Australian Council on Children and the Media

Alice-Miranda Friends Forever

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Short takes

Parental guidance to 5 (some scary scenes and themes of bullying and isolation)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Alice-Miranda Friends Forever
  • a review of Alice-Miranda Friends Forever completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 November 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children aged 5 and under Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes and themes of bullying and isolation.
Children aged 6 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: Alice-Miranda Friends Forever
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Alice-Miranda (Maisy Wright-Smith) is the youngest girl at her boarding school. She arrives to find a very unhappy staff governed by the reclusive Principal Ms Grim (Michelle Doake) who has not been seen for the past 10 years. With her cheerful nature and uncanny ability to always see the best in others no matter how badly they may treat her Alice-Miranda, with the help of her new found friends Millie (Lila Tapper) and Jacinta (Lola Carlton), embarks upon a series of plans aimed at bringing joy and comfort to everyone around her. The elusive Principal Grim, however, has other plans and devises a scheme to get rid of Alice-Miranda for good. Through hard work, intelligence and a little support from the people she has already helped Alice-Miranda overcomes every obstacle placed in front of her and helps countless others along the way. When a new girl arrives at school and is instructed to sabotage test scores and tarnish records it looks like the neighbouring school may be forced to close its doors but through the connections and friendships Alice-Miranda has already made, and with help a little help from an unlikely ally, she just may be able to help save the school, heal hearts and reunite long lost sisters before the day is done.

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 notion that many parents are too busy to look after or care for their kids, personally isolating or secluding yourself when things go wrong, bullying and or sabotaging others for personal gain.

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:

  • A parent shoves a teacher aside.
  • The school bully shoves a student who drops her books everywhere.
  • Two girls throw food at each other; this then triggers a food fight.

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:

  • The girls tell scary stories before bed one evening using flashlights to distort their faces. One girl tells Alice-Miranda about a witch that lives in the woods. And while Alice-Miranda says that she doesn’t believe in witches the other girls swear that the story is true.
  • Alice-Miranda gets lost in the woods during a storm and finds herself before a creepy, broken down old house. She looks frightened and there is lots of thunder and lightning while the woods appear dark and sinister. She enters the house only to find eerie portraits on the wall, a deep rumbling sound and echoing sobs. Alice-Miranda remembers the story of the witch in the woods and looks very scared for a moment. She follows a shadow down a hallway only to find an unhappy old woman with a veil whose face has been burned in a fire. The image is more discoloured than grotesque and she turns out to be a kind old lady but the lead up to that conclusion may frighten some younger viewers.

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:

  • Nothing further of concern.

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.

  • It is unlikely that children over the age of eight would be scared or disturbed by this movie.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A number of girls think that a boy from another school is cute. Aside from this no sexual references were noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Infrequent name calling including the terms: “You little brat!” “Dummy” and “Stupid.”

In a nutshell

Alice-Miranda Friends Forever is an animated drama that highlights the importance of kindness and compassion under all conditions. The animation is fairly simplistic but the cast is extremely diverse, featuring characters from different ethnic and religious backgrounds as well as characters with special needs. The movie will likely appeal to a young, female audience as well as fans of the books on which the movie is based.

The main messages from this movie are to be kind to others, to always do your best and remember that there is good in everyone no matter how mean they may be.

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

  • Kindness
  • Helpfulness
  • Persistence
  • Curiosity
  • Forgiveness.

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

  • Bullying others and the effect that repeated harassment can have over the long run.
  • Going off on your own unsupervised, entering a stranger’s house and exploring areas that are off-limits without permission.
  • The effects of what can happen (in terms of behaviour) when a parent does not make time for a child or largely ignores their existence as well as what can happen when the opposite is true.

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