Australian Council on Children and the Media

Elfkins, The - Baking a Difference

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Not suitable under 4; parental guidance to 5 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Elfkins, The - Baking a Difference
  • a review of Elfkins, The - Baking a Difference completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 January 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 4 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 4–5 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 5 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: Elfkins, The - Baking a Difference
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and violence
Length 78 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

For many years the Elfkins have lived underground, in hiding, from the mean and ungrateful humans whom they used to help until the tailor's wife told everyone about them. Every year at the Elf-fest, the Elfkins re-enact this story as a reminder. They also compete to see who has been the best craftsman for the year. Helvi (voice of Jelia Haese) is a high-spirited and well-meaning Elfkin but nearly always lands in trouble. When she is beaten in the competition by Kipp (Louis Hoffman), she decides to leave her village and go up to the exciting world of humans.

Helvi is followed to the outside by Kipp and her friend Butz (Leon Seidel) where, after navigating the dangers of the road, they meet up with Theo (Detlef Bierstedt), a former brilliant chef. Theo's shop is now sadly closed because his brother, Bruno (Rolf Berg), has opened a new, glitzy shop opposite and taken all of Theo's business. Theo is now in debt and Bruno is looking to take over. It is up to the Elfkins to put things right and to remember their main purpose in life, which is to help others.

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.

Competitiveness; Characters in mild peril.

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 quite a lot of violence in this movie, mostly done for laughs, including:

  • Helvi invents a machine driven by a helicopter. This breaks off and flies into pillars, causing destruction and chaos. It crashes into a wall which collapses on top of several Elfkins.
  • The three Elfkins, Helvi, Kipp and Butz, are often chased by a dog called Charles.
  • Theo chases Charles the dog away by spraying it with water.
  • A lady hits Charles the dog with her handbag.
  • Theo dumps the three Elfkins into a bin.
  • Kipp falls into the mixing bowl and the three Elfkins have a food fight.
  • Butz gets sucked up in a vacuum.

Other violence includes:

  • The re-enactment shows a marionette as the tailor's wife at which the Elfkins throw things. Helvi slashes her dress off with a sword and hits the puppet with it, who then collapses.
  • Theo is bad tempered and miserable. He throws things in anger, including at a female customer.
  • Bruno and Theo fight on several occasions, sometimes by throwing cakes at each other and other times physically fighting. They also shout and argue a lot.
  • The Elfkins try to trip Bruno up by rolling nuts on the floor but Theo is tripped up instead. He is knocked unconscious.
  • Bruno tries to knock Theo's shop down with a bulldozer but the Elfkins come to the rescue. There is much fighting between Elfkins, men and machines.

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 marionette looks quite scary – very large compared to the Elfkins and she has bright, whitish eyes.
  • Helvi is sad because she can't do anything right. She is told off and sits alone, crying.
  • The three Elfkins walk through a tunnel to reach the outside. It is dark and scary with tree roots everywhere. Shadows are seen on the walls.
  • The Elfkins aren't used to the traffic and nearly get hit by a car.
  • Bruno is a scary and intimidating character.

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:

  • The Elfkins think that all humans can't be nice, they “eat Elfkins for breakfast” and always want to destroy everything.
  • Helvi wants to stop being a 'loser' and an underachiever.
  • Helvi accidentally sets fire to the oven and makes it worse by spraying a chemical on it.
  • Theo is taken to the hospital in an ambulance where he is seen unconscious and sedated.
  • The Elfkins need Theo to run the shop, so they prop the unconscious Theo up with ropes and manipulate him like a marionette.
  • The Elfkins are trapped inside a cage.
  • Bruno falls into a vat and appears to be drowning but is saved at the last moment.

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 of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Theo refers to Bruno's assistant, Harriet, as his “cream puff”.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • Use of sedatives to put Theo to sleep.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • The Elfkins call humans names such as:
    • Dastardly
    • Sneaky
    • Lazy
    • Arrogant.
  • Other name calling includes:
    • Ant-brain
    • Sleazebag
    • Numbskull
    • Stupid.

In a nutshell

The Elfkins - Baking a Difference is an animated, comic family movie. The background sets are quite impressive and the Elfkins are cute. The movie explores the issues of individual competitiveness versus working together as a group. The brothers, Theo and Bruno, have become rival enemies but things work out well in the end. This movie is best suited to children aged 6 and over and, as there is quite a lot of violence, parental guidance is recommended for children aged 4-5.

The main messages from this movie are to help others and to work together, rather than against each other.

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

  • Positivity
  • Determination
  • Kindness
  • Forgiveness
  • Helping others, even our enemies.

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

  • Holding on to old animosities doesn't do any good, it only hurts everyone. It is much better to forgive and move on with life.

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