Australian Council on Children and the Media

Flying The Nest

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5 and parental guidance to 8 (Scary scenes and Violence).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Flying The Nest
  • a review of Flying The Nest completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 March 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not Recommended.
Children aged 5–8 Parental Guidance Recommended due to scary scenes and violence.
Children over the age of 8 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: Flying The Nest
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild sense of threat.
Length 83 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ploey (voice of Jamie Oram) is a plover chick who lives with his Mum and Dad and his best friend Ploeveria (voice of Harriett Perring). Life is hard for the plovers with the ever-present threat of being attacked by vultures and other predators, in particular a huge vulture called Shadow (voice of Richard Cotton). Shadow and the other vultures eagerly await the return of the plovers each Spring for their food. The plover chicks have to learn how to dig for worms themselves and how to fly. Unfortunately Ploey is afraid to fly. One day while plucking up the courage to fly, Ploey gets taken by Shadow. Ploey’s Dad comes to his rescue, but sadly is taken by Shadow in his place.

When it comes time for the birds to migrate south, Ploey gets left behind. He decides to walk to Paradise Valley where the birds go to wait out the Arctic winter. Ploey meets many dangers along the way, including blizzards, foxes, avalanches and ice drifts. He also meets Giron (voice of John Stamos), a large white bird, who saves Ploey on several occasions, and Mousy (voice of Graham Dickson), who comes to his aid too. Ploey finally reaches his destination where he is reunited with his Mother and Ploeveria. On return to their Spring home, Ploey has the opportunity to take revenge on Shadow.

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.

Animals in peril; migratory birds; prey and predators; death of a parent.

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 vultures swoop on the returning plovers and take several off in their claws.
  • A large cat chases the plover chicks. He catches one of them and takes it home. The cat is then kicked out of the house through the window.
  • Shadow easily picks up Ploey in his talons and carries him off. Ploey’s Dad then attacks Shadow, who lets Ploey fall to the ground, but takes Dad off instead.
  • The cat chases and catches Ploey. It takes him into the house where he’s put inside a birdcage. The cat tries to grab at Ploey through the bars.
  • A fox attacks Giron and takes him to his lair.
  • Giron and Shadow have a physical fight. Ploey throws a dynamite stick into Shadow’s cave, which explodes. Shadow is not hurt but Giron looks like he’s dead. (he isn’t)
  • Shadow takes Ploeveria and Ploey comes to rescue her. He tries to trap him in an iron trap. Giron and Shadow fight again and Shadow has Ploey pinned to a post with the trap. Giron throws a dynamite stick at Shadow who crashes into a wind vane. Giron then ties his claw to a rope. Shadow bangs into a church bell, knocking himself out. He then falls into a freshly dug grave and is covered in dirt.

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:

  • Shadow is a particularly scary looking creature. A very large bird with a hooked beak and long talons and an evil laugh.
  • The cat appears quite large in comparison to the plover chicks and looks quite scary when it comes to chase and capture them.

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:

  • Shadow drops Ploey who falls into a river. It seems that he might drown.
  • Ploey is alone in a white landscape, frightened and very cold. He’s afraid of all the noises.
  • Giron is a large white bird, who at first is rather unfriendly to Ploey. When Ploey tries to take shelter with him, he throws him out. He eventually softens and we learn that Giron’s two sons were killed by Shadow.
  • Ploey is adrift on a block of ice and about to go over the rapids when Giron saves him.
  • Ploey dreams of his Dad and flying together with him.
  • The fox plans how he will cook Giron who is lying prostrate and unconscious on a slab.
  • Ploey comes to save Giron and is chased by the fox. Mousy and his friends arrive and appear as a huge shadow monster to frighten the fox.
  • Towards the end of his journey, Ploey gets caught in a blizzard. He tries to keep going but eventually tires and lays down in the snow. He looks like he’s dead. A moose finds him and carries him to Paradise Valley where they bathe him in warm water and perform CPR. They are on the point of burying him, with the mice being the pallbearers carrying him on a wooden slab, when he wakes up.
  • When it seems as if Shadow is dead in the grave, his huge wing rises up out of it.

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.

  • Aside from the above-mentioned violent scenes, there is nothing in this movie that is likely to scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen.

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.

  • Ok for this age group.

Product placement

  • No product placement noted.

Sexual references

There are some mild romantic references in this movie, including:

  • Ploey and Ploveria are very close friends and hold wings. At one point, Ploey dreams that he’s lost Ploveria to another plover who says he loves her with all his heart. Ploveria replies that she loves him too.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • There is no nudity or sexual activity in this movie.

Use of substances

  • There is no use of substances in this movie.

Coarse language

  • There is no coarse language in this movie.

In a nutshell

Flying The Nest is an animated adventure story of a young migratory plover chick who has to find Paradise Valley on his own. The predatory nature of some of the animals is quite scary for very young children and there is a moderate level of violence in this movie. Parental guidance is therefore recommended for children aged 5-8.

The main messages from this movie are to believe in yourself and to overcome your fears.

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

  • Courage and bravery
  • Helping others
  • Kindness
  • Heroism

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

  • What they believe happens when someone dies. In the movie, Giron likes to think his sons are stars in the sky that he will see again sometime and Ploey imagines his Dad up there as a star too.

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