Australian Council on Children and the Media

SamSam

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 3; suitable for 3 years and over (scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for SamSam
  • a review of SamSam completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 June 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 3 Parental guidance recommended due to some potentially scary scenes.
Children aged 3–7 Ok for this age group.
Children over the age of 7 Ok for this age group though may lack interest.

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: SamSam
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length 78 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

SamSam (voice of Tucker Chandler) loves playing with his friends but he feels bad he is the only one at Hero School who does not have a super power yet. Mega (voice of Lily Sanfelippo) lives with her parents on a nearby planet that has banned children and is thus the only child. She is lonely and desperately wants a friend but her father King Marshal (voice of Dino Andrade) is the dictator who sent all families away and continues to behave in such a way that children across the galaxy fear the mention of his name. When Mega happens upon SamSam and his friends she is determined to become one of them and hatches a plan which deceives her parents in allowing her to enter Hero School. Despite her differences SamSam helps her to fit in and Mega tries to help SamSam find his power. When unkind comments are said about her father and Mega defends him her friends are horrified. It is SamSam that tries to bridge the gap and give Mega the benefit of the doubt even when things look pretty grim. It takes a monster that threatens to destroy all the happiness in the universe for SamSam to find his powers and for Mega to prove how powerful true friendship really is.

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.

Playing one parent against the other; deceptive behaviour; holding onto grudges.

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:

  • Some characters sing a song about smashing children to smithereens and eating them for dessert.
  • King Marshal makes a bunch of little monsters that are meant to scare children. His Wettabeds appear to carry water guns filled with wee which they shoot at kids to make it look like they wet themselves. Another monster chases SamSam and his friends, shooting blobs out of it’s trunk-like nose that are meant to make everyone sad and gloomy.
  • King Marshal launches rockets with arrows to attack his gloomy monster. They shoot the monster in the bottom but do not injure it. The monster uses the rockets like darts and sticks them in a mountainside.
  • There is a spray that Mega uses to turn monsters into confetti.
  • King Marshal kicks and pokes people in the bottom with his staff.

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:

  • Some small children may be concerned when SamSam is chased by the gloomy monster and enters a black hole in order to get rid of it. There are two large eyes in the darkness and all the adults fear this place. SamSam returns unharmed but there is a moment where viewers are unsure if he will come back.

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.

  • It is unlikely that anything in this film would frighten or disturb children over the age of five.

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

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Occasional name calling such as: “Stupid”, “Brat”, “Smelly bullies” and “Spinach haired geek”.

In a nutshell

SamSam is an animated film based on the popular French series by Serge Bloch. The film contains basic animation and a predictable plot that is largely targeted to pre-schoolers. It features some positive messages and will best be enjoyed by young children.

The main messages from this movie are to trust yourself and be patient as we all have special powers inside us; and that sometimes courage and friendship are the most useful powers of all.

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

  • Courage
  • Forgiveness
  • Tolerance
  • Friendship
  • Responsibility.

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

  • Being mean and trying to scare people.
  • Lying to your parents and deceiving your friends.
  • Going past the boundaries of where you are allowed to be.
  • Holding on to anger and fear.

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