Australian Council on Children and the Media

Flicka

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Short takes

Short takes: Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Disturbing scenes and themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Flicka
  • a review of Flicka completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 January 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to themes. Children in this age group may also have difficultly following the story.
Children aged 8-13 Some children at the lower end of this age bracket may need parental guidance when viewing this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Should be able to view this movie with or without parental guidance.

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: Flicka
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Flicka is a classic story about the relationship between a girl and a horse. It is loosely based on the story written by Mary O'Hara in 1941 called "My Friend Flicka.”.

Sixteen-year-old Katy (Alison Lohman) lives on a big ranch in Wyoming. The film opens with her daydreaming through a history exam and ultimately failing the subject. She returns home and goes for an early morning ride, worried about telling her parents, particularly her father (Tim McGraw), about her failure. While out riding, Katy comes face to face with a beautiful black mustang.

From then on Katy is obsessed by this horse and, though banned from searching for it, does so anyway. Finally it is caught by her father and brought back to the ranch. Although expressly forbidden to, Katy secretly tries to tame the horse which she names Flicka, and all seems to be going well until she is thrown off. Much to her dismay and the dismay of the rest of her family, her father sells the horse. Katy then works out an elaborate plan with her brother (Ryan Kwanten) and his girlfriend (Kaylee de Fer) to get Flicka back.

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.

Family conflict, Teenage rebellion

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 no overt violence in this movie however there are confrontations between various members of the family that involve yelling. Also there are some rodeo scenes where people fall off either bulls or horses.

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.

  • Flicka is attacked by a mountain lion and is shown with bloody scratches and unable to raise herself.
  • Katie is injured when she is thrown from her horse.
  • Flicka’s life is threatened when Katie’s father goes out with his rifle, talking of putting her down

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 in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

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 in this age group could also be concerned when the mountain lion attacks Flicka, Katie is injured and Flicka’s life is threatened.

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.

It is unlikely that any scenes in this movie would scare children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

Budweiser, Ford

Sexual references

None

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

There is some smoking and drinking in a bar scene

Coarse language

There is some coarse language including:

  • Damn, hell, bitch, ass, frickin'

In a nutshell

Flicka is a movie that many children, particularly girls who are interested in horses, will enjoy. The movie’s message is that you need to fight for what you love and that if you do, good things can happen. Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Trust in others
  • The importance of family bonds
  • Taking responsibility for your actions
  • Standing up for what you believe in.

Parents may be concerned that Katy reaches her goal by continually doing the opposite of what her father wants and there is a lot of conflict as a result. Parents could point out that there may be a more positive way for parents and children to resolve issues and still get a positive outcome.

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