One Life

image for One Life

Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 10 (Predatory animal behaviour)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for One Life
  • a review of One Life completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 November 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to distressing scenes of animal predatory behaviour.
Children 8 to 10 Parental guidance recommended due to distressing scenes
Children 10 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: One Life
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Predatory animal behaviour

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

One Life is a beautifully filmed documentary about the lives of animals, plants and insects with which we share the planet. This cinema release is part of a BBC Television documentary series narrated by Daniel Craig.

The close up photography of the most intimate aspects of plant and animal life is quite spectacular and is filmed in many diverse places on the Earth. We see a tribe of Snow monkeys in a thermal pool in Japan’s freezing winter attacking any others who dare to enter.  A baby elephant has to walk a very long way with its mother to a water hole and nearly dies along the way after getting stuck in the mud. The mating rites of a small red beetle are quite amazing to see as the male has to climb all the way to the top of a tree, fighting off suitors along the way.


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.

Predatory animal behaviour; the circle of life; animals in peril

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 snow monkeys attack any other monkeys that try to enter their pool.
  • A praying mantis eats a cricket but is then eaten by a chameleon.
  • Cheetahs chase and kill an ostrich.
  • Komodo dragons attack and kill a water buffalo.

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 chameleon attacking the praying mantis is shown several times flicking its tongue out before swallowing its prey.
  • The komodo dragons are scary looking creatures with tongues that flick out constantly.
  • The male silver back gorilla is quite scary looking, especially when he beats his chest.

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:

  • A baby seal is born in icy conditions and his mother has to protect him from blizzards.
  • The baby elephant has to walk so far after it’s just born and nearly dies stuck in the mud. Its grandmother has to push the mother out of the way and rescues the baby.
  • A baby Ibex, sure of foot, has to run up and down a sheer rock cliff face to escape a fox and manages to hide in a spot that the fox can’t reach.
  • A pack of cheetahs chase and bring down an ostrich and are shown eating it.
  • A komodo dragon chases after a water buffalo which it knows is too big for it to catch but it bites its heel and injects a poison into the buffalo.  The wound bleeds attracting many other dragons which all circle the buffalo and wait many days until it becomes too weak to fight back before they all start eating it (this is quite disturbing)

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 could also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Thirteen and overinfo

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

Nudity and sexual activity

Beetles mating

In a nutshell

One Life is a visually stunning documentary with many close-up shots of animals and insects in their natural environment. This cinema release is part of the BBC Life television documentary series narrated by Daniel Craig. It is well worth seeing, for older children as well as adults. Younger children, particularly under 8s, are likely to be upset by images of animals being killed and eaten by other animals

The main message from this movie is that we only have one Earth and we must share its resources with all of the animals and plants that live on it. The film also shows the interconnectedness between all living things.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of animals killing other animals for their food and how humans fit into this food chain.