Australian Council on Children and the Media

Kung Fu Panda 3

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Not recommended under 7, parental guidance recommended 7-9 (violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Kung Fu Panda 3
  • a review of Kung Fu Panda 3 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 March 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 7 to 9 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 9 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: Kung Fu Panda 3
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Kung Fu Panda 3 is an animated sequel which follows Po (Jack Black), the much loved Dragon Warrior. In this film Po comes across his long-lost father Li (Bryan Cranston), after having thought he was the only one of his kind. Po is overjoyed when he discovers an entire tribe of pandas who are just like him and heads back to his hometown with his father.  

There he learns of the plans of Kai (J.K. Simmons), a bull-like villain who is determined to take the chi from other individuals across China. In order to stop Kai, Po must learn chi himself, which Li offers to teach him.

Po faces great challenges as he realises that Kai is not mortal, and the two of them end up in the spirit world together during one of their final fights. It is then up to Po’s friends and family to save Po’s life, and return him to their own realm.

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.

Family and friendship; good versus evil; martial arts

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:

  • There is a significant amount of physical fighting and kung fu between individuals and groups. These sequences occur mostly between Po and his friends, and the evil villain Kai and his army of jade warriors. Kai uses weapons with blades but no injuries are seen from such weapons.
  • There is some comedy violence which younger children may imitate. Food and utensils are thrown between individuals and there is slapstick with characters falling and tripping over.
  • Characters are captured and seen to be in-danger – many of Po’s friends are taken by Kai and turned into jade warriors who fight for him.
  • At one point, Po utilises a dangerous martial arts move on himself in an attempt to defeat Kai. Although he believes this will trap him in the spirit realm forever, his friends are able to save him and ensure that he returns.

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 evil villain of the film is a large supernatural beast with glowing green eyes, which may frighten younger viewers.  

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.

There are flashbacks which show Po being separated from his mother when he was only a young panda – this was distressing for Po and may distress children in this age group.

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

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There is mild flirtation between several characters, but this does not progress to anything sexual at all.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

There is mild coarse language, including insults such as ‘stupid’, ‘idiot’, ‘loser’, etc.

In a nutshell

Kung Fu Panda 3 is the third film in this animated series. It is an inspiring story of self-discovery, growth and determination. The film follows Po as he learns more about who he actually is, both biologically and in regards to his own self-concept and identity. Po goes on to challenge himself in ways he never imagined previously, and the film highlights the positive changes he undergoes as a result of this. The movie also demonstrates that people often need the support of their friends and family to get by, particularly in times of stress and crisis. It also highlights the differences between good and evil, and the importance of fighting for what you believe is right.  

Because of some violent and scary scenes it is not recommended for children under 7 with parental guidance recommended for 7 to 9 year olds.

Parents may wish to discuss the complex nature of family, and how blood relationships do not define family as is shown in the relationship Po has with his two fathers.

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