image for 2040

Short takes

Suitable for all audiences but may lack interest for children under 8.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for 2040
  • a review of 2040 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 May 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children aged 5–8 Though it contains many important messages, children under the age of 8 may be bored by the documentary and find parts difficult to follow.

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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: 2040
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Suitable for general audiences
Length: 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Damon Gameau, as the father of 4 year old Violet (portrayed in young adult form by Eva Lazarro), is very concerned about what we (humanity) are and have been doing to the earth. He is concerned about the excessive consumption of fossil fuels, the unmanageable amounts of carbon being leaked into the atmosphere, the fact that the oceans are becoming too acidic and that the ice caps are melting. He sets off on a journey around the world in search of answers about how we can change our current destructive course - using technology that we already have, to not only curb current pollution rates, but also help reverse them to heal the earth from much of the damage that has already been done. As Damon travels the world learning about initiatives that are currently making a difference and how people (especially children) see this challenge, he comes away with a renewed sense of hope and of urgency to begin putting into practice some of these measures that will help ensure a healthy earth for future generations.


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.

Snippets of various natural disasters are shown at different points throughout the film.

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:

  • Storm scenes where bits of buildings are being ripped apart by gusty winds.
  • Destruction caused by bush fires and flooding in different parts of the world are briefly shown.

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.

There is nothing in this film that would frighten children under five.

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.

There is nothing in this film that would frighten children between the ages of five to eight.

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.

There is nothing in this film that would frighten children between the ages of eight to thirteen.

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

There is nothing in this documentary that would frighten children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

Aside from encouraging the use of solar panels (no brands named) electric, driverless cars and seaweed, there is no official product placement in this film.

Sexual references

There are no sexual references in the film.

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains no nudity or sexual activity.

Use of substances

There is no use of substances in the film.

Coarse language

The film contains no coarse language.

In a nutshell

2040 is a documentary that offers hope to an ailing world. It exposes the roots of the problems that we currently face and offers up practical solutions to help solve them. There is great educational content in here that lends itself to a wide variety of audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that we do not own the earth; we are borrowing it from our children and from countless future generations. It is up to us to stop taking it for granted and to reverse the damage that we have already done.

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

  • Conservation
  • Innovation
  • Compassion
  • Generosity
  • Gender equality

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

  • The excessive use of fossil fuels
  • Growing our own food and using sustainable agricultural practices
  • Using solar power (or other renewable sources of energy) and creating our own independent grid from the ground up
  • The importance of the education and training of girls, especially in third world countries

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of making choices that put the earth first and not being swayed by greed or numbers but rather by what is best for humanity as a whole.