Australian Council on Children and the Media

Toy Story 3 3D

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Short takes

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

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Toy Story 3 3D
  • a review of Toy Story 3 3D completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 June 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 5-8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children over the age of 8 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: Toy Story 3 3D
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scary scenes
Length 108 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Toy Story 3 is the third instalment of Pixar’s flagship franchise. The animated 3D film has all the familiar main characters including Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr and Mrs Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) and Hamm the Piggy Bank (John Ratzenberger).

Andy Davis (John Morris) is now 17 years old and about to head off to college. When his mother asks him to sort through his stuff, Andy decides to take Woody along to college and puts the remaining toys in a black garbage bag to store in the attic. However, his mother mistakes the bag for rubbish and puts it out for collection.

Thinking that Andy does not want them any more, the toys jump into a box headed for ‘Sunnyside’ child care care centre and Woody unintentionally joins them. The toys are joyfully met by other toys at the centre, led by a strawberry scented teddy bear called Lotso (Ned Beatty). Woody leaves the others to get back to Andy, feeling happy that they have found somewhere where they will be played with and enjoyed by lots of children.

However, the toys get an unpleasant surprise when they are placed in the toddler room at the daycare centre and experience the rough play that toddlers engage in. They decide to escape and head back to Andy’s attic but Buzz is caught by the now not so friendly Lotso and reprogrammed back into his galactic superhero state. Buzz turns on the others and imprisons them so they cannot escape and it is now up to Woody to rescue them.

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.

Growing up; abandonment

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 and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • During the opening play sequence, a bad Mr Potato Head who is stealing money from a train is whipped and stepped on by Woody. Another Potato Head pushes Woody off the train. Two toys blow up the tracks that connect two sides of valley and the train runs off the end of the cliff. The children in the train are saved when Buzz lifts it to safety.
  • During a sequence imagined by the young Andy, ‘bombs’ are dropped from the air, causing a huge explosion, from which thousands of red monkeys emerge and chase the toys.
  • Woody falls from a kite through a tree and ultimately onto the ground
  • The toys almost get crushed by a garbage compactor in a garbage truck
  • Toys are violently mistreated and destroyed by the children in the childcare centre, being kicked, shoved, thrown, ripped apart, broken, licked
  • One child takes the eye off a Potato head and sticks it up her nose
  • Mr Potato Head is thrown by the baby toy
  • Lotso the bear rips off Mr Potato Head’s mouth
  • Toys are verbally mean to one another
  • A monkey toy bashes its cymbals on either site of Woody’s head
  • The Slinky Dog and Woody wrap a monkey toy in sticky tape
  • Barbie pins Ken on the floor and twists his head around
  • Buzz is tied up in a chair and his back unscrewed and reprogrammed
  • Buzz fights with other toys – hitting, kicking them, slamming them into walls and imprisoning them against their will
  • A bird tries to eat Mr Potato Head, causing him to fall apart
  • The toys are tipped into a garbage furnace. They are almost shredded and burned. The Martian toys later save 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. They are enhanced by the 3D component of the film which causes objects to suddenly emerge from the screen. Examples include:

  • The rubbish dump is a particularly scary scene for preschoolers. The earth movers very suddenly come through to move the rubbish, the huge crusher pulverises the rubbish and there is a massive incinerator pit where things slowly move towards the centre flame.
  • ‘Big Baby’ (with a strange eye) and a monkey with cymbals who screams wildly are characters with a particularly ‘creepy’ edge
  • Rex the dinosaur comes out of the ground with a huge roar
  • A number of scenes in the dark and with suspenseful music e.g. creeping around the corridors of the daycare centre, the “cells” in which the toys are locked at night and the stormy weather when showing Lotso’s change in personality.
  • Big Baby sits on a swing outside in the dark and her head spins around while sinister music plays

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 be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes and by the plight of the toys as they feel abandoned by Andy, are mistreated and trapped at the child care centre and in peril at the rubbish dump.

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

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 disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Barbie
  • Monopoly
  • Apple
  • Other toy brands like Fisher Price

There is also a significant amount of merchandise, including toys and clothing, being marketed to children in association with the film.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Buzz feels ‘hot’ when Jessie moves up close to him
  • Barbie compliments Ken on his “ass”
  • Mrs Potato Head rubs her hands along a toy with big biceps and she says: “Why hello there….May I?”
  • Ken is showing Barbie around his house and states: “This is where the magic happens….” and then shows her his wardrobe

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Barbie sits on the Ken doll's lap and strokes his shoulders
  • Barbie wears her familiar tight clothing and Ken appears wearing only boxer shorts
  • Jessie kisses Buzz repeatedly on the cheek

Use of substances

There is no use of substances in this movie, but in one scene some characters are betting on a roulette-type game using batteries and toy coins as money. There are drinks around the table, although they are not obviously alcoholic.

Coarse language

There is some name-calling, including:

  • crazy, doofus, idiot, imbecile, moron

In a nutshell

Toy Story 3 3D is a quality animated adventure movie that is likely to be enjoyed by most of the family, although it is darker and more scary than previous Toy Story movies and not recommended for under fives..

  • The main messages from this movie are
  • Be loyal to your friends and give them help when they need it
  • Growing up and accepting change is a part of life

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

  • friendship
  • loyalty
  • courage

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

  • mistreating and bullying others
  • not giving help when it is needed
  • being imprisoned or abandoned

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