Not recommended for children under 8 and parental guidance to 11 (scary and emotionally distressing scenes). Parent caution: this film may be distressing to young children as well as older children who are sensitive to themes of parental separation and animal cruelty.
This topic contains:
|Children under 8||Not recommended. Scary and emotionally distressing scenes.|
|Children aged 8-11||Parental guidance recommended. Scary and emotionally distressing scenes.|
|Children over the age of 12||OK for this age group.|
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:||Dumbo|
|Consumer advice lines:||Mild themes, some scenes may scare young children.|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
Dumbo is a live action adaptation of the original 1941 Disney animation, directed by Tim Burton. The year is 1941 and the scene is set with the Medici Brothers circus travelling the length and Breadth of America. They have been hit hard by World War I and a deadly outbreak of Influenza which has left them thin on acts and thin on audiences. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) has gambled on the purchase of a pregnant elephant, hoping that a cute baby elephant is going to draw some big crowds. Much to his horror, when the baby elephant is born, it has enormous, long, flappy ears – an abomination! In anger, Max sells the mother elephant and baby ‘Dumbo’ is left all alone. Returned war veteran, Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) oversees caring for the circus elephants; and his two young children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) take pity on little Dumbo and comfort him. They have also lost their mother to Influenza and can empathise with the elephant’s fear and despair. As they cheer up Dumbo; cuddling, feeding and playing with him; they notice that Dumbo’s ears have an extraordinary and magical ability – they allow the baby elephant to fly! At first nobody believes them, but one day Dumbo takes flight and amazes everybody. As word travels of the amazing flying elephant, a distant theme park owner, V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), decides that he needs Dumbo to perform in his own circus. He convinces Max Medici that a collaboration would be a good idea. Seduced by the promise of fame and fortune, Max agrees. Although it all seems too good to be true in the glamourous ‘Dreamworld’ theme park, the pressures of performing; the growing desperation of Dumbo to escape and be reunited with his mother become too much, proving a disastrous adventure.
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.
Death of a parent; separation from a parent; animal cruelty and animals in captivity; being different from ‘normal’; war.
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:
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:
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 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.
Younger children, and sensitive children in this age group are still likely to find many of the above-mentioned scenes very emotional and sometimes scary. Parents are advised to use their discretion about the suitability of the content for their child. 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:
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 of concern for this age group, however children with personal experience of death of a parent or separation from a parent may find this film emotionally distressing.
There is no product placement in this film.
There are some mild romantic references in this movie, including:
There is no nudity or sexual activity in this movie.
There is no use of substances in this film.
There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:
The original Disney animation Dumbo was a sad story, and Tim Burton captures the darker side of the original animation well, with signature visual grittiness and quirkiness. At the same time, there is a lovely happy ending and the film has some powerful messages about loss, compassion and being different. Parents should know that this is not a film for very young children, as the themes of parent separation, death and animal cruelty are central to the story and could be very distressing. Discretion is advised as to whether older children will enjoy the darker, more frightening elements of the film; whether they will find it distressing; or just not much fun.
The main messages from this movie are that being different is not something to be ashamed of and that animals deserve our compassion.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.
Content is age appropriate for children this age
Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended
Content is not age appropriate for children this age