Little Vampire

image for Little Vampire

Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (scary scenes and themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Little Vampire
  • a review of Little Vampire completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 July 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to scary scenes and themes.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and themes.
Children over the age of 10 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: Little Vampire
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild supernatural themes and animated violence
Length: 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Little Vampire has been a ten-year-old immortal for over three hundred years, and he is getting bored! He lives in a haunted house with his mother Pandora, her undead pirate husband, and an unlikely gang of ghoulishly cute critters to keep him company, but he longs to meet other children and go to school. His mother, however, forbids him from leaving the house, convinced that the Gibbous, a psychotic moon-faced evil character, will find them and kidnap her Little Vampire. Despite his mother’s worries, Little Vampire hatches a plan to sneak off in the night and visit the local schoolhouse. To his delight, when he writes a note in the schoolbook of a little boy called Michael, Michael responds to his note the very next day! Soon, Little Vampire and Michael become fast friends and Michael is invited into the haunted house to meet Little Vampire’s strange and ghostly ‘family’. Soon enough, the demonic Gibbous hears about the Little Vampire through his network of enslaved spies, and the two boys and their team of ghouls must quickly think of a plan to evade and conquer the evil Being before he does them harm.

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.

Horror; Vampires; Supernatural; Existentialism; Death; Family; Orphans; The power of love; Comedy.

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:

  • Two boys have a fist fight on the street. One of the boys punches the other and gives him an obvious black eye.
  • The character of the Gibbous uses violent and threatening language and cuts and stabs at people with two sharp, pointy swords. He threatens to kill a child’s grandparents.
  • The boy, Michael, is strapped down to a table in the basement of the haunted house as his friends (the family of monsters) try to work out the best way of turning him immortal. They are brandishing chainsaws and knives and discuss that there will need to be some kind of ‘murderfication’. The boy really wants to become immortal, so he’s not bothered, but the Little Vampire orders them to stop as he doesn’t want his friend to get hurt.

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:

  • There are many monstrous creatures in this film. Most are quite cute and comical, but there are also two or three very menacing characters. For example, the Gibbous, is a particularly nasty character that small children are likely to find very scary. He has an emaciated body and a large, crescent-moon shaped head, and he behaves in a cruel and aggressive way. There is also a large, green blob monster with tentacles who lives in a deep pit and likes to eat humans.
  • A boy watches in horror as his mother is tied and suspended over a deep, bottomless pit where a ferocious beast is waiting to devour her from the deep. She is released into the pit and falls, with the boy screaming from above. She is rescued at the very last moment.
  • The mother shouts that she will give her life to save her child from death. An undead zombie pirate (he is a skeleton dressed in pirate clothes) comes floating through the sky on a ghostly ship and captures her and turns her and the child into immortal beings. The little boy is transformed into a vampire.
  • The boy, Michael, sets off a chain of booby traps inside the haunted house where all sort of things try to kill him.
  • The Gibbous tricks people into becoming his spies, and he transforms them into small bugs. He uses his army of bugs to spy and collect information about the vampire family.
  • We see a prince being transformed by evil magic into the creature called the Gibbous, he becomes hideously ugly and mean.

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:

  • Children in this age group are likely to find the above scenes scary or 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:

  • Younger children in this age group (8-10) are likely to find some of the above-mentioned scenes scary or disturbing.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual and romantic references in this movie, including:

  • Little Vampire’s mother, Pandora, is a voluptuous and glamourous woman who is mildly sexualised and wears a figure-hugging gown. There is some jealous tension between her and another female character (the figurehead of the pirate’s boat) as they vie for the attention and affections of the pirate captain.
  • The beast in the deep pit is furious when he doesn’t get to devour Pandora and he screams out, “Where is my warm and young flesh!?”
  • Some mildly romantic scenes between Pandora and the pirate captain, where they hold each other and kiss.
  • A little girl tells Michael that if a boy wants to impress her, he needs to be brave enough to go inside the haunted house.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • The Gibbous is always naked from the waist up. He has an emaciated frame.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language and toilet humour in this movie, including:

  • One of the monsters offers Little Vampire a poo in jar to take to his new teacher. Little Vampire gives it to a skeleton who is blind with no sense of smell and we watch the skeleton take a big bite of the poo.

In a nutshell

Little Vampire (Petit Vampire) is a movie adaptation of the popular graphic novel trilogy of the same name by French-Belgian comic writer, Joann Sfar. The film is a delightfully creative and fun caper, especially for kids who love a little bit of a spook and don’t mind a darker twist to their animations. However, for this reason, the film is best suited to children over the age of eight, with parental guidance to 10, as some of the characters can be quite scary.

The main message from this movie is that love and compassion can transform even the darkest hearts into good.

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

  • Becoming independent
  • Sense of adventure
  • Bravery
  • Friendship and loyalty.

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

  • What happens when we take risks and lie to our parents or caregivers?
  • Why parents and caregivers give us rules to keep us safe.
  • Being immortal sounds quite glamourous, but how do you think it would feel to be 10 years old forever and not grow up?