Australian Council on Children and the Media

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

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Short takes

Parental guidance 4 and under; suitable for 5+ (some concepts and messages may need to be explained)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
  • a review of Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 April 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Parental guidance recommended due to concepts and messages that may need to be explained.
Children aged 5 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.

Name of movie: Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: General
Length 36 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is based on a story by Oliver Jeffers and narrated by Meryl Streep. Finn (voice of Jacob Tremblay) is a young boy filled with the joy of learning, having been encouraged by his Mum (voice of Ruth Negga) and Dad (voice of Chris O'Dowd) from an early age. Finn's favourite place is the Museum of Everything, however as it is Earth Day, his parents persuade Finn to go on a bike ride through Central Park.

Finn’s parents have difficulty engaging him in the wonders of nature and eventually Finn tricks them into going to the museum. There, Finn goes on a magical tour all around the planet. He sees the diversity of people and animals everywhere. He goes to the bottom of the ocean and up into outer space. Finn develops a new appreciation of everything that's around him and starts to see the trees, the butterflies and the beauty of nature.

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.

Nature; Conservation.

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.

  • None noted.

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.

There are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The exhibition of the dinosaur bones are very large compared to Finn.
  • In one exhibition, Finn and his parents look into a device and see themselves as skeletons.
  • A giant whale appears to jump over Finn.
  • The bottom of the ocean floor is very dark until the fish arrive with their own lights.
  • A thunderstorm occurs and knocks out the power.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is an animated short film made for Earth Day. Especially made for young children, the film is gentle and educational and includes many good messages about conserving the Earth. Some of the messages might need some explanation to 4 year olds and under, thus parental guidance is recommended for this age group.

The main messages from this movie are that we all feel lost at times and we need to start with what we know, and to treat everyone with kindness and respect. Also, although there are 7 ½ billion people on the Earth, there would be enough for everyone if we all share.

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

  • Diversity and inclusion (mixed race couple, a child in a wheelchair, etc.).
  • We're not alone on this planet.
  • Conservation and preservation of the planet.
  • Caring for animals and nature.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the need to look after our planet and things we can all do to help, such as recycling and caring for our wildlife by protecting their natural habitats.

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