Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Not recommended under 12, parental guidance recommended 12 to 13 due to violence, scary scenes and dark themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • a review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 19 November 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to violence, scary scenes and dark themes
Children 12 to 13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary scenes and dark themes
Children 13 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.

Name of movie: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length 134 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This is the second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series, a prequel to the Harry Potter stories. In this instalment we are introduced to a dark and powerful wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Grindelwald has engineered an escape from prison and takes up residence in Paris, where he hopes to find the young wizard Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Credence comes from a long and pure-blood line of wizards and Grindelwald believes he is the only one who will be able to help defeat his only living equal, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).

Back in London, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) a young wizard with a passion for magical creatures and beasts, is appealing to the British Ministry of Magic to have them lift his international travel ban. The Ministry agrees, but only if Scamander agrees to work with them to find Credence before Grindelwald does.  Scamander doesn’t want to take sides and declines their offer, however when the same offer is made by Professor Albus Dumbledore, he can’t resist the chance to travel to Paris.

As Grindelwald gathers his followers and supporters around him with the promise of freedom for all wizards, the hunt for Credence intensifies. Credence has escaped from a circus show in Paris with his friend, the woman-serpent Nagini (Claudia Kim), and together they are trying to discover more about Credence’s heritage and to find his birth mother. Scamander has arrived in Paris and reunited with his friend and romantic interest Tina (Katherine Waterston), who is also on the hunt for Credence.

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.

Destructive forces; supernatural creatures and magic; brotherhood; family heritage

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:

  • The Wizard Grindelwald picks up his pet (a cute lizard-like creature), says “So needy!” and tosses it out of a flying aircraft.
  • Grindelwald pushes someone out of a flying aircraft to their death.
  • When Grindelwald and his gang come across a ‘muggle’ baby alone in a room in a house, they approach the baby with menacing looks in their eyes and, as the door closes, there is a flash of magic and it is implied that they have killed the baby.
  • There are large scale action scenes of destruction and fighting ‘forces’, where the evil blue fires of Grindelwald are battled by the combined powers of the others.
  • Grindelwald uses his magic to create a ring of fire that engulfs people. Some can pass through, but others are burnt to death.

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:

  •  Grindelwald swaps bodies with another character and as they morph into each other, it looks quite monstrous for a second or two.
  • A woman transforms into a large serpent.
  • The wizard Grindelwald is a scary and threatening character who may scare children and linger in their imaginations. He has different coloured eyes and a pale grey complexion.
  • Queenie goes to Paris to find her sister but feels lost and can’t find her, so she starts to cry.
  • There are many different beasts, some are very cute and small, but some are large and a little bit dangerous and scary.
  • Credence transforms into a black ‘force’ when he is confronted or upset, and this whirling force causes great destruction to whatever is around him.
  • In several scenes an eerie corpse-like figure wrapped in a white shroud, floats near the ceiling.
  • Scamander pulls a parasite out of someone’s eyeball with a pair of tweezers.

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 of this age may also find the above-mentioned scenes scary or disturbing.

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.

Children of this age may also find the above-mentioned scenes scary or disturbing.

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There is some mild sexual and romantic innuendo in this movie, including:

  • Bunty, Newt Scamander’s assistant, appears to have a crush on Newt and asks him whether he would ‘perhaps’ like to take off his shirt to go into the water.
  • Queenie has placed a love enchantment on Kowalski to make him marry her.
  • Scamander is smitten with Tina Goldstein and follows her to Paris, planning to let her know how he feels.
  • A woman who is held captive in a cage at a circus is introduced by the ringmaster, “Look at her, so beautiful, so desirable”.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Adults drink beer.

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a beautifully made and visually exciting film that combines magical, supernatural elements with fast paced action. It is more suited to older children as there is plenty of violence and scary scenes, and the themes are quite dark. It is not recommended to children under 12, with parental guidance recommended for 12-year-olds. This film will appeal to adults as well as teenagers.

The main message from this movie is that your family history, heritage and sibling relationships are meaningful and significant.

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

  • Kindness to animals
  • Friendship
  • The strong ties of sibling relationships.

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

  • The use of violence to achieve your goals.
  • Fighting for freedom at the expense of others.

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