Australian Council on Children and the Media

Jungle Book, The

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8; parental guidance recommended 8-10 (violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Jungle Book, The
  • a review of Jungle Book, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 April 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 8 to 10 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children 10 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: Jungle Book, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild threat and violence, some scenes may scare young children
Length 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Jungle Book is a film based on the short stories by Rudyard Kipling, as well as the Disney animated classic by the same title. It features a mixture of live action and CGI. The movie follows Mowgli (Neel Sethi), an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle by a pack of animals. Although most of the animals treat Mowgli as one of their own, a tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) does not share their view – having been hurt and scarred by humans in the past, Shere wants to seek revenge by destroying Mowgli.

 As Shere comes closer to succeeding in hurting the young boy, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and Raksha (Lupita Nyong’O) decide that Mowgli must be taken to a human village in order to protect him and ensure his safety. Mowgli sets out on a journey of self-discovery as a result, and attempts to evade Shere Khan’s attacks as he proceeds along the wild path to human civilisation. He meets many other animals along the way- some of them offer help and others who have their own malicious intentions.

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 and friendship, good versus evil, the animal kingdom, revenge

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 violence within the film:

  • There are some scenes where a young boy is chased by wild animals including a black panther. It is shown that the two are in fact friends, and the animal is teaching the boy that ‘if you can’t run with the pack, one day you’ll be someone’s dinner’.  
  • There are scenes where animals fight – they bite and scratch, but no blood is shown.
  • Mowgli is forced to jump off the edge of a cliff in order to escape from an aggressive tiger that is chasing him.
  • Shere Khan kills the leader of the wolf pack and throws him over a cliff
  • Shere Khan threatens the wolf mother and her cubs
  • Kaa the python wraps itself around Mowgli and hypnotises him in preparation to eat him
  • Louie the orang-utan chases Mowgli around an old temple, intent on killing him.
  • Mowgli fights Shere Khan with a fire stick.

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.

  • The film contains many scenes that could be frightening to younger viewers although there is no graphic content or blood shown.
  • Many scenes involve scary animals, animal fights and chase sequences.
  • Shere Khan is a very scary character. 
  • The old temple crashes down trapping a lot of monkeys and Baloo and Bagheera.
  • Mowgli jumps into a ravine where he is nearly crushed by a stampede of buffalo

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 this age group may also find the above-mentioned scenes disturbing

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.

Younger children in this age group may be scared 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.

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

Nothing of concern

In a nutshell

The Jungle Book is the latest version of an inspiring story based on the work of Rudyard Kipling. It is a mixture of live action and CGI. The realistic scenes of wild animals chasing Mowgli and fighting each other may be too scary for children under 8 and parental guidance is recommended for the 8 to 10 age group.

The film talks about the strength of family and friendship bonds. However, family is presented as a collection of individuals who want to protect and nurture each other, not necessarily a biological family. Audiences go on an adventure where they must determine, alongside Mowgli, who is worth trusting and who is not. The film demonstrates the consequences of revenge-seeking behaviour, with Shere remaining alone and unhappy at the end of the film.

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