Australian Council on Children and the Media

Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb

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Not recommended under 6; Parental guidance recommended 6-9 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb
  • a review of Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 December 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 6-9 parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children 9 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: Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild violence and some scary scenes
Length 98 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

At night in the Museum of Natural History all of the exhibits come to life because of the tablet of Ahkmenrah. But one day, all of the exhibits start acting strangely and Larry the night guard(Ben Stiller) realises that the tablet is disintegrating. Larry and his museum exhibit friends must travel to The British Museum in London to try and save the tablet. Larry and his friends must work together to battle the monsters in the museum and reach the Egypt exhibit before the tablet is destroyed and all his friends turn back to wax figures.

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.

Family relationships - teenagers wanting independence; the supernatural

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:

  • Teddy is shown carrying a gun, and in one scene points it in Larry’s face
  • Lancelot fights a dinosaur skeleton with his sword
  • Larry fights a multiple headed snake with his flash light and then electrocutes it.
  • Lancelot holds his sword against Larry’s throat

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 opening scenes take place in a spooky Egyptian tomb. The locals tell the archaeologist that  if he opens the tomb “the end will come”
  • There are some animals in the museum which might be scary for young children. Such as a dinosaur skeleton and a multiple headed snake.
  • The Huns carry around swords and axes and can sometimes be rather threatening
  • The cave men accidentally electrocute themselves
  • The lava from Pompeii almost kills Jed and Octavius 

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.

Children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by the above mentioned scenes

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.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • The Night at the Museum franchise
  • The British Museum
  • The Natural History Museum
  • Facebook
  • Candy Crush
  • mobile phones

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

A woman remarks, “he is the sexiest night guard we ever had”

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some mild sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Laa the cave man and Tilly the guard flirt and kiss

Use of substances

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

  • Larry’s son throws a party and the teenagers are shown drinking out of red solo cups but no alcohol is shown.
  • adults drink wine at the fundraiser

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • hell; dang it; shut up

In a nutshell

Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb is the third of the Night at the Museum movies. It is an entertaining comedy which shows children the wonders and magic of museums and history. It is ideal for children over the age of 8. Because of the violent and scary elements of the film, parental guidance is guidance is recommended for younger children. Some parents may also be concerned about the crude humour.

The main message from this movie is that it is okay to let go of the past because you never know what adventures will happen tomorrow.

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

  • the importance of friends
  • loyalty
  • bravery

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss the real-life consequences of lying to your parents. Parents may also wish to discuss how much of the history and historical characters shown are accurate.

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