Australian Council on Children and the Media

Two by two

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5; parental guidance recommended 5-8 (Themes; Violence; Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Two by two
  • a review of Two by two completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 September 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to themes, violence and scary scenes
Children aged 5-8 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, violence and scary scenes
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: Two by two
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and animated violence
Length 83 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Two by Two is a animated variation on the biblical flood story, told from the perspective of the animals. Lion (voice of Alan Stanford) the King of the Jungle, assembles all the animals and tells them that a flood is about to destroy the world. Lion says that a kind man named Noah has built an ark to save the animals and they must all come to be registered and to confirm that they are on the list of saved animals.

Dave (voice of Dermot Magennis) and his son Finny (voice of Callum Maloney) are a pair of Nestrians, loveable and adaptable creatures, who discover they are not on the list. Desperate to save his son, Dave disguises them both as Grymps to sneak them on board. There they are housed with real Grymps, Mother Hazel (voice of Tara Flynn) and daughter Leah (voice of Ava Connolly) who are nasty and unfriendly creatures. Leah and Finny go off to explore and when a huge wave hits the ark they discover that they are not on the ark but on the wharf. They desperately try to get back on board the ark but with no luck.

Finny and Leah have a race against time to reach higher ground before they are engulfed by water. Along the way they meet a giant slug called Obesey and Stayput, a parasite, who they help to reach higher ground. As well as the rising flood, the four are in danger of being eaten by the Griffins, a pair of flying creatures. Meanwhile, on the ark, Dave and Hazel have to find a way to work together in order to save their children.

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.

The end of the World; predatory behaviour

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 this movie including:

  • Lion says that carnivores are not allowed to eat herbivores so a leopard throws down a creature it was about to eat.
  • A gorilla grabs Hazel by the throat and says she’d better leave before things get ugly. She says he’s already ugly.
  • Hazel grabs Dave by the throat and says ‘we don’t save lives we take them’.
  • Leah and Finny are about to fall in the water when they are grabbed by the Griffins, who are scary flying creatures. They are about to be eaten when Finny blows blue gas over one Griffin and Leah bites the other. They both fall to the ground.
  • Hazel imagines a computer game where she fights her way up to Lion, punching the gorillas on her way.
  • Hazel attacks Lion with a pole and knocks him unconscious.
  • The Griffins are scary creatures who are always trying to catch and eat Leah and Finny. They swoop at them many times.
  • Lion swipes Dave away with his paw and grabs Hazel by the throat.
  • Obesey turns into a whale and eats the Griffins.

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 characters and scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Lion can be scary at times, especially when he gets angry.
  • The gorillas are large and scary creatures who are the guards on the ark. They display aggressive and violent behaviour.
  • A tiger pulls a creature out of his mouth when he is told he can’t eat it.
  • Hazel is a scary cat-like creature with green eyes and can broaden her shoulders to look quite evil.
  • When the flood comes it hits the ark, which rises to the top. This is accompanied by thunder and lightning.
  • The ever-rising flood that Finny and Leah are running from is scary.
  • The Griffins are large flying birds with a nasty, evil laugh.
  • Lion is shown unconscious flat on the ground.
  • When the ark reaches the iceberg Finny falls off and slips into the water. Dave dives in after him, as do Hazel and Leah. Finny looks as if he is dead.

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:

  • When it comes to their turn to be registered, Dave and Finny are not on the list. Dave begs to be included, even making a sexist comment about how useful they could be on the ark, but to no avail. Nestrians blow blue gas when they are scared which is what he does. Dave and Finny feel like outcasts that don’t belong anywhere.
  • Hazel is a nasty person who likes to do everything on her own and doesn’t believe in showing emotion. She has taught Leah to be the same.
  • As the water catches up to them, the four go on a long water slide. Finny and Leah look really scared. They land in front of the Griffins, then Obesey lands on them and they all fall into the water. Leah and Finny manage to climb onto an iceberg and are alone in a large sea.
  • When the guards come to ask the captain’s advice, Hazel and Dave hang Lion up while he’s unconscious and operate his hands and speak for him like a puppet. This is rather 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.

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

Name-calling such as “fatso”; “ugly”; “dozy eyes”

In a nutshell

Two by two is a colourful animated movie about the biblical great flood as told from an animal perspective. The main messages from this movie are that every creature has a place and that together we can achieve greater things than as individuals.

The ‘end of the world’ theme might be disturbing for children and the escape from the rising waters is quite intense. There are also a number of violent scenes and scary characters. The film is therefore not recommended for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended for the 5-8 year-old age group.

The film also has some conflicting messages which might be confusing for children.  The Nestrians are good and loveable creatures but are rejected from the ark while the Grymps, who are selfish, nasty creatures who only look after themselves, are allowed on the ark. At the end of the film, the Nestrians become sea creatures who find their place in the sea, but the relevance of this might be lost on young children.

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

  • friendship
  • caring and kindness
  • collaboration

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