Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon

image for Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon

Short takes

Not recommended under 8 and parental guidance to 10 (scary scenes and emotional themes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon
  • a review of Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 September 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to some scary moments and emotional themes.
Children aged 8-10 Parental Guidance recommended due to scary scenes.
Children over the age of 10 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: Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This is the story of a fierce and adventurous thirteen-year-old girl called Ainbo (voice of Lola Raie) who lives deep in the Amazon rainforest with her tribe. Ainbo is a little different from the rest of her tribe as she was orphaned as a young child and has grown up in the home of the chieftain, along with her adopted sister and best friend Zumi (voice of Naomi Serrano). One day, Ainbo discovers that her tribe is in danger. Not only are they threatened by the evil spirit  Yacuruna, but their habitat is being destroyed by logging and illegal mining. Together with her comical spirit animal guides, an armadillo called Dillo (voice of Dino Andrade) and a tapir called Vaca (voice of Joe Hernandez), Ainbo sets out to save her tribe. It is a perilous adventure which brings Ainbo face to face with the ancient spirits of the Amazon, her long-lost parents, and the evil forces that seek to destroy 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.

Indigenous knowledge; Colonialism and Invasion; Environmental destruction; Supernatural; Nature; Magic; Orphans; Death; Greed.

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:

  • There are several scenes where either Ainbo or Zumi (both teenage girls), are intimidated physically and verbally by adult men who are twice their size. For example, in one scene Ainbo is captured by Antok (a warrior from her tribe) who ties her up. In another scene, Zumi is put under a spell that makes her appear drugged, and taken away by the evil logging CEO.
  • Ainbo uses a bow and arrow and must shoot someone to release the evil spirits.
  • Ainbo slaps her friend the armadillo across the face.

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:

  • Ainbo is chased by a swarm of bats with glowing eyes and sharp teeth.
  • The Yacuruna is an evil spirit that rises up like a black cloud of smoke with glowing red eyes.
  • When the Yacuruna takes over the body of the logging CEO, his face transforms into a monster’s face with glowing red eyes, black veins and white skin. He is an extremely scary character that will really disturb younger children.
  • There are many scenes of great peril. For example, people falling from the top of cliffs, or trying to jump over ravines.
  • The logging company use big, dirty machinery that move threateningly through the forest and look a lot like monsters.
  • Antok is an intimidating warrior from the tribe. He has a mean face, a giant body and is quite threatening. He does redeem himself in the final part of the film.
  • An elderly member of the tribe dies. Zumi and Ainbo are heartbroken and it’s an emotional scene, particularly when Ainbo is blamed for her death.
  • Zumi often gets angry at Ainbo when she doesn’t understand why Ainbo is acting against her wishes. The two girls have several heated and emotional arguments.
  • Ainbo must say goodbye to her parents as they disappear into the spirit realm.

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:

  • There are some confusing plot lines in this film which some children might find difficult to understand or disturbing. For example, Ainbo finds out that the evil logging CEO is actually her father who is being possessed by an evil spirit and in order to free her father, she must shoot him.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Younger children in this age group will still find some of the above-mentioned scenes scary or disturbing.
  • Nothing further noted.

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.

  • None noted.

Product placement

  • None noted

Sexual references

There are some romantic references in this movie, including:

  • There is a complicated love triangle history between Antok, a tribal warrior, Lizeni (Ainbo’s mother) and a white man called Will. Antok describes how he was overcome with jealousy and anger when Lizeni fell in love with Will, as he thought that Lizeni should belong to him. Will and Lizeni are seen embracing.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity in this movie, however our reviewer noted the following:

  • Some of the animated characters are hyper feminized (exaggerated curves with unrealistically small waists) or masculinized (large, broad shoulders etc).

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There are some very mild insults, for example:

  • Stupid

In a nutshell

Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon is an animated adventure which is told from an Indigenous perspective, weaving authentic Amazonian rainforest folk lore throughout. The plot does get a little confusing and there are mixed messages about colonialism and destruction of the rainforest. For example, the film suggests that the bad behaviour of industries exploiting natural resources and indigenous land is driven by evil spirits – not just greed – which kind of lets them off the hook.  The graphics are colourful and engaging but also a little stilted, like a video game, rather than a feature film. The complex storylines and scary scenes make this film better suited to children over the age of eight.

The main message from this movie is that our connection to nature, and our communities, is what gives us strength and protects us.

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

  • Protecting the environment and natural resources from exploitation.
  • Bravery and independence

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

  • How colonialism and capitalism have impacted indigenous populations around the world.
  • The damaging consequences of logging and mining in the Amazon, and other important ecosystems on earth.