Muppets Haunted Mansion

image for Muppets Haunted Mansion

Short takes

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

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Muppets Haunted Mansion
  • a review of Muppets Haunted Mansion completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 October 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to scary scenes, violence and themes.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes, violence 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: Muppets Haunted Mansion
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may scare young children; flashing light scenes may disturb some photosensitive viewers.
Length: 52 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Great Gonzo (voice of Dave Goelz), a dynamic daredevil, has never found a challenge he couldn’t face. While the rest of the Muppet gang is partying for Halloween, Gonzo and his 'King Prawn' friend, Pepe (voice of Bill Barretta), volunteer to spend the night in the spookiest place on earth, the old Mansion of the once-famous magician, The Great MacGuffin, who disappeared a hundred years ago on that very same night. Pepe is looking forward to meeting celebrities and Gonzo is looking forward to being the first one ever to spend the night and live to tell the tale. Throughout the evening the duo encounter a variety of characters including: The Host (Will Arnett), a creepy caretaker (Darren Chris), and a homicidal bride (Taraji P. Henson). In order to leave, Gonzo must face his greatest fears but if he fails, both he and Pepe will remain in the mansion forever. In the elusive room 999 (which changes to 666 after he enters it) Gonzo discovers the scariest thing in the world and learns what is trapping everyone inside the mansion. Gonzo must conquer his fear, rescue Pepe from someone who hopes to love him to death, and together they must leave before dawn or meet the same fate as all who have come before them.

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.

Confronting your fears; Murder; Death; Creepy quests.

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 pumpkin runs screaming through the rooms, being chased by the Swedish chef brandishing a chainsaw.
  • Characters show or tell how they were killed: a rock falling on a head, poisoned, dying in a fire etc.
  • A suit of armour tries to attack Gonzo with an axe.
  • The homicidal bride says to Pepe that: “I could just eat you alive”. Her former husbands tell about how she killed them, such as by snapping a neck or smothering them. One husband tells how she, “lopped off our heads and threw our bodies under a bridge”.
  • The homicidal bride tries to chop Gonzo and Pepe with an axe.

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 mansion is full of disturbing images, such as eyes in the wallpaper; a creepy skeleton and zombie that repeatedly pop out at Gonzo and Pepe; and ghosts that shout out: “Boo!”
  • There is a creepy eye in a large fern that turns out to be a man-eating plant. Pepe runs away, terrified, as it tries to eat him.
  • The homicidal bride has red, evil, glowing eyes.
  • Gonzo ages into an ancient version of himself and is clearly horrified by what he sees in the mirror.

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:

  • Gonzo and Pepe are put into a room without windows or doors and are plunged into pitch darkness while someone screams. Later, a crazy looking dog continues to scream in the dark.
  • John Stamos puts in a guest appearance and as he quietly lures Pepe in close to him, he suddenly transforms into a terrifying, demonic monster. This scene provided a jump scare as the scream is very intense and the sudden transformation completely unexpected.
  • A character is seen to be holding what appears to be his severed head in his hands.
  • While trying to rescue Pepe, it looks like Gonzo will fall into the mouth of a monster.
  • A disturbing, Frankenstein-type character grabs Pepe and then a creepy, squid-like creature takes them to the underworld and puts them in a coffin. Some of the scenes are quite fast paced, taking Gonzo and Pepe from one dramatic and perilous circumstance to another.

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:

  • Some children on the younger side of this age bracket may also be upset by some of the above mentioned scenes.

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 references in this movie, including:

  • Pepe says: Talk about a challenge...try getting a date for tonight.”
  • Pepe asks the chauffeur: “Speaking of pick-ups how’d you like to be my plus one?”
  • One character asks another: “What do you know about love? You’re dating a chicken.”

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • Pepe says: “If there aren’t any champagne cocktails, I am out of here.”

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Muppets Haunted Mansion is a musical, made for TV special, that was inspired by the famous Disneyland ride. Featuring brief appearances from many favourite characters, such as Kermit and Miss Piggy, this production is far more sinister than previous Muppet shows and films and is consequently best suited to older audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that we all have fears and that facing them can sometimes be the scariest thing in the world but it is also through facing them that we become free.

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

  • Courage
  • Friendship
  • Helpfulness
  • Compassion.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of talking about what scares them and how to face things or work through things that are frightening.