Australian Council on Children and the Media

Astro Kid

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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 6 (mildly violent and scary scenes (separation from parents; scary-looking unfriendly aliens))

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Astro Kid
  • a review of Astro Kid completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 September 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to mildly violent and scary scenes (separation from parents; scary-looking unfriendly aliens).
Children aged 5-6 Parental guidance recommended due to mildly violent and scary scenes (separation from parents; scary-looking unfriendly aliens).
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: Astro Kid
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length 89 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

10 year-old Willy (voiced by Landen Beattie) is the son of two space explorers. Just before the family head back home to Earth, at the end of a mission, their spaceship is hit by asteroids. Willy and his parents get separated and escape in different rescue capsules, just before the spaceship explodes. Willy's capsule emergency-lands on an unknown planet. Gladly, the capsule is equipped with a smart robot assistant called Buck (Jason Anthony). While waiting for the arrival of a rescue team, Willy and Buck start exploring the unknown planet and encounter all sorts of alien creatures – some friendly, some not so friendly. And there is more trouble on the horizon, as Buck's battery level starts to run low. Gladly, Willy has made some local friends, including Flash – a friendly dog/caterpillar/pokemon-kinda creature – and he is determined to last out until he is reunited with his parents, and show them that he has what it takes to be a real space explorer.

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.

Animation; Fantasy Science-Fiction; Adventure; Family.

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 some unfriendly creatures – huge alien, dinosaur-like rock monsters – that chase Willy, Buck, and Flash on numerous occasions, most likely with the intention of eating them.
  • The rock monsters injure Flash (no blood on display) but he recovers.

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 very large and scary alien, dinosaur-like monsters are always on the rampage.
  • In one scene, Willy nearly dies after touching a poisonous plant. He has a near-death hallucination encountering his parents, just before he is given an antidote and regains consciousness.
  • Willy, Buck, and Flash have to seek shelter from a storm that produces massive bomb-like hail stones.

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:

  • Children in this age group might get worried over Willy's separation from his parents.

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

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Astro Kid is an animated space explorer adventure about a courageous little boy who must fend for himself on an alien planet until a rescue team arrives. The creators of this French animation production provide an entertaining, playful, family-friendly adventure, full of fanciful, creative details, positive role-models and messages. Not suitable for children under 5, and young viewers will benefit from parental guidance through some of the scary and suspenseful scenes, and to receive reassurance that Willy has the resilience and courage to manage on his own until help from Earth arrives.

The main messages from this movie are that in times of need you need to demonstrate resilience and courage, and that you achieve most with the help of friends.

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

  • Resilience
  • Friendship
  • Teamwork
  • Courage
  • Innovation.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of adaptability: Willy manages to survive on the unknown planet because he pays attention to his new surroundings and learns how to deal with the given circumstances.

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