Australian Council on Children and the Media

Sing

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Short takes

Not recommended under 4, parental guidance recommended 4-7 due to scary scenes

Age
4
5
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7
8
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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Sing
  • a review of Sing completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 December 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 4 Not recommended due to scary scenes
Children aged 4 to 7 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes
Children aged 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: Sing
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: General
Length 108 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Buster Moon the Koala (voice of Matthew McConaughey) is a smooth-operating theatre lover who needs to save his beloved and crumbling ‘Moon Theatre’ from financial ruin. He decides to hold a grand, citywide singing contest in the hope of getting the crowds back in.  

The audition attracts a colourful array of animals and there are some fabulous and comical performances. Buster and his ageing assistant, a hilariously incompetent cross-eyed lizard ‘Miss Crawl’ (Voice of Leslie Jones) choose their favourite acts for the big show and rehearsals begin.

Unfortunately for Buster, the bank is breathing down his neck and he faces immediate repossession. In a bid to raise some funds to put on the talent show he tries to impress the wonderful ancient diva – a sheep called Nana Noodleman (voice of Jennifer Saunders) in the hope that she might fund the show from her vast fortune. As Buster tries to raise funds, all the contestants face their own personal struggles on their journey to the ultimate performance.

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.

Performance, auditions and competitions; conquering your fears; following your passion; gambling and 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 are a few scenes of mild animated violence in this movie including:

  • Mike the mouse is busking and becomes cross with someone who only gives him one coin, so he forces the person to turn out his pockets and takes all the money.
  • Buster Moon is thrown out of a restaurant (literally).
  • Mike is caught cheating at cards and is pursued by three large gangster-type bears who attempt to capture him. They pick him up by the tail and one bear puts him in his mouth.
  • The Gangster Bear Gang enter the theatre and threaten the contestants with violence if they don’t give them the prize money. One of them is wielding a baseball bat.

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 assistant, Miss Crawl, has an eye that keeps popping out of her head and rolling away.
  • Johnny, the gorilla has a father who is involved in an organised crime gang. His father really wants him to be part of the criminal activities and to get Johnny to drive the getaway car in a robbery. There is a scene where Johnny is practising his getaway driving and is driving a car as fast and as dangerously as he can.  Very small children may find this scary.
  • There is a violent and dramatic flood scene inside the theatre. Everyone is swept out of the theatre and they are all struggling not to get caught in the water. The building collapses. This is the most dramatic moment of the film and small children could find this disturbing.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb younger children in this age group, including the following:

  • When Johnny fails to turn up on time with the getaway car, he visits his father in jail and his father tells him what a disappointment and a failure he is, saying: “ How did I end up with a son like you, you’re nothing like me. You never were and you never will be” This is very hurtful for Johnny who wants his father’s acceptance. Very small children might find this emotional. This is resolved at the end of the film.

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 are some romantic and sexual references in this movie as well as some mild crude humour, including:

  • There is a large bison that auditions for the show but he becomes so nervous that he can’t help but pass wind.
  • Three female rabbits in tight clothes do a mildly suggestive dance for the audition. They sing: ‘Oh, My, Gosh. Look at her butt’.
  • Mike the mouse is captivated by an attractive female mouse who looks at him flirtatiously and walks with a wiggle.
  • Ash the porcupine (voice of Scarlett Johansson) is a teenager who has a boyfriend who calls her ‘babe’. She comes home to find him singing a duet with a new porcupine girlfriend and is devastated.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There are some very mild verbal insults in this movie, including:

  • ‘namby-pants’
  • ‘so long suckers’
  • ‘total super-jerk dinklesplat’

 

In a nutshell

Sing is fun to watch and is likely to be enjoyed by most of the family, although some scenes may be too scary for children under four, and parental guidance is recommended for children up to the age of 7. The film is full of positive messages, great music and beautiful animation.  

The main message from this movie is that you should not let fear stop you from doing the thing you love.

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

  • teamwork
  • following your passions
  • overcoming your fears.

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 crime
  • dangerous driving

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