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Short takes

Parental guidance under 13 (Theme)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Dreamer
  • a review of Dreamer completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 March 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the movieu2019s theme, parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 8. Preschoolers in particular may have difficulty following the storyline, so may get bored and fidgety.
Children aged 8-13 Due to the movieu2019s theme, parental guidance is recommended for children between the ages of 8 and 13.
Children over the age of 13 Children over the age of 13 should be able to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

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: Dreamer
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Dreamer is a film about the Crane family who live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by racing stables. A long time ago the farm had a stable full of horses, but no longer, and now Ben Crane (Kurt Russell), a talented horseman, works for one of the rich stables in the area. Cale (Dakota Fanning), Ben’s ten year old daughter is desperate to go to work with her father, and eventually goes with him to the race track, where she meets the beautiful filly, Sonyadore. Ben recommends that Sonyadore is not fit to run in a particular race, but the owner insists she run anyway and during the race, she falls and breaks her leg. Everyone wants to put her down but Ben wants to save her and is sacked as a result. He brings her home, where Ben and Cale and the other members of the family, Mum (Elizabeth Shue) and pop (Kris Kristofferson) work together with sheer determination, guts and willpower to try to get the horse well again.


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.

Harm to animals.

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.

None of concern.

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.

The only scene which may upset small children is when the horse falls in the race and cannot get up again. However, very young children may not comprehend what is happening.

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.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed or scared by the scene mentioned above.

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.

The above scene may upset older children as they will be aware that the majority of people want to put the horse down. Also the jockey falls and is quite obviously badly hurt.

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

Children over the age of thirteen are unlikely to be disturbed or scared by material in this film.

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

None of concern.

In a nutshell

This movie’s message is that sometimes when you have a dream you must have willpower and determination to follow it through. You also need to ‘give it a go’, as even though you may not succeed, it is still important to try

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • optimism
  • loyalty
  • persistence against the odds
  • listening you your own instincts
  • trust in yourself and others