Cranston Academy: Monster Zone

image for Cranston Academy: Monster Zone

Short takes

Not suitable under 7; parental guidance to 8 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cranston Academy: Monster Zone
  • a review of Cranston Academy: Monster Zone completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 June 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 7–8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 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: Cranston Academy: Monster Zone
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild science fiction themes and animated violence
Length: 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Danny Dawkins (voice of Jamie Bell) is a 15-year-old science whizz who is teased at school for being a genius. Danny is recruited to the Cranston Academy by a Miss Evans, where he meets fellow student and roommate, Liz (voice of Ruby Rose). Danny feels he is, at last, understood but is dismayed to find that the head of the school, Professor Stern, dislikes having him there on a scholarship. Danny feels he needs to invent something amazing to prove his worth and to keep his place at the school.

Danny discovers an abandoned and broken atomic particle reactor, which he decides to repair to show his abilities. However, Danny gets into real difficulties when, with Liz’s help, he gets the reactor going and opens a portal to a 5th dimension. Inside the dimension is a world full of monsters who are intent on causing harm. When the monsters escape through the portal the real problems begin and Danny and Liz have to find a way to get them back and close the portal forever.

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.

Science Fiction; Monsters; Fantasy.

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 lot of comic pratfalls.
  • A Professor is zapped by electrical volts which cause explosions and makes him scream.
  • Danny is taunted by bullies who chase after him. They pull Danny out of a toilet cubicle and start to attack him.
  • Miss Evans puts the bullies into a bubble.
  • A boy appears, covered in soot and with flames coming from his head.
  • A large monster rises up out of a lake and grabs Danny by the leg, pulling him into the water. Another flying monster appears and scares the first one away but chases Danny back to the portal.
  • The monsters take over the school, causing chaos. Mothman manages to fend off an attack of snakes with a knife.
  • The ‘brain’ appears to eat Danny.
  • Mothman and another monster fight in a wrestling match.

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 monsters are very scary looking and come in all shapes and sizes, and mostly with very large teeth and eyes.
  • The setting is often dark and scary, with thunderstorms and lightning cracks.

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:

  • Several characters are mean and intimidating, including Danny’s high school teacher, Professor Stern and the school bullies.
  • Danny is transported in a flying car which is driven by a robot. The car spins through the air and seems to crash down to earth, causing Danny to be terrified.
  • Danny explores the building with the broken atomic particle reactor in the dark. He has a torch with him but everything looks dark and scary.
  • The professor who was injured at the start of the movie has been trapped in the 5th dimension for many years. He has been transformed into part man, part bug and is now called Mothman.
  • Some of the monsters look like dinosaurs and sound very scary.
  • A boy is seen attached to a wall covered in a pink slimy substance.
  • Mothman seems to go into a trance-like state. His eyes go white and he starts chanting, “take them to the brain”. Danny and Liz think he’s going to kill them.
  • The children and teachers are all seen hanging in the air attached to vines with suction caps. They are all in a zombie-like state with white eyes.
  • Flesh eating bugs come out at night to attack skin.
  • At the centre of the vines is ‘the brain’. This appears out of a hole as a large, fiery ball. It has really big eyes and sharp teeth.

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 younger children in this age group could be scared by the above-mentioned scenes.

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

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Mothman removes most of his clothes to wrestle.

Use of substances

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

  • Substances are used to kill some creatures and to immobilise some. Other creatures are enlarged by substances.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bloody
  • Name calling such as:
    • Einstein
    • Momma’s Boy
    • Dummy
    • You suck.

In a nutshell

Cranston Academy: Monster Zone is an animated monster/horror movie which is quite humorous and made for laughs. The film is intended to be light-hearted, however, it is quite scary in parts and is therefore not suitable for young children. Parental guidance is recommended for 7 – 8 year olds who might still be scared by the content of the movie.

The main messages from this movie are that genius is a product of great minds working together; and that more can be achieved by working collaboratively.

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

  • Team effort.
  • Valuing success and achievement.
  • Aiming for your best.

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

  • Why bullies behave the way they do. Is it because they’re envious and/or fear someone who’s different?