Moonbound

image for Moonbound

Short takes

Not suitable under 4; parental guidance to 5 (mild crude humour, scary characters, sense of threat, sad themes such as parental death and loss of loved ones)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Moonbound
  • a review of Moonbound completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 June 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 4 Not suitable due to mild crude humour, scary characters, sense of threat, and sad themes (parental death and loss of loved ones).
Children aged 4–5 Parental guidance due to mild crude humour, scary characters, sense of threat, and sad themes (parental death and loss of loved ones). May also be too lengthy and complex for children under 5.
Children aged 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: Moonbound
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild crude humour and sense of threat
Length: 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Based on the children’s classic fairy-tale, Little Peter’s Journey to the Moon, by German author and playwright, Gerdt von Bassewitz, Moonbound tells the story of Mr Zoomzeman (voiced by Howard Nightingale), a now elderly June bug. Mr Zoomzeman has spent his whole adult life searching for brave humans, who have never hurt any animals, to help him retrieve what he had lost many years ago. When a mean thief (Drew Sarich) cut down his home, a big beautiful birch tree, Mr Zoomzeman asked the Night Fairy (Cindy Robinson) for help. The Night Fairy banished the thief and his two accomplices to the moon, tragically, along with the birch tree, one of Mr Zoomzeman’s arms, and his newlywed wife, Mrs Zoomzeman. When Mr Zoomzeman meets young Anne (Lilian Gartner), and her brother Peter (Aleks Le), he knows he has found the chosen humans and together they venture on a fantastic journey to the stars, to stop the evil Moon Man once and for all, and to retrieve Mr Zoomzeman’s arm and birch tree, and lost love.

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.

Fantasy; Adventure; Family; Friendship.

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:

  • The wood thief, who later becomes the Moon Man, is selfish and ruthless, has evil intentions, and is prepared to use violence. He ruthlessly cut down the bugs’ home; he destroys the heavenly ‘Shooting Star School’; he kidnaps Anne and the shooting stars and makes them work in a factory; and he fires a canon on the Night Fairy’s palace with the intention of destroying her and ruling over the universe.
  • One of the Nature Spirits, the ‘Lightning Witch’ casts lightning bolts at people.

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:

  • Some children may become upset that Anne and Peter had lost their father in a space shuttle accident.
  • Some children might get worried that Anne and Peter may never return home, unless they get back before sunrise.
  • The wood thief – later the Moon Man – looks mean and scary. He has a pack of vicious ‘moon poodles’ that chase Peter, Zoomzeman, and their friend and helper, the Sandman.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • It is indicated that the Moon Man and the Lightning Witch are a couple. They exchange a couple of hearty kisses.

Use of substances

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

  • The Night Fairy has a glass of red wine.
  • Mr Zoomzeman has a little flask with a “Forget-me-not” drink that can be assumed to have a similar “sorrow-drowning” effect as alcohol.

Coarse language

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

  • Idiot
  • Smartarse
  • Dumbass
  • Dork.

In a nutshell

Moonbound is a sweet adaptation of von Bassewitz’s classic story of two brave and selfless young children who go on a fantastic journey to help a little animal friend. While there are some clichés (e.g. a spirited, playful little sister who annoys her more sincere, older brother; a gang of bullies who pick on the new kid at the school; a ruthless villain who seeks vengeance and wants to rule the universe; complete with two rather dumb and clumsy henchmen), the movie features relatable, funny, and quirky characters and positive role models, and contains a heap of positive messages. The pace of the movie is quick, and the story line complex, so very young children may lose track or interest. Because of that and due to some sad and scary themes (facing an evil villain, leaving home, losing loved ones etc.), the movie is most suitable for a family audience with children over 4, with parental guidance for children aged 4-5.

The main messages from this movie are that is important to look out for one another; to be persistent; and to follow one’s dreams.

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

  • Family cohesion and friendship.
  • Kindness.
  • Courage.
  • Resourcefulness.

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

  • ‘What goes around comes around’: The side story of the Lightning Witch teaches that mean and rude behaviour makes you unpopular, but that it’s never too late to make good choices and to make up for past mistakes.