Australian Council on Children and the Media

Paddington 2

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Not recommended under 5, parental guidance recommended 5-8 due to violent and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Paddington 2
  • a review of Paddington 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 December 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to scary and violent scenes
Children aged 5 to 8 Parental guidance recommended due to scary and violent scenes
Children aged 8 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: Paddington 2
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and violence
Length 103 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) wants to buy his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) a birthday present. He works hard and does odd jobs for neighbours to save enough money to buy a special pop-up book of London. But when the birthday present is stolen by a mysterious thief, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), Paddington is framed for the crime! Paddington and the Brown family must find the mystery thief and the missing present to save Paddington before Aunt Lucy’s birthday!  

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; crime/prison

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:

  • There is some slapstick comedy violence eg Paddington shaves a man’s hair off with an electric razor.
  • One of the prisoners threatens Paddington, saying “How would you like to be buried in a deep hole?”
  • A flashback scene shows a magician cutting a rope which makes a women fall from the roof and die. The dead body is shown but there is no blood.
  • Henry Brown almost runs Phoenix over with his car.
  • Phoenix and the Browns have a sword fight and Phoenix hand cuffs the Browns to a pole. Phoenix also shoots a plastic dart gun. 
  • Henry Brown throws a ball at Phoenix’s head and knocks him out.

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:

  • Paddington (when he is a baby cub) is caught in a river and almost falls off a waterfall but is saved at the last minute by Aunt Lucy.
  • There is a robbery at the antique store and Paddington has a chase scene with the robber. Paddington almost falls in the river.
  • Paddington is arrested (for the robbery he didn’t commit) and sent to jail. He is shown sad and alone in a jail cell. Some of the other prisoners initially look a bit scary but they are then shown to be friendly.
  • Paddington and his friends escape prison and Paddington is on the run from the police.
  • The Brown family chase after Paddington and Phoenix in a steam train. Some scenes are a bit scary: when Paddington tries to climb between the two trains and almost hits a wall.
  • Paddington gets stuck in a train carriage in the water and begins to drown. Mary Brown tries to save him but she can’t. There is a moment where the audience thinks that Paddington might die, but then at the last minute he is saved.

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 disturbed or scared 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.

Nothing of concern

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

Nothing of concern in the movie but it is part of the Paddington Bear franchise with plenty of associated merchandise

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Paddington asks one of his neighbours how her date went.
  • Two neighbours are shown looking at each other fondly and then move in together.
  • Judy is upset because her boyfriend dumped her.
  • A security guard says that the nun (Phoenix dressed as a woman) was the most attractive and beautiful women he had ever seen.
  • A female character says “nice buns”, by which she means bread rolls, but Phoenix thinks she means his bottom.

Nudity and sexual activity

Paddington cleans windows with his bottom

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

  • “mushy brained”; “weirdo”

In a nutshell

Paddington 2 is a heartfelt mystery adventure story that is sure to delight both adults and children. This humorous film reminds us to be kind and try to see the best in people. Due to some scary and violent scenes, the film is not recommended for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 5-8 years.  

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

  • kindness
  • bravery
  • optimism
  • teamwork

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the effects of using violence as a way of solving problems.

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