- Movie Reviews
- App Reviews
- Take Action
Not recommended under 5, parental guidance recommended to 8 ( Violence; Scary scenes; Confusing plot)
This topic contains:
|Children under 5||Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes. The plot is also very confusing for young children.|
|Children aged 5 to 8||Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary scenes and a confusing plot|
|Children aged 8 and over||OK for this age group, although some children may need to have aspects of the plot explained to them.|
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:||Free birds|
|Consumer advice lines:||Some scenes may scare young children|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
Reggie the turkey (voice of Owen Wilson), the smartest turkey in the flock, has spent his life warning the rest of the flock to wise up and realise that they are being fattened up for the Thanksgiving menu. But the rest of the flock, who are not quite as switched on as Reggie, believe that they are being taken to turkey paradise rather than the slaughter shed. Thanks to the President’s young daughter (voice of Kaitlyn Maher), Reggie ends up being chosen as the annual Pardon Turkey and is taken back to Camp David where he lives a life of leisure watching TV, eating pizza and wearing slippers.
Reggie’s life of pampered pleasure comes to an abrupt end when he is kidnapped by a fanatical turkey named Jake (voice of Woody Harrelson), who is a member of the Turkey Freedom Front. Apparently Jake has been sent on a mission by the “Great Turkey” to find Reggie, go back in time and change history, so that turkeys are no longer on the Thanksgiving menu .
Through a combination of determination and a comedy of errors, Jake and Reggie manage to end up in an experimental time machine named S.T.E.V.E. (voice of George Takei) and are transported back to Plymouth in 1621, three days before the first Thanksgiving. There they become involved with a flock of native turkeys led by Chief Broadbeak (voice of Keith David) and his charming daughter Jenny (voice of Amy Poehler). Unfortunately for Reggie and Jake they find that they have gone from the frying pan into the fire because the native turkeys are battling for survival against a ruthless hunter named Myles Standish (voice of Colm Meaney). He is on a mission to round up and capture the wild turkeys for the first Thanksgiving feast.
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.
People raising and killing animals for food; time travel; changing history
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.
The film contains cartoon violence scattered throughout, some action violence and peril, some violence involving gun and cannon fire, and the death of a main character. Examples include:
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:
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 scared by the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes.
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 are unlikely to be scared by this movie
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 of concern
Nothing of concern in the film, but associated merchandise being sold.
The film contains a few low-level sexual references. Examples include:
None of concern
Unspecified drinks on the table at a Thanksgiving dinner.
The film contains occasional exclamations and name calling that young children may imitate. Examples include:
Free Birds is an animated adventure comedy that portrays the story of the very first Thanksgiving holiday from a turkey’s perspective. Older children are likely to be entertained by the talking animals and lots of cartoon humour but, despite the G rating, there are a number of violent and scary scenes which are likely to scare under 6s and some older children. Parents may need to explain the film's plot. Children may find the film’s time travel confusing and the plot may be even more confusing for Australian children who are unfamiliar with Thanksgiving holiday customs.
The main messages from this movie are:
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
Parents may also feel that they need to talk about where our food comes from and why people kill and eat animals. Some parents may also be concerned by the stereotypical way in which Native Americans are portrayed and the depiction of wild turkeys as looking like stereotyped Native Americans.
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.
Content is age appropriate for children this age
Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended
Content is not age appropriate for children this age
Children and Media Australia (CMA) is a registered business name of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM).
CMA provides reviews, research and advocacy to help children thrive in a digital world.
ACCM is national, not-for-profit and reliant on community support. You can help.