Boy, The, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

image for Boy, The, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Short takes

Parental guidance under 5 (scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Boy, The, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
  • a review of Boy, The, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 February 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes.
Children aged 5 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Boy, The, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length: 35 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

A young boy (voiced by Jude Coward Nicoll) is walking alone in a snowy landscape. He drops to his knees, lost and sad. A mole (voiced by Tom Hollander) pops up out of the ground and befriends him. The two go in search of a river which, the mole says, will take him home. They climb a tree branch to see if they can see a river. Nearby, a fox (voiced by Idris Elba) is sniffing their trail and finds them in the tree. He gives up after unsuccessfully trying to climb the tree. The fox gets trapped by a rope and the mole and the boy set him free, despite the fact that the fox is a threat to them. When the mole falls into the river, the fox returns the favour and saves the mole’s life.

The three continue on, when they come across a white horse (voiced by Gabriel Byrne). The horse gives the boy and the mole a ride on his back, while the fox trails behind. The boy lets go of the horse and falls into the river. The horse helps him out but the boy feels bad that it was his fault. The horse tells him that tears fall for a reason. The four friends continue on their journey looking for home and, in the process, discover what home really is.


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.

Journeys; Fantasy; Adventure; Self-worth.

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 a little violence in this movie, including:

  • The mole falls from a tree branch.
  • The fox tells the mole that if he had more room, he’d kill him.
  • The mole rolls down a slope covered in snow, into a fast-moving river. He gets washed down the stream.
  • The boy lets go of the horse, falls off and lands in the river.

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 young boy is alone and lost in the snow.
  • The boy and the mole stay on a tree branch during the night. They hear scary sounds, such as owls shrieking. It’s dark and the boy is scared.
  • The fox has yellow eyes.
  • The fox is trapped by a rope tied to a post.
  • The fox jumps into the river and the boy is horrified to think that he’s killed the mole, when in fact he has gone to save him.
  • The foursome sees some lights in the distance, and are on their way but have to cross a dark wood to get there. A storm breaks out with dark clouds, rain, wind and thunder. The trees blowing in the wind knock the boy off the horse again. They all huddle together for protection from the storm.

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.

  • Nothing further noted.

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 noted.

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

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is an animated short film based on the bestselling book by Charlie Mackesy. The film is slow and gentle and full of affirmative phrases and positive messages. There are a few scary scenes and so parental guidance is recommended for children under 5.

The main messages from this movie are that ‘home’ isn’t a physical place; and the reason we are here is to love and be loved.

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

  • Kindness
  • Selflessness
  • Mole is so small but makes a huge difference.
  • Believing in yourself.
  • To not be ashamed to cry – tears are our strength not our weakness.
  • When the big things feel out of control, focus on the ones you love right under your nose.
  • You’re enough just as you are.
  • You are loved and important and you bring to this world what no-one else can.

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 all feel a bit lost sometimes and it is how we react to things that defines us.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to say ‘I love you’ but we can say it in other ways.
  • We all face storms in life but they always pass.