Australian Council on Children and the Media

Minions

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5; parental guidance recommended 5-8 (Violence; Scary scenes and characters)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Minions
  • a review of Minions completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 June 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence, and scary scenes and characters.
Children aged 5 to 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, and scary scenes and characters.
Children 8 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: Minions
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence
Length 91 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The latest film from the Despicable Me franchise follows the lives of the minions Kevin, Bob and Stuart (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) before they met Gru.

Kevin, Stuart, Bob and their colony of minions are born to serve an evil master and when they find themselves alone in an icy cave without anyone to serve, the minions become depressed. Kevin recruits Bob and Stuart to go out into the world and find a new evil boss.

Luckily, the first ever female super-villain, Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock), is looking for new henchmen. But will the minions have what it takes to win the job?

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.

Depression; natural disasters; crime

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:

  • A caveman punches a monkey
  • Napoleon gets shot by a canon - his soldiers are carrying swords and guns
  • The hitchhiking family rob a bank with guns and grenades
  • A minion shoots a gun at the police
  • The henchmen fight each other to get Scarlet’s attention
  • The minions are given a lava gun and a mind control weapon to ‘take out’ the guards at the palace. They also hit the guards with sticks.
  • The queen punches a minion
  • Scarlett tries to attack and kill the minions with guns, bombs, missiles and other weapons.
  • Scarlett shoots a missile at Kevin.  He eats it and then they both explode. For a moment it seems as if Kevin is dead and Bob cries. Kevin eventually returns but this scene may upset children.

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 minions are sent to the dungeon to be tortured. The audience is shown medieval torturing devices but the minions are not harmed.
  • The minions get depressed when they have no one to serve. This depression may be confronting and upsetting for young children.
  • There is a scary clown and a scary bear which try to chase and kill the minions.
  • One of the evil villains wears a scary mask and carries a chainsaw
  • Throughout the movie there are lots of explosions which may frighten children.
  • A machine turns Kevin into a giant and he goes stomping around London

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 may also be scared or disturbed by 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:

  • This film is connected to the Despicable Me franchise and links to the first film in the series. Associated merchandise is being marketed to children

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Scarlett and her husband Herb are very flirtatious with each other and Scarlett calls Herb a ‘fox’.
  • The minions watch a dating game on television
  • One of the minions tries to flirt with a fire hydrant

 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • The mind control hat makes the guards strip down to their underwear and slap each other on the bottom
  • Twice the audience is shown the minion’s bottoms - once, when Kevin in getting into a hot tub and he is wearing a thong, and another time when a minion is coming out of the ocean. 

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The queen is shown drinking beer in a pub

Coarse language

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

  • blimey
  • stupid
  • bugger

In a nutshell

Minions is a funny action movie that is likely to be enjoyed by both children and adults. It features characters first seen in Despicable Me.  It is most suitable for children aged 8 and over, because there are violent scenes involving weapons such as guns, bombs and grenades, frequent explosions, and a number of scary characters. Because of these violent and scary elements of the film, it is not recommended for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended for children between the ages of 5 -8 years who may also be disturbed.

The main message from this movie is to follow your dreams.

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

  • loyalty
  • determination

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

  • the consequences of violence and crime
  • the consequences of hurting people and being  unkind to get what you want

 

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