Australian Council on Children and the Media

Arctic Justice

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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance 5-6 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Arctic Justice
  • a review of Arctic Justice completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 November 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to animated violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 5–6 Parental guidance recommended due to animated violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 7 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: Arctic Justice
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes, animated violence and coarse language
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Swifty (voice of Jeremy Renner) (and Young Swifty - Anderson Lewis) is a young arctic fox who feels he’s invisible because his colour blends so well into the environment. He admires the top dogs, particularly Duke (Mike Medson), who deliver the all-important packages to the residents of Taugasville. Swifty dreams of becoming top dog one day (even though he’s a fox) and works hard to follow his heroes. When he does grow up, he gets a job processing parcels at ABDS (Arctic Blast Delivery Service). Swifty’s friend Jade (Heidi Klum) has returned to Taugasville after completing an engineering degree. She asks Swifty to deliver some important parcels to Otto Von Walrus (John Cleese). Swifty is dismayed when he finds Otto to be an aggressive, nasty walrus who walks on robotic legs.

Swifty’s curiosity is roused and he returns to Otto Von Walrus’ cave to discover what Otto is doing behind the iron doors of his house. He finds that Otto is building a huge drill to drill into the Arctic shelf and destroy the polar caps to bring on climate change. Swifty and his friends have a hard job ahead of them to prevent Otto carrying out his menacing plans. Swifty also realises he can use his invisibility to his advantage.

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.

Animals in peril; Climate change

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:

  • Characters fall down, run into each other, accidentally knock each other over, get covered in snow, etc. These are mostly done for laughs.
  • Otto Von Walrus has an army of small puffins which are quite violent. They knock the top dogs out with a pink gaseous substance and abduct them.
  • Otto Von Walrus is often cruel to the puffins and punches them together like balls. The puffins also get hurt in an explosion.
  • One of the spies punches Swifty in the face as an initiation ceremony.
  • The puffins attack Swifty and his friends with rifles that fire snowballs. Swifty’s vehicle gets hit and overturns. Swifty and his friends are imprisoned by the puffins.
  • Otto Von Walrus grabs Jade with a mechanical claw.
  • The puffins shoot at Swifty and friends with their snowball rifles. One creature gets repeatedly hit. Magda pulls out a rifle but it doesn’t work for long.
  • Swifty gets hit in his private parts by a snowball and doubles over in pain.
  • Otto Von Walrus and Swifty fight. Otto crushes Swifty with an iron bar. The drill suddenly explodes and Otto and Swifty go flying.

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:

  • Swifty and PB (a polar bear) go down a mountainside on a sledge that gets out of control. It veers all over the place and falls off a broken ledge. PB screams in fear.
  • Swifty goes out to deliver his first parcel and gets caught in a blizzard. He’s alone and lost.
  • Otto Von Walrus is a scary looking creature walking around on six robotic legs. He is intimidating and has a manic laugh.
  • The factory where Otto Von Walrus is building his drill is scary looking – black steel everywhere with red glowing parts.
  • Swifty is lured to a suitcase and when he opens it he gets pushed inside. He’s taken to a house where he is interrogated by two animals who are spies.
  • Otto Von Walrus tests his drill, which releases a noxious gas. This explodes into a pink mushroom cloud.
  • The animals are seen in cages, which are suspended by ropes. They are slowly lowered into a hot water furnace. Jade manages to escape but nearly falls into the hot water.

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:

  • Otto Von Walrus is pleased to hear what he thinks are screams of agony.
  • A large steel robotic machine with red eyes starts moving. Otto Von Walrus laughs manically as he starts to drill down into the Arctic. The drill looks like it’s on fire – red and burning.
  • Jade finds Swifty covered in snow. He looks like he’s quite hurt but he recovers quickly.

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:

  • Magda the Moose asks if it’s fair that her husband ran off with someone ten years younger.
  • Swifty and Jade like each other. They kiss and hug occasionally.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Swifty takes off his clothes (apart from white underpants) to become invisible.

Use of substances

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

  • Gas is used on two occasions to knock characters out.
  • Swifty suffers a hangover after a celebration party.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Arse
  • Screw up
  • For Pete’s sake

In a nutshell

Arctic Justice is an animated comedy/drama made for children. The movie alludes to climate change but doesn’t really explain it and may lack interest for older children. There is a lot of slapstick violence and other menacing threats that could scare young children. It is therefore not suitable for under 5’s and parental guidance is recommended for 5-6 year olds.

The main messages from this movie are that good triumphs over evil and that we all have our own unique talents.

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

  • Self worth
  • Friendship
  • Teamwork

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

  • That we don’t all have to conform to what is popular but to just be ourselves.
  • Why would Otto Von Walrus want to destroy the Arctic?

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of looking after the environment.

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