Red Shoes, The: Next Step

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Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (themes, language, distressing scene)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Red Shoes, The: Next Step
  • a review of Red Shoes, The: Next Step completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 17 April 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes and language.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, language, and a distressing scene.
Children aged 11 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: Red Shoes, The: Next Step
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and coarse language
Length: 111 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Sisters, Annie (Daniele Clements) and Sam (Juliet Doherty), were born to dance. Both are students of the illustrious Harlow Academy, until Annie gets an opportunity to dance in New York. Sam is offered the solo dance in her sister’s place and as she is about to perform, a terrible tragedy occurs. Unable to deal with her grief, Sam quits dancing and pulls away from her family, choosing instead to spend time with her best friend, Eve (Lauren Esposito), and Eve’s questionable associates. When Sam and Eve are arrested for shoplifting, they both receive 200 hours of community service. Sam soon finds herself back at The Harlow Academy, though not as a dancer. As she struggles to attend classes and complete her community service hours, Sam is drawn back to the stage. When the lead ballerina, Gracie (Primrose Kern), has an accident, Sam steps in to take her place. Determined not to let Ben (Joel Burke), the male lead, and the rest of the ballet company down, Sam works hard to meet the strict expectations of Mrs Harlow (Carolyn Bock), Head of the dance academy. As the night of the performance draws closer, Sam struggles to come to terms with the role she must dance; the role she should have performed the night her sister was killed; the role originally intended for Annie; the role that forces her to confront everything she is trying to hide from.


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.

Death of a family member; Grief and loss; Dysfunctional friendships; Family breakdown and neglect.

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:

  • A character says that she stabbed a barista with a fork.
  • The ballet of The Red Shoes is based on the story of a girl who is cursed to dance until she dies.
  • Sam is video calling her sister when her sister is hit by a car and killed.
  • Eve slaps a boy in the face.

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.

  • Nothing further noted.

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:

  • The scene in which Annie is killed by a car while talking to her sister, though not particularly scary, is likely to be distressing to some young viewers. Sam, who was about to perform, collapses to the floor, calling her sister’s name, while Annie’s cracked phone lays on the pavement amongst the scattered roses she had bought for her sister. Annie’s body is not shown.

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 noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • References are made to TikTok and Instagram.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A boy implies he would like to hook up with Eve, saying suggestively: “Maybe you and I could…”
  • Eve tells Sam how a boy has a crush on her and thinks she is hot.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Ben and Sam kiss.

Use of substances

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

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Screw this!
  • You’re such a butt.
  • Your face is a butt.
  • Eve gives other characters the rude finger.

In a nutshell

The Red Shoes: Next Step is an Australian drama. The film is well cast, features excellent choreography, and clearly demonstrates how hard work and determination can pay off. This is a family film that is best suited to older children and tweens.

The main messages from this movie are that we can’t stop living just because we have lost someone; that happiness cannot be truly appreciated without sadness; and that everyone has a story to tell.

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

  • Persistence
  • Courage
  • Friendship
  • Compassion
  • Tolerance
  • Teamwork.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Shoplifting and how poor choices can affect your future.
  • Walking away from your dreams and refusing to acknowledge who you really are or what you are capable of.
  • The effect of neglect on young people.
  • Failing to be a true friend.