image for Headspace

Short takes

Not suitable under 7; parental guidance to 9 (violence, scary scenes, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Headspace
  • a review of Headspace completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 November 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not suitable due to violence, scary scenes, and themes.
Children aged 7–9 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary scenes, and themes.
Children aged 10 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Headspace
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild science fiction themes and animated violence
Length: 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Norman (voice of Bonko Khoza) is just a normal science geek, infatuated with his beautiful friend Charlene (voice of Nelisa Ngcobo), picked on by the school bully and interested in all sorts of conspiracy theories involving space and extraterrestrials, much to the amusement of his classmates. Meanwhile, in another galaxy, microscopic peacekeepers, Captain Max (voice of Chris Van Rensburg), Special Officer Sophie (voice of Jana Louw) and Tech Specialist Gus (voice of James Cairns) are trying to defeat the evil alien Zolthard (voice of Zak Hendrikz), who is determined to attack every planet and subdue every life form in his quest to gain absolute control over the entire universe. After thwarting Zolthard’s plans with their planet, Zolthard’s ship chases the trio of peacekeepers and pursues them through a wormhole that leads to Earth. Their damaged ship is engulfed in flames and crash lands in Norman’s iced tea. Then, the peacekeepers and their ship are sucked into Norman’s mouth and from there they make their way to his brain. Norman can hear them and they can control Norman when necessary but no one believes that tiny aliens have taken residence inside him. That is, until Zolthard himself possesses Mrs. Witherington (voice of Zak Hendrikz), the overbearing high school Principal, and uses his mind-control powers to turn some of the teachers into his personal, zombie-like henchmen. With help from Norman and his friends, the peacekeepers must devise a way to stop Zolthard from contacting his mother ship and sending the coordinates to Earth, lest the entire population of the planet also be turned into mindless zombies.


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.

Alien life forms and their intent to control the human race; Abuse of power; Conspiracy theories; Bullying.

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:

  • Zolthard shoots many of his own alien robots in the head. This happens nearly every time they do something that displeases him. The robot heads are blown off.
  • In a fit of rage, Zolthard shoots randomly around his spaceship with his gun.
  • A laser beam targeting a planet explodes and damages the ship it was transmitting from.
  • Zolthard shoots at the peacekeepers’ spacecraft, repeatedly hitting it.
  • Zolthard tells the peacekeepers to surrender or that he will pulverize them.
  • Sophie launches their trash shoot in retaliation and Zolthard’s spaceship is hit with flying rubbish.
  • The peacekeepers’ spaceship bursts into flames as it approaches Earth.
  • Principal Witherington repeatedly slams her phone on the table and then throws it through a window.
  • Two zombie teachers pursue Norman and Charlene as they try to escape on a golf cart. They are repeatedly hit, sometimes grabbed, and eventually forced sideways into a car, where Norman smashes his head into a side window, cracking the glass.
  • Charlene kicks one of the teachers repeatedly as he is trying to climb into their cart to grab them.
  • Sophie possesses Norman and causes one teacher to be launched from the golf cart and fly into the side of a street vendor’s business. She then makes the other teacher crash the cart into a fountain, the impact causing him to fly into the water.
  • A character rips a door off a car.
  • Zolthard puts a robot alien creature into Norman’s ear and attempts to take over his mind.
  • Sophie kicks a robot in the head.
  • A robot strangles and repeatedly punches Max.
  • A robot slaps, punches, throws, pushes, and slams the peacekeepers around their ship. Eventually, one of the peacekeepers manages to rip out all the wires at the back of its head and incapacitate it.
  • Sophie shoots a robot with a powerful gun, blasting its body and leaving only its head.
  • Max tries to throw the head away but is knocked out when the head ricochets back into him.
  • Max shoots the robot head with a gun, and it explodes.
  • Zolthard keeps getting a helmet shoved down on his head.
  • A teacher is hit in the groin with a basketball.
  • A character angrily screams: “I will tear you apart!”
  • Norman and Zolthard are nearly crushed by falling scrap metal as a giant transmitter crashes to the ground.

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:

  • Two normal-looking teachers are transformed into mindless zombies. Their eyes glow a strange purple, and they shuffle awkwardly yet move quite fast. They are very creepy and menacing and are constantly trying to capture Norman and his friends.
  • A creepy image of Zolthard’s head is suspended in the air during a transmission.

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:

  • Norman and his friends venture back to the high school to see if they can find out what Zolthard is up to. It is night and everything is dark and shadowy. There is an ominous sense of impending peril as the students venture deeper inside the school. The two zombie teachers soon spot them and give chase. The students must hide while they are pursued. They are nearly captured on multiple occasions. The suspenseful music and the sinister growling sounds coming from the zombies as they close in on the kids, and eventually drag an unconscious Norman into another room where they restrain and threaten him, could be distressing for some young children.

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 noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Mindless metal
  • Incompetent
  • Scum bag
  • Wussing out
  • Ass.

There is also some crude humour, such as:

  • A character says that he, “nearly broke his butt bone”.
  • Every time the peacekeepers take control of Norman’s body, Norman lets out a big fart.

In a nutshell

Headspace is an animated adventure with a predictable plot and some very intense characters. While it may appear to be geared towards younger audiences this is not a film for small children but rather one that will be better enjoyed by older kids, aged 10 and over, and with parental guidance for ages 7-9.

The main messages from this movie are to stay true to yourself and to your beliefs, no matter what anyone else thinks; and that you will never know your true potential until you try.

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

  • Friendship
  • Teamwork
  • Courage
  • Persistence
  • Helpfulness.


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

  • Trying to control other people.
  • Being angry and aggressive, as opposed to kind and patient.
  • Taunting, teasing or bullying others.
  • Ridiculing others because of their beliefs.