Australian Council on Children and the Media

Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 5 (very mild violence and scary scenes, possible lack of interest)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite
  • a review of Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 September 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Parental guidance recommended due to very mild violence and scary scenes. May also lack interest for this age group.
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.

Name of movie: Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and violence
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Everyone knows that cats and dogs are natural enemies, but the last decade has been the most peaceful period in pet history. This ‘Great Truce’ is no coincidence but comes down to the efforts of the secret underground organisation, ‘Furry Animal Rivalry Termination’ (FART), run jointly by cats and dogs with the aim to stop the world-wide rivalry and animosity between the two species. Gwen the house cat (voiced by Melissa Rauch) and Roger the Dog (voiced by Max Greenfield) – unbeknownst to their owners, teenagers Zoe (Sarah Giles) and Max (Callum Seagram Airlie) – work as FART monitors, overseeing that peace between cats and dogs is kept. One day, their shift takes an unexpected turn: A mysterious hacker (voiced by George Lopez) corrupts FART's online observation and communication system. His mission: sparking hatred and causing pet chaos all over the world by transmitting signals, only audible to cats and dogs, sending the world of cats and dog into chaos. Will Gwen and Roger manage to identify the villain and restore the peace?

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; Adventure; Talking animals; Crime investigation; Humour.

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 very mild violence in this movie including:

  • A dog steps on a spider but it gets away unharmed.
  • Pablo the jealous cockatoo locks Gwen, Roger, and their other dog friend Duke into crates that are guarded by snakes.
  • A mean lizard transmits frequencies that are very painful to the ears.
  • Roger fights with the lizard but neither is harmed.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

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 of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple (MacBook).

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Max and Zoe are about to kiss but are then interrupted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Fart.
  • Poop.
  • Butt-sniffer.

In a nutshell

Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite is a stand-alone sequel to prior Cats & Dogs movies. Equipped with a mix of cute, strange, and largely funny, animated talking animals, lots of silly and potty humour, an entertaining storyline, and relatable teenage humans. With positive messages about friendship, love, and teamwork, this film is likely to provide fun and entertainment for a family audience with young children. As the violence/scariness is of an extremely mild level, parental guidance is recommended for children under 5. Children in this age group are also likely to lack the necessary attention to follow the story and may lose interest/get bored.

The main message from this movie is that all you need is love.

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

  • Friendship
  • Teamwork
  • Love
  • Courage.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of a sense of belonging: Pablo the cockatoo devised his evil plan out of jealousy and frustration over not being wanted and not feeling loved.

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