Australian Council on Children and the Media

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

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Not recommended under 10, PG to 13 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  • a review of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 September 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 10 to 13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children 13 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: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes, violence and coarse language
Length 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This sequel to Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief is set seven years after the first film. In Sea of Monsters we find Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), half human demigod, together with his Cyclops half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), close friend Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and a satyr named Grover (Brandon T Jackson) hard at work at Camp Half Blood, a training camp for demigods. Without warning, a fire breathing mechanical bull breaks through the camp’s protective barrier (created by a magical tree that sprouted from the body of a dying demigod named Thalia) and attacks Percy and his friends. While they manage to destroy the mechanical bull, the magical tree has been poisoned and is dying, leaving the camp open to attack.

 The Thalia tree can be bought back to good health with the magical healing properties of the legendary Golden Fleece, which unfortunately is being guarded by a giant Cyclops on a remote island in the Sea of Monsters. It is decided that Percy and his friends must go on a quest to recover the Golden Fleece. Along the way, Percy comes up against his old nemesis, a demigod named Luke Castellan (Jake Abel), who wants the Fleece to revive a dead Titan named Kronos.

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.

Greek mythology; 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.

The film contains fantasy action violence throughout including stylised fighting. There is little blood and gore but the deaths of a couple of lead characters (who later reappear) are depicted. Examples include:

  • Several giant Cyclops chase some young teens through a forest. A girl is trapped under a fallen tree branch and we see her die.  A second young girl uses a knife in an attempt to fight off a Cyclops, and a boy is hurled through the air, crashing into a tree.
  • A giant mechanical bull attacks the teenage inhabitants of Camp Half Blood. It uses its horns to throw a number of teenagers through the air and on to the ground (we see some blood on their faces). The bull breathes fire from its mouth, burning a building and the ground in its attempt to burn a boy. A boy is engulfed in flames for several seconds, but he is uninjured. A boy attacks the bull, slashing and stabbing at it with a spear and sword and eventually causing the bull to explode in a ball of flames and smoke.  The explosion hurls the boy through the air but he is uninjured.     
  • A giant rat-like creature with a clawed scorpion tail stabs a teen girl in the back, killing her (in a later scene the girl is bought back to life). Percy and his friends attack the rat creature with swords and spears and cut off its tail, resulting in the creature turning to stone.  
  • In one scary scene several teens trapped inside a sea monster’s stomach are threatened with destruction by a giant opening full of teeth that crunches up all that goes through. The teens escape by using the cannons of an old Confederate navy ship to blast a hole in the side of the creature’s stomach, eventually surviving uninjured.  
  • Four teens at an amusement park on a magical island go on a perilous ride called the “Plummet of Death” during the ride we see lots of skeletal remains and human-like skulls impaled on spikes; the skulls have horns protruding from their foreheads. At the end of the ride the teenagers encounter a giant Cyclops that chases after them, attempting to capture and eat them; the Cyclops threatens to eat them raw. The Cyclops monster tries to stomp on the teens and strikes two of them, propelling them through the air.  They land hard against a cave wall with blood on their faces.
  • Four heroes are confronted by several evil teens who fire cross bows at them. One boy, in an effort to protect his brother, jumps into the path of a crossbow bolt and is struck in the abdomen. No blood is depicted, but he falls backwards off a cliff into a river below and disappears; later he reappears uninjured.
  • The Golden Fleece is placed over a coffin containing the remains of the evil Titan Kronos. The coffin burns away to reveal molten rocks that transform into Kronos. Kronos immediately picks up and eats whole a boy and a satyr. Percy Jackson engages in a fight with Kronos, using a magic sword to slash Kronos from throat to groin with Kronos falling apart like an avalanche of molten rock and transforming to blue light that gets sucked back into the coffin. As Kronos disintegrates the two boys previously eaten reappear uninjured.     

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 film contains a number of images of giant Cyclops creatures, with one large eye in the centre of the forehead. The Cyclops creatures display a violent and threatening demeanour. One Cyclops has numerous facial tattoos and a belt of human skulls tied around his waist.
  • After a young girl is killed we see her magically transformed with tree branches sprouting from her abdomen and tree roots covering most of her body. By the end of the transformation the girls’ body has a petrified appearance and is mostly embedded within the root system of a massive tree; she is magically resurrected at the end of the film.   
  • The film contains a number of mythical creatures including: satyrs; centaurs; an ancient mummified women with glowing red eyes; shadowy wolf/lion-like creatures; three women with a zombie-like appearance including blue coloured faces with burnt out eye sockets; one male character with eight arms; a giant sea serpent; a giant rat with large sharp teeth and a snapping scorpion-like clawed tail        
  • Three teens on a raft in the middle of the ocean are surrounded by what appears to be hundreds of shark fins. The fins transform into the teeth and throat of a giant sea monster and the teenagers and raft are sucked into the monster’s stomach. Inside the creature’s stomach we see the remains of human bones and wreckage and they encounter an old ship crewed by comical blue faced zombies with red glowing eyes. In another section of the stomach is a giant opening surrounded by hundreds of large fangs that crunch any object that passes through.

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 are also likely to be disturbed by some of the above mentioned violent and scary 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 may also be disturbed by 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.

OK for this age group

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A brief low-level discussion about the different types of descendants resulting from gods who have children with humans and other mythical creatures. 

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • A teenage boy and girl flirt.

Use of substances

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

  • In a couple of scenes we see a man pouring wine into a glass with the wine immediately turning to water; no alcohol is consumed.
  • In a coffee shop a teen boy orders a glass of magic nectar with a covert reference made to the nectar possibly having some type of intoxicating effect. However no teen appears intoxicated from drinking the nectar. 

Coarse language

The film contains some low-level coarse language scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • The word 'bitch' partially pronounced; sucks; massively screwed; holy stink; freaky brother; damn it; screw up; stupid; moron; idiot; bug; freaking genius; get your cheap butts out; frickin’; pissant.   

In a nutshell

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is a fantasy adventure targeting younger teens. The film contains medium level fantasy action violence and peril throughout with little depiction of blood and gore. There are scary scenes and characters likely to disturb children under 10 and some slightly older so the film is not recommended for under 10s and parental guidance is recommended between 10 and 13. While younger teens will find the film entertaining, older teens and adults may find the film’s storyline lacking, with no standout performances from the cast.  

The main messages from this movie are:

  • People who have power are only concerned about their own needs.
  • The importance of family and friends.
  • Be yourself - never doubt yourself or think you are less than you are.
  • We make our own destiny.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss the real life consequences of risk taking as opposed to the events in the film where leading characters come back to life after being killed.

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