Australian Council on Children and the Media

Amazing World of Gumball, The

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG to 8 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Amazing World of Gumball, The
  • a review of Amazing World of Gumball, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 November 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children 5-8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children 9 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: Amazing World of Gumball, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild comedic violence
Length 68 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Amazing World of Gumball is a series of short TV cartoons made for the big screen. Gumball (voiced by Logan Grove) is a 12 year old cat who lives with his Mum and Dad, the Wattersons, his sister Anais (Kyla Rae Kowalewski), and his best friend Darwin (Kwesi Boakye) who used to be a goldfish but grew legs and became an honorary kid. Gumball’s Dad is a pink rabbit who spends most of his time watching TV and playing video games, while his highly strung Mum works long hours to feed the family.

Gumball often finds himself in trouble and although he tries to do the right thing, he often makes matters much worse. Gumball has lots of adventures, solves mysteries, makes new friends and tries to help his grumpy neighbour, Mr Robinson who actually doesn’t want Gumball’s help. Mum also tries to turn Gumball into a ‘winner’ by forcing him to do extreme things.

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

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 a lot of cartoon violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • Tina the dinosaur crashes through the school hallway squashing someone on the way.
  • Gumball shoves a character through a wall.
  • Gumball falls off his bike, rolls down steps and into wet concrete, which sets on him.
  • Gumball crashes into a house like a fireball.
  • Gumball’s friends throw a brick at Gumball with a note attached, but it hits his head and knocks him out. The note says Mr Robinson will be assassinated.
  • Gumball’s friends try to assassinate Mr Robinson while he’s on the stage by dropping sandbags on him.
  • The stage lights fall on top of Mr Robinson and crush him to the floor.
  • Principal Brown gets pushed out of a window and is run over by a truck.
  • Miss Simian is also pushed out a window and gets run over by an ambulance.
  • Hector stomps through town crushing cars and houses and destroying everything to prove he’s not boring.
  • Gumball’s Mum makes him fight with an old woman in a supermarket over a discounted chicken.

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:

  • Tina Rex, the dinosaur, is a scary looking creature who bullies other children.
  • Miss Simian the teacher is a scary looking ape with a bad temper.
  • Tina tries to eat Gumball.
  • Hector is a giant monster who’s quite large and scary.
  • Hector’s mother is quite scary – she looks like a witch with odd eyes.

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:

  • Mr Robinson gets knocked out in a store and a huge monster gives him mouth to mouth resuscitation. Gumball then squeezes him so hard his heart pops out of his mouth. Mr Robinson, panting, reaches over with his tongue to get his heart back, which he swallows.
  • Gumball uses an electrocardiogram to resuscitate Mr Robinson.
  • Gumball’s Mum drives him into a desert in the night and makes him walk home by himself.

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

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Some put downs such as “loser”

In a nutshell

The Amazing World of Gumball is a colourful animation with lots of quirky and unusual characters, which will appeal to children. It is full of cartoon violence however, with a number of characters that may scare younger children.

The messages from this movie are quite mixed and may be confusing for children. For example, one episode implies that ‘Mother knows best’ while in another Gumball’s mother is making him do terrible things.

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

  • Should you really choose friends because they’re rich and have lots of toys to play with?
  • Are there other qualities in life that are more important than being a winner?

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