Australian Council on Children and the Media

Tarzan 3D

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Short takes

Not recommended under 6; parental guidance recommended 6-8(Violence; Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Tarzan 3D
  • a review of Tarzan 3D completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 September 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 6 to 8 Parental guidance recommended due to themes
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: Tarzan 3D
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and violence
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Tarzan is an animated adaptation of the classic story. It follows the tale of John, (Kellan Lutz), a young boy who loses both his parents in a helicopter crash and subsequently grows up in a band of gorillas, taking on an entirely new identity and the name of ‘Tarzan’. His parents had been investigating a mountain-sized meteor that had apparently hit the earth 70,000,000 years earlier, but died before concluding their work.

After being left on his own, Tarzan is adopted by a gorilla who has lost her own child. He grows up as part of the band, abandoning human speech and behaviours until a scientific explorer comes to the jungle in search of the meteor. The scientist’s daughter Jane (Spencer Locke) eventually runs into Tarzan, and the two begin to fall in love with one another.

However, greedy company men now working at Greystoke Industries – the company founded by Tarzan’s father – attempt to take over and use the power of the meteor for their own selfish gain. Clayton (Joe Cappalletti), the Greystoke CEO, captures Jane and her father, but has to battle with Tarzan as a result.

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.

Loss of parents; abuse of power; scientific exploration; identity

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 the film, including:

  • Gorillas kick, punch and throw each other around.
  • Tarzan shoots a mango from a sling at one of the members of Greystoke Energies in order to capture Jane’s attention. It hits the man on the head.
  • Clayton threatens Jane’s father by using her as leverage, saying ‘That’s a very pretty daughter you’ve got there, Porter. You wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her, would you?’
  • Jane nearly gets bitten by a crocodile, but Tarzan wrestles with it underwater and kills it with a knife.
  • Clayton sees Jane with Tarzan and opens fire with a rifle, trying to shoot Tarzan.
  • Tarzan and the leading gorilla get into a physical fight over allowing Jane to stay with them. Tarzan gets thrown around and pushed off a cliff ledge, but manages to climb back up.
  • Tarzan sneaks onto the Greystone Energies base where Jane is being held, and knocks-out several of the watchmen by punching or kicking them.

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:

  • After John cuts into the meteor, the volcano begins erupting fireballs and the ground begins to crack and break apart entirely.
  • Some of the gorillas could be quite scary for younger children

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.

  • One of the younger apes falls off a cliff as its mother Karla watches, looking sad and horrified.  She also loses her husband in a fire storm right afterwards.
  • Tarzan’s parents die in the helicopter crash, and he is left alone to fend for himself until a gorilla discovers him.
  • Tarzan’s gorilla mother is shot by Clayton and appears to be dead. She wakes up, however, having only been tranquilised.

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 in the film, but some associated merchandise

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • As Jane describes Tarzan to her dad, she tells him that ‘it’s a jungle, not a pick-up bar’.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Insults such as “psycho”, beanpole” and “creep” used by children

In a nutshell

Tarzan 3D, the latest telling of this classic tale, has not received critical acclaim, but is a heart-warming story that demonstrates the power of love as well as the devastation of loss. Tarzan loses his parents at a young age, and is again devastated when he believes he has lost his gorilla mother – the concept that humans and animals need a family is strongly presented within the film. After meeting Jane, Tarzan’s life is once again transformed by love.

The film is not recommended for children under 6 who are likely to find some of the scenes and characters too scary and parental guidance is recommended for 6-8 year olds who may need help with some scenes and themes.

Parents may wish to discuss several issues which arise from the film, including:

  • The consequences of marital discord and divorce, and what happens when people prioritise work over family.
  • The dangers of excessive greed and hunger for money, as well as the consequences for the lives of family members and friends.
  • Global warming and the damage it may cause to the ecosystem.

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