Australian Council on Children and the Media

Rugrats Go Wild

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (scary scenes)

Age
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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Rugrats Go Wild
  • a review of Rugrats Go Wild completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 September 2003.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Due to the low level of scariness in this some children under five might need parental guidance when viewing this film.
Children aged 5-8 Some children in the five to eight age range may need some parental guidance when viewing this film.
Children over the age of 8 Should be fine to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

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: Rugrats Go Wild
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Rugrats and their families are going on a boating holiday when they get caught in a freak storm. A huge tidal wave flips their boat over and sends it to the bottom of the ocean. The boat resurfaces upside down and in true Poseidon Adventure style the passengers make their way to the top of the ship (actually the bottom) and manage to punch a hole in the hull through which they escape. They drift for a while in a life raft until they reach a desert island.

While the parents practise their survival skills, the Rugrats wander off into the unknown and discover that the Thornberrys are also there on an explorative mission. Angelica decides to explore on her own and discovers Debbie Thornberry lounging next to their luxury touring van. The two of them set out in the van to look for the rest of the Rugrats with disastrous results. Meanwhile Nigel Thornberry falls off a cliff to the ground and a coconut lands on his head rendering him unconscious. He awakes with amnesia and thinks he’s three years old. He joins the rest of the Rugrats who unwittingly follow his lead thinking he knows where he’s going. Angelica comes to the rescue in the Thornberry’s underwater vehicle. However the vehicle is running out of petrol and close to running out of oxygen. It takes Pickle’s Dad’s scientific brain to devise a method of rescuing all of the children and Nigel Thornberry.

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 a little violence in this movie, mostly set in a comic context, including the following:

  • Angelica yells at a bird who poops in her eyes
  • Angelica kicks her foot on a rock in anger
  • Nigel Thornberry falls off a cliff to the ground and a coconut lands on his head.

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.

There is some material in this movie that could scare children in this age group; however it is mostly quite brief and not sustained. It includes the following scenes:

  • The ship being caught in a wild storm
  • The tidal wave that turns the ship over and makes it sink to the bottom
  • The passengers trying to escape
  • Angelica tries to scare the babies with stories of wild animals that eat children
  • A man-eating plant grabs one of the children and nearly swallows it but the child manages to escape
  • Chucky gets left behind and is alone for a while
  • Phil eats huge worms and caterpillars because he’s hungry
  • A leopard growls scarily at Spike the dog and bares its claws
  • The leopard falls into a river and growls trying to get out
  • Debbie crashes the van into the sea and it sinks
  • The leopard finds the children and encircles them
  • Chucky chases the leopard away and then the leopard chases Chucky
  • The babies all cry for their parents
  • The children are all trapped in the sub with no petrol and oxygen running out
  • Spike swims through really high waves to reach the life raft
  • A giant squid with a large eye peers into the sub

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 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.

Children over the age of eight would be able to understand that the danger is not realistic.

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.

None of concern.

Sexual references

None

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

None

Coarse language

There is no coarse language but there is some ‘toilet humour’ including the following:

  • Spike is sent to look for the children but complains he has no sense of smell. He does his business then says he “can’t even smell his own butt”.
  • Spikes licks a girl’s face and says “she tastes pretty good”.
  • Spike wees on the leopard’s tail then they take turns in smelling each other’s butts.

In a nutshell

Rugrats go Wild is a fairly light entertaining movie for young children and as such doesn’t really have a take home message.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • collaboration
  • friendship
  • bravery
  • courage.

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • adults arguing about who’s to blame
  • Angelica and Debbie are both bossy, rude and selfish although they do go to the rescue of the Rugrats
  • Debbie drives the van at speed across the desert and quite recklessly crashes into the ocean.

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