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Not suitable under 5; 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 Epic
  • a review of Epic completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 June 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to some violent and scary scenes.
Children aged 5–8 Parental guidance recommended due to some violent and scary scenes.
Children aged 9 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Epic
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence
Length: 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Inspired by William Joyce’s The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, Epic 3D is an animated story about the fragile balance in nature and an impending threat of destruction.  Mary Katherine, shortened to M.K., (voice of Amanda Seyfried) is a teenage girl who, after the death of her mother, goes to live with her estranged father, Bomba (Jason Sudeikis). Bomba is a disgraced and eccentric Professor who believes a miniature society of little soldiers (Leafmen) and other characters live in the forest. M.K. doesn’t believe this and is on the point of return to the city, when she stumbles upon a battle between the good and evil forces in the forest.

At this point M.K. shrinks to a small size and comes face to face with the beautiful Forest Queen, Tara (Beyonce Knowles) who has been shot with an arrow and is dying. The Forest Queen entrusts M.K. with a precious pod, which she says must flower that night when the moon and the stars are in alignment as this will help find a new Queen. What follows is the relentless pursuit of M.K. and the Leafmen by Mandrake (Christopher Waltz) the King of Rot (the name of the Forest) and his evil Boggans. M.K. is helped by the strong and brave Ronin (Colin Farrell) and his rebellious partner Nod (Josh Hutchinson). If Mandrake gets his hands on the pod, it seems that he will have his evil way and the forest will become a grey wasteland of death and destruction.


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.

Good versus evil; death of a parent; conservation; the interconnectedness of living beings.

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:

  • Many battle scenes between the Leafmen and the Boggans, which involve shooting arrows at each other often resulting in death.
  • The Leafmen and the Boggans flying on birds, are often shot off and fall to the ground.
  • A large crow shoots an arrow at M.K.
  • Some comic violence including: Bomba stumbling to the ground on several occasions while trying to chase the miniature people; Nod is picked up by crows, preventing him from falling to the ground, and is carried along upside down.
  • Ronin and Mandrake have a vicious sword fight.

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:

  • Mandrake and the Boggans are particularly nasty looking creatures – some are rat like animals and they have glowing yellow eyes.
  • One of the creatures falls to Earth and is splattered on the windscreen of a car.
  • The land of Rot is a wasteland of grey, dead vegetation creating a dark and gloomy atmosphere
  • A large mouse is quite vicious and attacks M.K. and Nod.

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:

  • Mary Katherine is still mourning the death of her mother and is shown hugging a picture of her.
  • Forest Queen Tara is shown dying with an arrow in her heart. When she dies she seems to vanish into the air.
  • M.K. takes Ronin and Nod back to her house and they are chased by Ozzy the pug. This is quite scary as everything is so much larger than they are.
  • Bomba manages to vacuum M.K. up in a jar and then passes out when he sees who it is.

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:

  • Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

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.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Nod and M.K. fall in love and kiss.
  • Queen Tara and Ronin appear to have a romantic connection.
  • A slug called Mub is always trying to flirt with M.K.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Stupid; Idiot; Jerk

In a nutshell

Inspired by William Joyce’s The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, Epic 3D is a beautifully filmed animated movie with some vivid images of a forest that is home to the main characters including miniature soldiers, a forest Queen and others. The story is based around a teenage girl who visits her father and, after being shrunk to a small size, discovers these miniature characters (both good and evil) and joins them in what makes an adventurous and exciting film for all ages. However, due to some violence and scary scenes this film is not recommended for children under 5 and warrants parental guidance for the 5-8 year old age group

The main messages from this movie are:

  • it’s important to preserve the natural environment or forests may die.

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

  • Standing up for what you believe in.
  • Respecting and listening to your parents.
  • Collaborating with others to get things done.
  • Sometimes you have to give up things for the ‘greater good’.

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

  •  Is it necessary to die for what you believe in – or is there a better way to solve conflict?