Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

image for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

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Not suitable under 12; parental guidance to 14 (violence, themes, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  • a review of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 April 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not suitable due to violence themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 12–14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence themes and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 14 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 Secrets of Dumbledore
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length: 142 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Determined to rise to the heights of power and burn the Muggle world to the ground Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) will stop at nothing to achieve his plans. His youthful love of Dumbledore (Jude Law) and the curse that binds them is no match for the hatred that now consumes his heart. Using Queenie’s (Alison Sudol) gifts to read minds, Credence’s (Ezra Miller) pain as a weapon and the influence of allies to set him free Grindelwald has set his sights on becoming leader of the wizarding world. Meanwhile Dumbledore, battling ghosts from his past, knows that he cannot stop Grindelwald alone. He entrusts Newt Scamander (Eddie RedMayne) with help from his assistant Bunty (Victoria Yeates) to lead an intrepid team of wizards and witches along with Muggle Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) in an equally elaborate plot to stop Grindelwald and the war he wishes to wage.

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.

Societal domination; Homosexuality; Animal cruelty; Deception; Loneliness; Hate; Bigotry: Family breakdown; Political intrigue and corruption.

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:

  • Grindelwald threatens to burn down the Muggle world and thoroughly destroy them all.
  • Newt is blasted with spells while trying to save a newborn creature. The creature’s mother is killed and its sibling is kidnapped.
  • Grindelwald violently kills a baby creature.
  • Dumbledore shows how, if he even thinks of betraying Grindelwald, the curse he is bound by will try to kill him. The necklace that he wears around his arm begins to strain and choke and strangle him.
  • Grindelwald tries to persuade Credence to kill Dumbledore.
  • A couple of characters look like they are antagonising a witch. Kowalski comes to the witch’s defence and tries to chase the characters away.
  • A violent and angry crowd is shouting outside the ministry for magic. A flag is set on fire and falls into the crowd.
  • Credence attempts to assassinate Dumbledore, wands blast spells, ripping apart city streets and buildings that then change into a dragon-like creature made of moving buildings, chasing, charging and attacking Dumbledore.
  • A creepy prison guard eats grubs and tells Newt that he will not come back alive from visiting his brother.
  • Dumbledore shares how he, his brother Aberforth and Grindelwald were duelling when Ariana got caught in the crossfire. He says they never knew whose wand it was that killed her but that he has always blamed himself.
  • Queenie shoots a spell to help Kowalski.
  • Grindelwald blasts Credence backwards and threatens him about the existence of another magical creature.
  • A character is flipped over, hit with pots and pans and strangled with carpets.
  • A storm appears to burst out of a suitcase. Another suitcase is filled with attacking animal books, another with violent bludger balls, and a fourth with an avalanche of baked goods.
  • Newt is blasted in the back by a spell and his suitcase is forcibly removed from him.
  • Kowalski suffers the ‘cruciatus’ curse.
  • Grindelwald tries to kill Credence.

Grindelwald and Dumbledore fight, blasting curses at each other, shards of glass fall all around them. Grindelwald is blasted off a cliff where he disappears.

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:

  • There is a giant scorpion-like monster living in a deep pit far below an ominous dungeon where prisoners are kept shackled to the walls. The monster lurches itself from the darkness, screaming all the while, and impales random, unsuspecting prisoners with the sharp point of its tail and eats them alive, flinging the slime covered regurgitated remains of its victims onto the narrow prison ledges for its offspring to finish. Newt and his brother must flee from the scorpion and its thousands of little offspring as it wages an attack while they try to escape the prison. The scene is dark and grisly, the monster terrifying and the music loud and intense. The combination of which will likely be distressing to younger viewers.

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:

  • On Grindelwald’s orders, a female ‘qilin’ (a wise and revered, doe-like creature) is attacked moments after giving birth to a Bambi-like baby. Newt tries to protect the mother and save the baby but he is pursued through the forest, blasted with curses, eventually overpowered and the baby is kidnapped. He watches the mother die a painful death moments after giving birth to the first qilin’s twin. He wraps the baby up, determined to protect it at any cost. Meanwhile Grindelwald receives the first born qilin. He takes it into his arms and unexpectedly slits its throat and a scene plays out in the blood that gushes from its neck. Grindelwald later performs a spell in a pool of blood and places an enchantment on the baby qilins corpse to use as a political stunt. When the qilins finally come face to face, the second born is distressed that its dead sibling is unresponsive to its cries.

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:

  • Dumbledore makes a number of references to the fact that he and Grindelwald were in love with one another.
  • Dumbledore and his brother speak about the summer where Aberforth fell in love with a girl who was sent away. There were rumours about a baby. The baby turned out to be Credence.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Kowalski and Queenie kiss.

Use of substances

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

  • A character drinks in a bar on a train.
  • Drinks are served at a gala event.
  • One drink is poisoned and burns through a door.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Stupid sod.

In a nutshell

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a fantasy adventure and is the third film in a Harry Potter spin off series. Well cast and with a fast-paced plot, full of twists and turns and the fabulous special effects we have come to expect from the wizarding world, this is a dark tale that is best suited to tweens and teens.

The main messages from this movie are that even in the darkest of times courage and purity will prevail and that the power of unity can cast its own spell, conquering hearts and vanquishing those who would use magic to harm instead of to heal.

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

  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Trust
  • Hope
  • Courage.

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

  • Betraying those you love.
  • Allowing yourself to be swept away by anger.
  • Going to any lengths to gain power.
  • Using (or killing) animals for your own personal gain.
  • Holding hatred in your heart and refusing to see others for who they are and the potential they have to be.