Australian Council on Children and the Media

Artemis Fowl

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Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (violence, themes, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Artemis Fowl
  • a review of Artemis Fowl completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 June 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and 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: Artemis Fowl
Consumer advice lines: Not yet classified.
Length 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When his father, Artemis Fowl Sr. (Collin Farrell), is kidnapped, 12 year old genius Artemis Fowl II (Ferdia Shaw) is thrust into a new world where he learns that the fairy tales his father has been telling him for years are not just stories. In order to save his father’s life, Artemis is told that he will need to find an orb that holds incredible power. With little idea of what it is or where to find it, Artemis kidnaps and imprisons a young fairy officer named Holly (Lara McDonnell) who is on a quest to vindicate her father who died trying to protect the orb. When a fairy army attacks Fowl Manor, Artemis and Holly are helped by Dom the butler (Nonso Anozie) and Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad), a gigantic dwarf - together they help each other and find the orb. With the fate of the world on the line, Artemis hatches a plan that will free his father and return the orb to its rightful place, thereby securing the peace and security of all species and allowing Holly to learn the truth of how heroic her father was.

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.

Separation from a parent; death of a parent; quest to prove the innocence of a family member; distrust between different species; and the destructive forces of greed and revenge.

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 troll attacks a wedding party, smashing and destroying things, and grabbing and throwing people, including a young girl.
  • Holly is shot with some sort of tranquilizer dart and falls from the sky. Artemis imprisons her in a cage, hoping she will help him find what he needs.
  • A fairy army descends on Fowl Manor with lots of shooting, hitting, kicking, and punching from both sides.
  • A fairy commander turns on his own people.
  • The giant troll is used as a battering ram to break into Fowl Manor. There is stabbing, throwing, smashing, punching and crashing as he attempts to kill the inhabitants. In the end the troll falls from a chandelier and crushes Dom.
  • Many fairies are sucked into a disintegrating time freeze and it is unclear if they simply disappear or if they die.
  • Artemis’ father is repeatedly threatened with death if his son does not deliver the Orb. His captor later attempts to kill him.

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:

  • There is a large, violent and hideous troll that grabs a child during a wedding celebration. It looks like it is either about to crush or eat the child but then throws her into the air before turning its attention to the other screaming guests. The child is injured but Holly is able to heal her as help from other fairies begins to arrive. The physical appearance of the troll and his singling out of the child is likely to upset some young viewers.
  • The physical appearance of other characters is also likely to distress younger viewers as the goblins look creepy and evil and the black-hooded kidnapper who holds Artemis Sr hostage has no face and a horrible distorted voice. Mulch Diggums repeatedly distorts his face in a grotesque manner allowing him to dig and tunnel under the ground using only his mouth.

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:

  • Artemis learns that his father is missing and has been accused of numerous crimes from a news report. He is horrified and scared and is dragged screaming from the room by Dom.
  • Artemis takes a call from the kidnapper holding his father hostage and while he can only just hear his father’s voice, viewers can see that his father appears to be hanging from his arms over a dark pit, held captive by a black mass covering most of his body. Later, when Artemis fails to meet the kidnapper’s plans, the evil creature follows through on its promises to kill the dad. It activates the black mass which continues to cover Artemis Sr’s body until he is completely consumed and appears to have suffocated.
  • When a bunch of goblins get nasty in a prison and begin to threaten Mulch with fire, the dwarf pushes the fire back into the goblins head, which quickly explodes, causing an inferno in the jail cell and engulfing other goblins in flames.
  • Following a troll attack, Dom is crushed by the troll moments after pushing Artemis to safety. With tears slowly streaming down his cheeks Dom slowly dies as Artemis and Holly look helplessly on. He is brought back to life when Holly’s power is reactivated but some children are likely to find his death distressing.

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:

  • Some of the above-mentioned scenes may also scare or disturb children on the younger side of this age bracket.

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.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • None noted, however, the film is based on the best-selling book series so there may be some tie ins.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • a couple uses of “Shut up!”
  • some name calling: “thief,” “liar,” “traitor,” “criminal mastermind” and “you son of a…”.

In a nutshell

Artemis Fowl is a sci- fi, fantasy film based on the best-selling children’s book series by Eoin Colfer. The plot is fast paced and somewhat confusing but the graphics are excellent. The movie is best suited to families with older children and tween audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that people or creatures should not be judged based on the actions of others but rather on their own merit; and that life, like the fairy tales, has the potential to be either a beautiful dream or a terrible nightmare, depending upon who is in charge.

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

  • Loyalty
  • Teamwork
  • Ingenuity
  • Courage.

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

  • Rudeness and arrogance towards those whom you feel are inferior.
  • Blindly following orders regardless whether they are right or wrong.
  • Kidnapping and imprisoning people for your own purposes.
  • Disregard for life and purposefully endangering others.
  • Stigmatising and judging those who are different based on physical appearance.

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