Australian Council on Children and the Media

Zootopia

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Not recommended under 7, Parental guidance recommended for 7 year olds (violent and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Zootopia
  • a review of Zootopia completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 March 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not recommended due to violent and scary scenes
Children aged 7 Parental guidance recommended due to violent 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: Zootopia
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and threat, some scenes may scare young children
Length 108 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Zootopia is a place where predator and prey animals live together in harmony. Judy Hopps, the rabbit (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) dreams of being a police officer and making the world a better place. Despite the objections from her friends and family, Judy moves to Zootopia to follow her dream. In Zootopia, Judy must partner with a sly fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to try and discover why predator animals around the city are going missing. However, the answer may threaten the harmony of Zootopia.

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.

Kidnapping; discrimination; separation from family; 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 is some violence in this movie including:

  • The film opens with a predator chasing its prey through the jungle and trying to attack it.
  • There are a few predator attacks throughout the movie. For example, a jaguar chases Judy and Nick through the forest, trying to attack them.
  • A fox cub bullies a young rabbit by pushing her into the ground. When she tries to fight back the fox scratches her. Later in the film the adult fox apologises for his actions.
  • When Judy is training at the police academy, she is put into a boxing ring with a rhino. They both punch each other.
  • A flashback scene shows Nick being bullied as a cub. The bullies beat him up and put a muzzle on him.
  • Nick and Judy fight dangerous sheep on a fast moving train.
  • The antagonists threaten Judy and Nick with dart guns
  • In the final scenes, Nick appears to become savage and attack Judy. However, just before he hurts her they reveal that it is a ruse to trick the criminals into revealing their plan.

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:

  • There are several scary scenes depicting criminal activity. For example, Judy chases a weasel that had been stealing.
  • Depictions of the animals becoming savage could be frightening for young children.
  • The crime boss Mr Big kidnaps Judy and Nick and takes them to a dark and frightening location. He threatens to throw them into an icy lake.
  • Nick and Judy discover a building where savage animals are being locked up. This scene may be frightening for young children as some of the animals jump out of the shadows.
  • While running, Judy cuts her leg and blood is visible. She is unable to walk and Nick has to carry her.

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 are also likely to be disturbed or scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

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

There are recognisable imitation products such as “Zuber” (Uber), “ZNN” (CNN) and phones that look like iPhones

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Gazelle, a singer, wears glittery revealing clothing and dances suggestively
  • Judy and Nick visit an animal nudist colony. All of the animals are shown not wearing any clothes (which is normal for viewers) however, Judy is shocked.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Animals are injected with a toxic flower substance which makes them change their demeanour. Judy and Nick find the lab where the toxin is made, and it is reminiscent of a drug lab. 

Coarse language

There are some coarse language and insults that children may imitate, including:

  • dumb; jerk; loser; moron; butt; shut up; oh my god

In a nutshell

Zootopia is an entertaining comedy which is likely to be enjoyed by most family members.  However, because of violence and scary scenes, the film is not recommended for children under seven. Parental guidance is recommended for seven year olds and the film is most suitable for children aged eight and over. 

The main messages from this movie are to follow your dreams, to not judge other people based on their appearance or their stereotypes and the importance of teamwork.

Values that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include bravery and optimism. Parents may also wish to discuss the effects of bullying and how the movie addresses the theme of bullying.

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