Amazing Maurice, The

image for Amazing Maurice, The

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Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 7 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Amazing Maurice, The
  • a review of Amazing Maurice, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 January 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 6–7 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 7 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: Amazing Maurice, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes
Length: 93 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Maurice (Voice of Hugh Laurie) is a street-smart cat, who together with his human pal, Keith (Himesh Patel), and their band of talking rats, manage to convince local townsfolk that their town has a rat problem. They are then paid to remove the rats, which Keith does by playing his pipe while the rats follow him out. That’s the story according to Malicia (Emilia Clarke) the Narrator, but when she decides to enter the story herself, things get more complicated.

The trio and the band of rats come across a town where all of the rats have disappeared and the food has all been stolen. It transpires that the rat king is luring all of the rats to himself to make his powers stronger and that he uses two henchmen to steal all of the food. Malicia, who is all for a good adventure, sets out to solve the mystery, dragging the reluctant Keith and the cowardly Maurice along with her. The three face many perils, as do the rats themselves, but in the end it is Maurice who saves the day.

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.

Fantasy; Fairy Stories; Adventure; Animals in peril.

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 slapstick violence in this movie, done for laughs, including:

  • Characters trip over.
  • One of the rats pulls a clockwork rat by the tail.
  • Keith falls through a trapdoor and lands on his head.
  • The henchmen hit each other and fall down the trapdoor.
  • Keith walks into a tree in the woods and his eye is poked by a branch.

Other violence includes:

  • An explosion occurs in a barn, smoke is seen coming out of the roof and a man falls out of a window.
  • The henchmen attack the rats and Maurice with sticks – they go flying. Maurice attacks the men back, clawing at their faces.
  • Malicia and Keith poison the henchmen with ‘kill a lot’ rat poison, although it turns out to be a laxative instead.
  • A pit is shown where dogs chase rats around and kill them. One of the band of rats gets thrown into the pit and is fighting with a vicious dog. The rat throws darts at the dog and a fight is shown in slow motion. The dog lands on his head. A fight then breaks out amongst the spectators. The other rats then drop a heavy object on the dog, knocking him out.
  • The rat king squeezes one of the rats in his hand. Maurice attacks him and is sent flying, landing heavily on the ground.
  • The Pied Piper knocks Keith out. Malicia threatens him. He gets kicked into the oven and jumps out with his pants on fire.
  • The rat king picks up Keith and Malicia and throws them both a long way.
  • The rat king starts to disintegrate. A huge sonic boom occurs, freezing all of the characters. One of the rats, Dangerous Beans, appears dead. Maurice gets really angry, green energy comes out of his paws, and he attacks the rat king.

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:

  • Several scary characters, including the rat king who is tall, mysterious and intimidating, cloaked in robes, with a scarf around his face and wearing a sombrero. One of the henchmen is tall with a long face and beady eyes, while the other is fat with a huge mouth and teeth.
  • A farmer is seen with a cleaver in his hand, about to chop off a chicken’s head.
  • A lot of the imagery is dark and in the towns there is rubbish everywhere.
  • Malicia and Keith go into a dark wood. Scary music is played.
  • The dogs in the pit are quite vicious and scary, barking loudly.

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:

  • Malicia is about to hit a rat with a saucepan when he starts talking to her.
  • Skeletons are seen in a basement.
  • A rat is trapped inside a cage with sharp teeth around the edges.
  • Malicia and Keith search inside a dark basement with a torch.
  • Malicia and Keith are captured by the henchmen and are seen tied up in ropes.
  • One of the rats is visibly upset when she finds out Maurice is a cheat and not a hero. She cries and shivers in fear and is then grabbed by multiple hands.
  • Malicia and Keith find the real Pied Piper in the woods, living in a gingerbread house. The house is very colourful compared to the dark wood and the Piper uses it to lure children in. He has an oven where he cooks children.
  • The rat king calls to the band of rats in a loud voice, luring them into a tunnel.
  • The rat king has many bright lights in the dark space where his eyes should be.
  • The Pied Piper plays a tune on his pipe which hypnotises Malicia and Keith. They walk in a trance towards the oven where flames are burning.
  • A circle of rats joined by their tails has a powerful glowing object in their midst. The sonic boom kills Dangerous Beans. Maurice is shown carrying him in his mouth. Maurice has a blackened face and sees himself as dead next to Beans. He is then confronted by the Grim Reaper, or ‘White Squeaker’, wearing black robes, with pale blue eyes and carrying a scythe.

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 further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Keith says he thinks he loves Malicia. They kiss.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • Use of poison.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Some name calling such as:
    • Useless
    • Stupid.

In a nutshell

The Amazing Maurice, based on the book by Terry Pratchett, is an animated fantasy/fairy story, and fast moving adventure. The story is quite complex and rather dark in places. The film is therefore not suitable for children under 6 and parental guidance is recommended for 6 – 7-year-olds.

The main messages from this movie are to make your own story and to find your own abilities.

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

  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Admitting one’s faults
  • Selflessness
  • Courage
  • Bravery.

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

  • Maurice and Keith con people out of their money but Maurice admits to being a cheat. He does change around, however, offering up one of his lives in exchange for Dangerous Beans’ life. Parents could discuss the importance of owning up to making mistakes and the ability to change around to try better.