Australian Council on Children and the Media

Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (3D), The

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (3D), The
  • a review of Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (3D), The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 September 2005.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to some scary scenes, parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of eight.
Children over the age of 8 Children over the age of 8 could see this movie with or without parental guidance.

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: Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (3D), The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 93 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Max (Cayden Boyd) is young boy with vivid dreams and imagination. On his first day back at school, he tells his fourth grade class about his meetings with Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley) over the holidays and their adventures on Planet Drool. Unfortunately, neither his teacher Mr Electricidad (George Lopez) nor his classmates believe his stories. Max has other problems too. He is being bullied by classmate, Linus (Jacob Davich), and at home, all is not well in his parents’ (David Arquette and Kristin Davis) marriage. He wishes he could sleep and dream all day, but his teacher tells him it is time for ‘no more dreaming’.

Events take a dramatic turn when Sharkboy and Lavagirl actually visit Max, first at his home, then at his school under the guise of a tornado. They tell Max that Planet Drool is dying and that he is the only one who can save it. He agrees to go with them and realises that everything about Sharkboy, Lavagirl and Planet Drool is based on his dream world. Once on Planet Drool, he discovers that Mr Electric, under the orders of a darker force, is preventing children from dreaming, which in turn is causing a darkness to fall over the whole Planet. Max, Sharkboy and Lavagirl have less than 45 minutes to get to the Dream Lair to stop the destruction of the planet. In the process, they meet some familiar faces and learn much about themselves and the power of friendship and dreams.

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 relationships, bullying

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 violent scenes, including:

  • Mr Electric uses giant electricity plugs to shower the children with electricity. They appear to be in pain when this occurs.
  • Mr Electric is attacked in a shark frenzy.

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.

There are some scenes that could scare children under the age of five, particularly preschoolers, including:

  • When Sharkboy is little, he is separated from his father during a big storm while at sea. He appears scared and sad. He is later told by Mr Electric that his father is at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Max’s parents are shown fighting on a few occasions (yelling at each other).
  • Max is taunted and chased by Linus and his friends. They are trying to get Max’s dream diary and eventually succeed. Later, Max states that he doesn’t want to go to school because he is afraid of getting picked on.
  • A big tornado approaches the school, blowing in the classroom windows. All the children appear afraid.
  • Planet Drool is covered in darkness and Max appears afraid to begin the journey to the Dream Lair.
  • Mr Electric frequently mocks and chases the children, either with giant electric plugs or his bloodhounds.
  • Both Sharkboy and Lavagirl risk their lives to save each other. At one point, both appear to have perished and Max is clearly upset and crying.
  • Max’s parents are swept up into the tornado (they are later rescued by Sharkboy and Lavagirl).

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 the age group may also be disturbed by the scenes described above.

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.

Some of the above-mentioned scenes could concern some children in the 8–13 age bracket, particularly:

  • Mr Electric using the giant electricity plugs
  • The scene where it appears that both Sharkboy and Lavagirl appear to have died

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 over the age of thirteen are unlikely to be disturbed by scenes in this movie.

Product placement

The teacher, Mr Electricidad uses and Apple iBook during his class.

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

None of concern.

In a nutshell

The main messages from this movie are about good overcoming evil, loyalty to friends, that if dreams don’t come true you need to dream a better dream and that a good teacher learns as much from his students as they from him.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • Loyalty and friendship
  • Forgiveness
  • Moving forward in life, not looking back.
  • Courage and persistence against the odds.

This movie could give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their consequences, such as disrespect towards teachers and teasing or bullying.

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