Australian Council on Children and the Media

Here Comes the Grump

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Short takes

Not recommended under 7 due to themes and messages. Parental guidance to 10.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Here Comes the Grump
  • a review of Here Comes the Grump completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 August 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not recommended under 7 due to themes and messages
Children aged 7–10 Parental guidance is recommended.
Children over the age of 10 Most children over the age of 10 could see this movie 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: Here Comes the Grump
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild drug innuendo
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Grin (Ian McShane) and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Thompson) arrive in the Kingdom of Groovingham with the world at their feet. He has just graduated with top honours from Wizard School and has accepted a position in the royal court from the King himself. The Grin wants to use his powers to bring happiness to everyone, however, his actions have unintended consequences and he and Mary soon find themselves on the run from the law. When Mary is secretly banished to another realm, believing she has left him, The Grin transforms into The Grump and is determined to use his powers to make everyone else as miserable as he is. While the tales of his doings spread terror throughout the realm and he is eventually captured and put in prison, he continues to hone his powers and hatch plans for revenge. Meanwhile, in an earth-like dimension, in order to bring happiness to others Mary has created an amusement park based on the world she left behind and the love story that was left unfinished. When Mary eventually dies her grandson, Terry (Toby Kebbell), takes over and struggles to keep the park going. When all hope seems lost Terry accidentally opens a portal to the other dimension and finds himself in the Kingdom of Groovingham where the King has recently passed away, his daughter, Princess Dawn (Lily Collins), is having her coronation and The Grump has just escaped from prison. Angry he has lost his chance for revenge on the King, The Grump decides he will curse the princess and the entire kingdom instead. When Terry arrives at the castle Princess Dawn thinks all her troubles are at an end as he is there to save her, but all Terry wants is to get back home. When the pair learn that an oracle holds the key to helping them both they set out together to find it, learning some lessons about love and happiness and letting go.

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.

Death or separation from a loved one, the transformative power of magic and that romantic love is the foundation for happiness.

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 Grin accidentally sets Groovingham on fire while trying to make everyone happy.
  • The King’s dragons crash to the ground when flames are sneezed on them.
  • An old lady pushes Terry into oncoming traffic and walks over him.
  • The Grump’s mini henchmen run around repeatedly shooting Terry and Dawn with mood darts. They also punch and kick each other.
  • Little balloon men are attacked by The Grump and his henchmen. They are shot with arrows and their deflated bodies litter the ground. Terry is able to patch up some of them and helps them to fight back against The Grump by blasting the henchmen with oxygen tanks.
  • Characters are crushed by falling rocks, hit with rocks and occasionally fall off cliffs but then appear unharmed.

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:

  • When The Grin transforms into the evil wizard, The Grump, there is loud, dramatic music and his face becomes terribly haggard and horrible looking. He looks very mean and threatening.
  • Terry, Dawn and The Grump are captured and held hostage by a group of threatening Christmas trees. The trees are dark and sinister looking with evil glowing eyes and the scene is suspenseful until they convince the trees to let them go so that they can save Christmas.

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:

  • Some children on the younger side of this age bracket may also find the above-mentioned scenes disturbing.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • It is unlikely that children between the ages of eight to thirteen would be scared or disturbed by this movie.

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 anything in this movie would scare or disturb children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • There is no specific product placement in this movie although there may be a veiled reference to Twitter when birds are posting terrible comments about The Grump on a social media platform used by the balloon people.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • When Dawn plucks a mood dart from Terry’s bottom he says to her: “Hey! No touching the merchandise baby.”

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • Terry and Dawn kiss a couple of times. While it is not true love’s kiss, it appears to break the spell on both occasions.

Use of substances

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

  • Terry and Dawn visit a balloon kingdom where there are numerous balloon characters drinking an unidentified substance and sucking helium, blowing smoke rings and puffing clouds of smoke. Terry refuses to partake of the offerings but Dawn tries some and begins to get very giggly and starts to act ‘high’. She begins eating daisies and Terry asks: “What did you give her?” The bartender responds saying that he added “oxygenated caffeine shots to her drink.”

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • There is no course language in the movie but there is a moderate amount of name calling including the terms: “Buffoon(s),” “Male chauvinist pig,” “Sucks,” “Dumb” and “Good for nothing twerp.”

In a nutshell

Here Comes the Grump is an animated fantasy that will appeal to younger audiences. Parents and mature viewers may struggle to enjoy the movie as the plot is jumpy, the animation simplistic and characters are somewhat questionable.

The main messages from this movie are that true love equates to happiness, that misery loves company and that sometimes in order to find what you are looking for you simply have to let it go.

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

  • Determination
  • Happiness
  • Courage
  • Resilience
  • Understanding

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

  • Believing, as Dawn did, that someone would come to rescue her, that she had no power to decide or influence her future and that her own happiness was dependent upon someone else. As well as the belief that if you do not have romantic love you cannot be happy.
  • The effect of using substances such as when Dawn decided to join the balloon people in drinking and smoking the helium. Dawn’s behaviour changed suddenly and she was clearly not in control of her faculties.
  • The concept of revenge and how The Grump thought if he could not be happy he would make sure that no one else would be happy either.

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