Australian Council on Children and the Media

Monsters Inc.3D

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended for children aged under 6 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Monsters Inc.3D
  • a review of Monsters Inc.3D completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 January 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes (please note that 3D effects increase the intensity of some scary scenes
Children 6 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: Monsters Inc.3D
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may frighten young children
Length 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Monsters Inc. 3D is a re-release of the Disney/Pixar’s 2001 original animation. Mike (voice of Billy Crystal) and Sully (voice of John Goodman) are the dream team at Monsters Incorporated. They work together to scare as many sleeping children as they can so that the children’s screams can be stored and converted into energy for the city of Monstropolis.  Sully is about to reach the all time scaring record. However, times are tough for the monsters – children just don’t seem to be as scared anymore and Monstropolis is facing a power shortage.

One night, Sully discovers that a little girl called Boo (voice of Mary Gibbs) has been let into the monster world. Since children are believed to be toxic to monsters he fears the consequences and seeks Mike’s advice on what to do with the child. Avoiding the Child Detection Agency (CDA), the evil Randall (voice of Steve Buscemi) and Boo’s potentially toxic touch is challenging work for Sully and Mike. They battle through obstacles in an attempt to get ‘Boo’ back safely to her family and along the way, discover that laughter is much more intense than screams, making them rethink the way that they work!

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.

Separation from family; children as victims; deceit

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.

Monsters Inc 3D contains some violence, made more intense by 3D effects, including:

  • When a monster comes out of a child’s room with a sock on his body, code ‘2319’ is called, buzzers are pressed, a red alert is declared and members of the CDA come flying through windows, jump on the monster, destroy the sock before lifting up a screen and shaving all of the hair from the monster
  • Boo comes out of a bag in the restaurant and scares all of the monsters there. The monsters scream, yell and run away from Boo
  • Roz closes the window on Mike’s fingers
  • A monster is shown with its mouth attached to the scream extractor
  • Randall straps Boo to the chair – she is very scared and screaming
  • Sully is punched by Randall and then hit with a canister
  • Sully hits Randall in the face
  • Boo jumps on Randall and hits him in the head with a bat

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 idea that monsters wait in closets wanting to catch children’s screams. Examples of scary scenes whcich are made more scary by 3D effects, include:

  • A child’s dark room is shown, owls hoot and the cupboard door opens slowly. There are scary eyes under the bed and a shadow looms over a child’s bed
  • The varying monsters in the movie are scary characters.  One monster uses  tongue for a skipping rope; another one sneezes fire; a jelly monster falls through a footpath grate so that only his eyes, lips and hat remain on top; Randall can be invisible. Monsters are seen putting in teeth and eyes to get ready to scare people.
  • The Child Detection Agency and their immediate response with the alerts and alarms may need to be explained to children.
  • When Boo cries, the intensity of her cry interferes with the electricity. When she laughs, she turns on all the lights in the building and blows the light bulbs
  • Sully thinks that Boo has been through the garbage compactor – and sees the garbage squashed, chopped and cut. He becomes very upset and faints

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.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the scenes described above.

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.

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

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 movie.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Toys from other Pixar movies

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Mike and Celia have ‘lovey’ nicknames for each other
  • They talk about a romantic evening they have planned

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Mike kisses Celia on a couple of occasions

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There are some mild coarse language and putdowns in this movie, including:

  • stupid
  • jerk
  • weird
  • pathetic
  • idiot
  • big dope
  • get lost
  • shut up

In a nutshell

This is an animated comedy with a new look at an old topic. Children have always wondered about monsters in their cupboards, but we see in Monsters Inc that the monsters are not as scary as wee thought! It is an entertaining family movie, although some scenes may be scary for under 6s, particularly in the 3D version.

Sully and Mike’s views on children are challenged when they meet Boo and try to get her back home. They learn they must fight off the evil Randall and his scary plans to obtain power in different ways and uncover ways to do so which are better for everyone! The main messages in this movie are:

  • the importance of friendship
  • being open to new ideas and change

Values that parents may wish to reinforce with their cildren include:

  • bravery and facing your fears
  • kindness to others no matter who they are
  • not being judgemental

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

  • sources of energy
  • greed
  • competition and conspiracy

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