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Not suitable under 11; parental guidance to 13 (violence, mild themes, sexual references, substance use, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Little
  • a review of Little completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 April 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 11 Not suitable due to mild themes, mild slapstick violence, sexual references, substance use, and coarse language.
Children aged 11–13 Parental guidance recommended due to mild themes, mild slapstick violence, sexual references, substance use, and coarse language.
Children aged 14 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: Little
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, sexual references, and coarse language.
Length: 109 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mean boss, Jordan (Regina Hall), spends her days terrorising both her staff and her assistant April (Issa Rae). One day she is magically transformed into her 13-year-old self (Marsai Martin) and must go back to high school to try and work out how to return to her adult body. As she struggles to find a solution to her ‘big’ problem, the ‘little’ Jordan begins to discover that those around her respect and appreciate her far more when she treats them well.


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.

Morality; Bullying; Alcohol use; Magic.

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:

  • A school bully in their early teens pushes a wrecking ball into another child, who is injured (shown in a wheelchair and with a neck brace and arm cast).
  • A woman spanks a child, who then kicks the her in the bottom. This is for comedic effect.
  • Multiple examples of slapstick violence, by both children and adults (e.g., shoving and kicking in the crotch, etc.).

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:

  • An adult woman yells aggressively at her employees on several occasions. This may distress very young children.

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:

  • Much of the film revolves around a ‘child’ in adult scenarios, some of which may worry young children if they do not understand the character is actually an adult in a child’s body.
  • An adult is actively disparaging of a four-year old girl’s appearance on numerous occasions.
  • There are several sequences in which young teens mock and bully vulnerable classmates. This may distress young and school-aged children,
  • An adult woman and a 13-year old woman both drive a car erratically, nearly causing accidents with other cars.
  • An adult woman is transformed into their 13-year old self. The distress of the character at what has happened, may worry younger 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.

disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • There are several sequences in which young teens mock and bully vulnerable classmates. This may distress young and school-aged children.

Thirteen and overinfo

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 further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple products – Particularly iPhones
  • Tinder and Christian Mingle (dating sites)
  • Target
  • Easy-Bake Oven.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A 13-year old girl (child version of the adult protagonist) flirts with an adult male teacher.
  • Adults kiss intimately on several occasions.
  • Adult characters are inferred to have had sex.
  • Characters make references and jokes to their and other’s genitals.
  • The child version of the central character feels her chest and wonders what has happened to her “breast implants”.
  • A male character mentions he has had multiple sexually transmitted infections.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • A male character performs a strip tease for a female character.

Use of substances

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

  • Frequent and often heavy consumption of alcohol.
  • A character is referred to as a “crack baby”.
  • A person is seen smoking weed in their car and appears to be stoned.
  • A 13-year old tries to drink alcohol on several occasions.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bitch
  • Crackhead
  • Ass
  • Crap
  • Damn
  • Hell
  • A character almost says (implied) “what the fuck”.

In a nutshell

Little is a body-swap farce. It is amusing and heartfelt at times, but also quite predictable and sometimes even a little cringe-worthy.  Though there are some good performances by both the younger and adult cast, the film lacks the quality and thoughtfulness of its body-swap predecessors, like “Big” and “Suddenly Thirty.”  This film is likely to be enjoyed most by older children, over 13, but is inappropriate for children under 11, due to mild violence, frequent sexual references, and language. 

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

  • Trust in your dreams, and believe in yourself, even if others do not.
  • Treat others well, and they will treat you the same.

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

  • Inappropriate drinking behaviours exhibited by young teenagers.
  • Bullying.