Australian Council on Children and the Media

Missing Link

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Not recommended under 8; Parental guidance 8-10 (Violence and scary scenes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Missing Link
  • a review of Missing Link completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 April 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not Recommended due to mild themes and animated violence.
Children aged 8-10 Parental guidance recommended.
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: Missing Link
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and animated violence.
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Set in the Victorian era, Sir Lionel Frost (voice of Hugh Jackman) is an eccentric explorer and searcher of all things strange and wonderful. He is also desperate for recognition and acceptance. He is however, excluded from a gentlemen’s club headed by the nasty Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry), and dismissed as a fool. Determined to prove them wrong, Frost sets out to find irrefutable proof of the mythical Sasquatch. He travels to North America where he meets a Sasquatch in person and names him Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis). (Link later decides he doesn’t like this name and changes it to Susan).

Frost discovers that Link is very lonely and would dearly love to meet his cousins, the Yetis, who live in the Himalayas. Frost and Link set out on a long journey across America, where they are joined by fellow adventurer and ex-girlfriend, Adelina (Zoe Saldana). The trio travel the world to find the fabled city of Shangri-La, high up in the Himalayan Mountains. Unfortunately, things don’t turn out quite as planned, but Frost learns some lessons along the way, particularly that there are more important things in life than fame.

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.

Exploration.

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 quite a lot of violence in this movie, including use of guns. Some violence is done for laughs such as:

  • Frost accidentally hits the doorman with his stick on several occasions.
  • Link accidentally knocks Adelina overboard.

Other violence includes:

  • The opening scene shows Frost and his companion, a Mr Lint, in a boat in the middle of a lake. A huge monster appears and grabs Lint in his mouth and dives under the water with him. Frost dives in the water after them and lands on the monster’s back. The monster eventually spits Lint out and smashes the boat with its tail.
  • Piggot-Dunceby pushes Frost over and says he’s going to hire a thug to kill him.
  • A thug named Willard Stenk enters the saloon and pulls out a gun. Frost hits him with his stick and the gun goes off. An all-out brawl erupts in the saloon. Link throws a man out of a window.
  • Piggot-Dunceby grabs his butler by the throat.
  • Adelina hits Frost and starts throwing things at him. Windows get smashed. Adelina chases after Frost and points a rifle at him and shoots (she misses). Stenk then arrives and the two have a gunfight.
  • Stenk chases Frost with an axe, which he throws at him, narrowly missing him.
  • Piggot-Dunceby tells Stenk not to threaten an old woman, he should threaten her grandson instead. He then holds the baby boy upside down.
  • Piggot-Dunceby falls to his death from an ice bridge, which he’d been trying to break with his rifle.
  • Stenk also gets killed when an icicle stabs him in the chest and he falls through the ice bridge.

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:

  • The Loch Ness Monster in the opening scene is very large and scary looking. He appears up out of the water right next to the boat, roars loudly and spits out goo on the men.
  • Frost’s study contains objects such as a large skeleton.
  • Stenk is a nasty looking little man with a big nose and missing front teeth.
  • Frost is alone in a forest, which is quite scary looking.
  • When Link roars it’s really loud and scary.
  • Piggot-Dunceby is an evil looking man with a nasty laugh.

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:

  • Stenk is shown oiling his pistol and stabs Frost’s name with a dagger.
  • Frost enters a Wild West saloon bar full of unfriendly, mean looking characters. The barman is covered in tattoos. One man is seen sharpening a knife and another his axe.
  • The trio are on a ship, which is in a thunderstorm. The ship is seen climbing up huge waves and crashing down. Adelina gets thrown overboard and is seen clinging to the side of the ship. Frost and Link are being chased by Stenk who nearly gets Frost with his axe, while the boat lurches from side to side. This is quite a scary scene.
  • Shangri-La is protected by Yeti guards with spears. They are unfriendly and put the trio into a deep cave.
  • The final scene where the trio are escaping from the cave and are trapped on the ice bridge is quite intense. They all nearly fall to their death when the bridge collapses and are shown hanging on to icicles before they are saved.

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.

  • Younger children in this age group may also find some of the above-mentioned violent or scary scenes 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 of concern for this age group.

Product placement

  • Nothing of concern.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A woman in the Wild West town blows Frost a kiss, then a man does also.
  • Frost measures Link’s private parts, which he complains about.
  • A newspaper article describes Frost as a ‘randy aristocrat in a fragrante with a Russian ballerina’.
  • Link says someone touched his nipple.
  • Link wants to change his name to Susan knowing it’s a girl’s name.
  • Frost and Adelina flirt and on one occasion are about to kiss when they are interrupted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • Nothing of concern.

Use of substances

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

  • Lots of drinking in the saloon.
  • Frost brings a bottle of wine to share with Adelina.

Coarse language

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

  • Poppycock; shoot; how the devil?; bugger

In a nutshell

Missing Link is an animated comedy with a lot of slapstick violence and quite a lot of unpleasant violence. It is also quite intense in parts. For these reasons it isn’t recommended for children under 8, but older children will probably enjoy it.

The main messages from this movie are that being a nice person is more important than being famous and that good triumphs over evil.

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

  • The importance of friendship.
  • Compassion and sympathy.
  • Identity and acceptance

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