Australian Council on Children and the Media

Perri

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 6 (scary scenes, and possible lack of interest for very young children)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Perri
  • a review of Perri completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 September 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and sad themes (loss of parent, death of animals), and possible lack of interest.
Children aged 6 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: Perri
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild predatory animal behaviour
Length 75 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Perri is a young pine squirrel, growing up with her mother, father, and brothers and sisters in a nest in the treetops. It isn't long before Perri learns that life in the forest isn't all bliss and happiness: When a marten discovers their nest, Perri's father bravely directs the marten's attention on himself and falls prey to the predator – and the marten is not the only danger to look out for. There are a lot of things that young Perri needs to learn in order to survive, so that she can have a family of her own one day. The audience follows Perri for one year, maturing from childhood to adulthood. Narrated by Winston Hibler, the viewer gets an entertaining and educating insight into the world of the forest, where pine, ground, and flying squirrels, martens, beavers, skunks, badgers, wild cats, and birds of prey live in agreement with nature's laws, following their instincts and the change of seasons.

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.

Disney Live Action Nature Documentary / "True Life Fantasy"; Circle of Life; Life in the forest; Nature's basic laws; Seasons of the year and of life; Family.

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 natural challenges and perils that wild animals face, like falling prey to predators or territorial fights.

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:

  • There are a couple of close-ups of the marten – who is portrayed as Perri's most dangerous and persistent natural enemy – baring its teeth. This could scare young or sensitive children.
  • It is indicated that the marten kills Perri's father to feed him to her young.
  • Throughout the film, a few animals fall prey to their natural predators.

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:

  • Some children in this age group may 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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Released in 1956, Perri is part of the Disney "True Life Adventures" series. After Disney had been criticised that earlier live action nature films claimed documentary character but were staged in parts, Disney responded by pointing out that Perri was not a documentary, but a "true life fantasy", following a storyline around fictional characters. While there are scary and sad themes and scenes, the narration provides the audience with beautiful guidance in explaining that one animal's death secures the survival of another, and that this is the natural circle of life –unlike much of modern society who take billions of animal's lives not for survival but for gusto and profit, in the most unethical ways. Perri is a great pick for families, equipped with an entertaining storyline, positive messages, a beautiful soundtrack, and a lot of endearing and funny nature scenes.

The main messages from this movie are that, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heavens" (the film's opening line), and that death is just as much part of nature as life.

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

  • Following your instincts
  • Living life to the full
  • Courage
  • Caring for your loved ones.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of:

  • Reflecting how humans these days are breaking nature's basic laws by taking many more lives than we need to secure our survival, and that modern society has taken it to extremes that are neither natural or ethical in the way we mass produce meat and other animal products at the cost of billions of animals suffering every year.
  • Appreciating and respecting nature's natural cycle of life and death, and it's power of renewal.
  • Accepting that fear and loss are a natural component of life.

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