Australian Council on Children and the Media

Belle and Sebastian

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Sebastian is a six-year-old French boy, who lives with his grandfather and his cousin Angelina in a small village in the mountains during the Second World War. Sebastian makes friends with a beautiful stray white dog who he names Belle. He keeps his friendship with Belle a secret and does his best to hide her because his grandfather and people in the village think that she is a wild dog who has been killing sheep.

Sheep being killed is not the only problem the villagers have to face because a small army of Nazi soldiers arrive in the village. They are after Jewish refugees who have been escaping over the mountains into Switzerland. Soon Sebastian, Belle and Angelina become involved in rescuing refugees.

What to look out for

  • The film is in French with English subtitles, so would be difficult for children who are not good readers to understand.
  • Scenes of sheep that have been killed, wolves killing sheep and villagers hunting Belle because they think that she killed the sheep are scary.
  • The Nazi soldiers are scary and violent.
  • There are scary scenes of people being chased by soldiers in the mountains.

Moral of the Story

Animals who have been badly treated can be tamed if they are treated with love and understanding.

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