Australian Council on Children and the Media

Step Up 3D

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Short takes

Not recommended under 12 (some coarse language and adult themes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Step Up 3D
  • a review of Step Up 3D completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 August 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to adult themes and mild coarse language
Children over the age of 12 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: Step Up 3D
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language
Length 107 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Moose (Adam G Sevani) and his best friend, Camille (Alyson Stoner), arrive at New York University for their first year of college. While on a campus tour, Moose finds himself in a street dance ‘battle’ and wins. This grabs the attention of filmmaker, Luke (Rick Malambri) who invites Moose to join his group of dancers called the ‘Pirates’, who all live and train together in a space provided by Luke. Moose agrees to join the group but needs to find a way to manage both dancing and university along with maintaining his friendship with Camille. The ‘Pirates’ train hard for the ‘World Cup’ of dance battles to be in with a chance of winning $100 000. Natalie is also spotted and asked to join the ‘Pirates’, but her motives are different. The ‘Pirates’ must win the prize money to pay their debts. A number of entertaining and intense dance ‘battles’ are shown before the ‘World Cup’ dance battle champions are announced!

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.

Gambling, family breakdown, parental separation, financial hardship

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:

  • Simulated dance/fight scene between Luke and Natalie
  • A ‘bust up’ in the dance club where rival club members were pushing and shoving each other
  • The dance ‘battles’ can be quite threatening and aggressive.

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:

  • Many scenes are held in dark clubs / dance stages with copious amounts of fluorescent lights, some children may be scared by the intensity of these lights,
  • A man adjudicating a dance ‘battle’ wears a pirate eye patch and holds a staff with a dead animal’s head (skeleton) on top,
  • In another ‘battle’, the opposing team have their faces painted in a scary way,
  • In the 3D version, bodies and body parts often ‘come out at you’ during dance sequences.

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 children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Children in this age group are also likely to be affected 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.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Some children in this age group may be affected by the above mentioned scenes.

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be affected by the scenes mentioned above.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Nike (runs throughout the movie. Most characters wear Nike shoes and are the theme of discussions between characters)
  • Sprite and Playstation are shown as the main sponsors of the ‘World Cup’ dance battle.
  • In a brief scene driving through Times Square, advertising for Mc Donald’s and Yahoo was observed.

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Luke and Natalie kiss passionately on a number of occasions;
  • Luke and Natalie dance a ‘tango’ together intimately;
  • Moose kisses Camille on the lips
  • Some female dancers wear skintight clothes with cleavage and thighs exposed.
  • Some of the dance choreography may be considered provocative.

Use of substances

  • Drinks in the hands of characters are seen in a couple of scenes in the movie, however no mention is made nor is there overt drinking of the alcohol.
  • No other substance use is observed; however, gambling is portrayed on two separate occasions.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit
  • Bullshit
  • Loser
  • Ass
  • “you suck”
  • Jerk

In a nutshell

Step Up 3D shows the main characters following their passion and working hard to achieve this. Some characters face moral dilemmas (e.g. finding a balance between working hard toward your dream and finding time to spend with friends) and personal challenges (e.g. financial hardship) along the way. The creative and intense dance sequences feature heavily throughout the movie.

The main messages from this movie are;

  • Being true to who you are;
  • Balancing your passions with your obligations;
  • Dancing ‘transcends all cultures and backgrounds’;
  • Working together and supporting each other.

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

  • Leadership – Luke was able to provide dancers with a supportive environment in order to be the best dancers they could. This is even to the detriment of his passion – film making.
  • Acceptance – accepting people for who they are without discrimination;
  • Working together – Dancers from different backgrounds and cultures, of different ages and experiences, come together to become a supportive family, who look out and care for each other.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children:

  • Maintaining friendships and putting in an effort to communicate;
  • Understanding the consequences of gambling;
  • Understanding the importance of honesty.

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