thrill points’ has failed but parents can talk to children about more positive ways of looking at her activities.

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