Australian Council on Children and the Media

Land of the Lost

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Not recommended under 13, PG to 15 (Scary scenes, Coarse language, Sexual and drug references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Land of the Lost
  • a review of Land of the Lost completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 June 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to scary scenes, coarse language, sexual and drug references.
Children over the age of 13 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes, coarse language, sexual and drug references.

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: Land of the Lost
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Drug references, sexual references, mild violence and coarse language
Length 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Encouraged by devotee, Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel), Dr Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) pursues his unlikely dream to time travel back in time to the “land of the lost”, a fantastical place full of dinosaurs and strange creatures at every turn.  Accompanied by a reluctant bystander, Will Stanton (Danny McBride), the trio manage to fall through a hole in the fabric of time, losing their time machine on the way and having to traverse a treacherous world, making friends and foes, to find the machine and return home.

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.

Time travel; prehistoric worlds

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:

  • During a talk-show segment, Dr Rick Marshall and the host, Matt Lauer argue. Marshall is tackled on the couch by the show’s producer and sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher.
  • Some aggressive behaviour between a group of primates with one (Cha-ka) threatened execution.
  • Stanton throws rocks at Marshall to stop him running.
  • Stanton meets, Enik, a Sleestak (similar to “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”) lying on the floor and says, “Let’s stomp its head in.”
  • During a holographic message, another Sleestak is shot with a laser weapon from off camera and falls down dead.
  • Marshall wrestles with a number of Sleestaks in order to rescue Holly Cantrell.  Several of them are pushed or fall into a well of lava.
  • Marshall, using a stick, battles with the T-Rex
  • Cantrell attacks a group of Sleestaks with her belt.
  • Stanton picks up Cha-ka and uses him as a weapon against the Sleestaks.
  • Marshall jumps on Enik and fights with him.  Stanton tries to body-slam Enik but misses.
  • Cha-ka hits Enik in the head while Stanton has him in a head-lock.
  • Matt Lauer physically attacks Marshall on his follow-up talk show segment.

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 aged under five, including the following:

  • A number of scenes with carnivorous and predatory dinosaurs. 
  • A Tyrannosaurus Rex is particularly scary; it roars at and attempts to eat the heroes whilst they are suspended in the air, aggressively pursues them through the forest, swallows Marshall whole when he accidentally vault into its mouth, chases and eats a number of Sleestak
  • Other dinosaurs swarm and attack an ice-cream van.  The dismembered arm of the attendant is seen in the mouth of a dinosaur. 
  • Pterodactyls often swoop overhead (one steals the time machine), and become threatening when they hatch in the nest while Marshall is reclaiming the machine
  • The Sleestaks are alien-like creatures that look scary and are menacing.
  • Enik and Zarn use holographic projections to convey messages.
  • A flock of bats swoops on the heroes in a cave
  • An ice-cream van drops out of the sky and lands heavily on the ground
  • A giant crab advances on the party (before being sucked into a geyser and blown to bits)
  • Both Marshall and Stanton disguise themselves in Sleestak skin and proceed to remove it in front of Enik and reveal their true identities.
  • Marshall, Cantrell and Stanton are all washed violently down a suddenly fast-moving river and over a waterfall, before finding themselves in a strange world.
  • Whilst walking across the desert they encounter a group of early hominids that look like monkeys.  They are engaged in what appears to be an attempted murder before they are interrupted.  There is some tension between the two species and it is unclear for some time if the interaction will become hostile.
  • The group come across two skeletons sitting at a table listening to a record player.
  • Marshall takes a proffered fruit from Cha-ka only to find it full of spiders that crawl out all over him.
  • The allosaurus swallows a can of refrigerant, is consequently frozen and promptly explodes, spraying dinosaur bits everywhere.
  • A large mosquito takes blood from Marshall’s neck and back, ballooning out to an enormous creature filled with Marshall’s blood.  As he collapses due to loss of blood, he falls onto the mosquito, squashing it, and spraying blood and bug on the ground. He is shown to have an enormous bite wound on his back the following day.
  • Cantrell discovers Zarn’s dead body in a cave and is captured and imprisoned by the Sleestak.  They suspend her in a cage over a well of lava.



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.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

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.

Some children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Matt Lauer’s “Today Show”
  • Bantam Books and Amazon.
  • M&M’s
  • a “Big Cat” cigarette lighter
  • references to eating at American fast food restaurants such as “Subway”.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Cantrell informs Marshall that she thinks his taste in music is “gay.”
  • Stanton says, “This is a little travel mug I like to call the perfect woman. Big ole set of boobies- no head and a handle.”
  • Stanton makes some suggestive sound effects to Cantrell and implies that it won’t be water from the cave ride that will make her wet.
  • There is a shot of a cigarette lighter with breasts.
  • On finding the vibrating pyramid shaped pylon in the lost city, several jokes are made about it such as, “Usually you have to pay for something like this”, and “Holly, you should sit on it.”
  • Cha-ka makes suggestive movements with his hips to demonstrate having sex.
  • Marshall and Stanton stumble across two Sleestaks about to mate.  They hide behind a rock for their “own little private show”, including making comments to each other about their observations.
  • Marshall refers to Cantrell as his “lover” on national TV.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • While all (but Cantrell) are drugged on a narcotic drink, Stanton asks Marshall and Cha-ka how much he would have to pay to “French kiss you all?”  They lean in as if to go through with it but decide they can’t. The three of them wake up hours later in a suggestive head to tail formation.  Cha-ka’s mouth is open next to Marshall’s groin.
  • On several occasions, both lead males discuss touching themselves and both leave the impression that they are masturbating at different points during the movie.
  • During the introductions between the humans and Cha-ka, Cantrell’s breasts are fondled provocatively by both Cha-ka and Stanton.
  • Cha-ka feels Marshall’s groin and, later, up Cantrell’s legs
  • Cantrell passionately kisses Marshall on the mouth.  Marshall attempts to return the kiss later but they are interrupted.
  • After Stanton decides to stay behind, he accompanies Cha-ka to his colony where he is approached by semi-naked beautiful women who begin to fawn over him.  He remarks that he thinks he has made the “right decision” by staying.

Use of substances

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

  • Marshall holds, but does not use, a tobacco pipe and refers to smoking it on two occasions.
  • A child student in class asks, “If you shot a tonne of pot at the sun would it burn and everyone get high?”
  • Two cigarette lighters are shown and used.
  • References to drinking alcohol.
  • They find a hidden verdant cave and Stanton observes, “I bet somebody’s growing weed in here.”
  • Cha-ka gives them all a celebratory fruit drink that they soon realise is a narcotic.  Cha-ka, Marshall and Stanton behave as if affected.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “God damn right it was.”
  • “Bitch-slap of truth.”
  • “Captain Kirk’s nipples.”
  • “What a piece of crap.”
  • “This little bitch here I call the Mexican vasectomy.”
  • “Arse tons of parking.”
  • “If she pisses me off...”
  • “Have a kick-arse time.”
  • “I think I can boost the hell out of this signal.”
  • “Bull shit.”
  • “Matt Lauer can suck it.”
  • “Shitty boom box.”
  • “Son of a bitch.”
  • “Don’t you run from me, you little shit.”
  •  “Pussy.  What a puss.”
  • “Oh God, we’re screwed.”
  • “…for pooping in the village well.”
  • “Hey mister, fuck you.”
  • “I’m going to take at least one of these bastards with me.”
  • “What in the hell?”
  • “I think it’s pretty damn good.”
  • “You stood under a dino dong with a bucket?”
  • “Look at all this kick-arse shit to steal.”
  • “putting piss on your head’s a bad idea.”
  • “You’re a little arsehole, Cha-ka.”
  •  “Oh that blows.  That blows.”
  • “That’s really freakin’ stupid, man.”
  • “That monkey’s pissing in his own face.”
  • “Let’s move out you pansies.”
  • “…feels like a zombie dick…”
  •  “He’s about to tap that ass.”
  •  “I thought you were just a dumb-arsed dude who dressed stupid.”
  •  “Oi, you, you bastard.  You stupid idiot.”
  • “C’mon you big green bastards.”
  • “You slow moving wankers.”
  • “Yes, he pooped me out.”
  •  “Kicked the crap out of him.”
  •  “Matt Lauer Can Suck It by Dr Rick Marshall.”
  • “Son of a bitch.”

In a nutshell

Land of the Lost is an action adventure that deals with the concepts of time-travel, science-fiction and history.
The main messages from this movie are the value of friendships and testing the boundaries of trust.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • substance abuse and risk-taking behaviour
  • sexual promiscuity
  • the attitude to women shown
  • teasing and victimising behaviour

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