Australian Council on Children and the Media

Smurfs 2

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG 5-8 (Violence; Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Smurfs 2
  • a review of Smurfs 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 August 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 5 to 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children 8 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: Smurfs 2
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may scare young children
Length 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In this sequel to the Smurfs it’s revealed that Smurfette (voice of Kate Perry) was originally created by the wicked Gargamel (Hank Azaria) to infiltrate the Smurf village and to help him destroy all of the Smurfs. Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters), however, cast a spell on her to make her into a real Smurf with a kind heart and thus Smurfette became part of the family.

Gargamel now plans to get Smurfette back with the aid of a brother and a sister he’s created for her and who are called Naughties (because they are). Gargamel plans to extract the secret of how Smurfette became a Smurf from her, then change the Naughties into Smurfs and from them make many Smurfs. These ‘bad’ Smurfs will then be able to take over the Smurf Village and create ‘Smurf-aggedon’.

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.

Magic

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 lot of comic violence done for laughs in this movie such as:

  • The Smurfs are continuously hitting, shoving, and kicking each other and falling from great heights.
  • Gargamel zaps a taxi which flies into the air and then comes crashing down landing on him – but he’s not hurt. Azrael (voice of Mr. Krinkle), his wicked cat, laughs at this as he often does when Gargamel gets hurt.
  • Gargamel falls from the top of the Eiffel Tower, crashing into it several times before landing upside down in a pond.
  • The Naughties often fight and push each other about.
  • One of the Smurfs gets an electric shock while trying to switch off the electricity. He isn’t hurt however.

There are also many scenes showing more realistic violence such as:

  • when Smurfette first came to live with the Smurfs she was wicked and is shown hitting a Smurf with a frying pan.
  • The girl Naughty, Vexy (Christina Ricci) arrives in the pool of the Smurf Village and grabs Smurfette. They then fight before Vexy manages to pull Smurfette into the transport portal.
  • Patrick’s stepfather Victor (Brendan Gleeson) tries to hit the Smurfs with a baseball bat as he thinks they’re aliens.
  • A baker attacks the boy Naughty, Hackus (J.B. Smoove) with a pizza board.
  • Gargamel zaps a whole lot of people at a fair. They fall to the ground but are not hurt. He then zaps a huge Ferris wheel, making it come off its moorings and roll through the city crushing many people in its path Again no one is hurt.
  • Gargamel has 7 Smurfs in vacuum packs into which he sends some energy causing them ‘excruciating’ pain.
  • In the final scene Patrick and Victor smash one of the ‘energy pots’ causing a huge explosion which breaks all of the vacuum packs and sends everyone flying.

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:

  • Smurfette swims in the water and loses her blue colour. She reverts to the bad Smurfette with a nasty, smirking look on her face. She then zaps all of the Smurfs with a magic wand making them all freeze but she wakes up, realising it’s only a dream.
  • Gargamel is a nasty, scary looking man. During his magic show, which takes place on a stage looking like a dark and scary forest, he turns a man into a giant toad.
  • Gargamel stands on the top of the Eiffel Tower sending out blue strobes of lightening which causes a chain reaction through the tower and which looks quite scary.
  • Papa Smurf chooses four other Smurfs to help him get Smurfette back. They have to swallow rather large crystals to transport them to France, which they nearly choke on. They then change into vapours and vanish.
  • Gargamel changes Azrael into a huge cat and changes Victor into a duck.
  • Gargamel zaps Patrick too making him fly through the auditorium and almost into Azrael’s mouth.

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 could be upset by the above-mentioned scenes as well as:

  • The Smurfs arrive at the home of Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) Winslow and their arrival causes wind to blow through the house lifting the furniture off the ground.
  • Vexy and Smurfette become friends and Smurfette starts behaving like a Naughty. She fires missiles at people from the back of a flying bird and when given her own magic wand by Gargamel she uses it to cause mischief. This could be confusing for some children.
  • Smurfette is actually shown tied up in ropes and being hypnotised by Gargamel.
  • Gargamel is quite threatening to Smurfette and cuts off her hair.
  • Smurfette refuses to give Gargamel the secret formula, which enrages him – he gets very angry with her. Vexy and Hackus are gasping for breath, needing some essence from Gargamel to keep them alive. He refuses to give it to them unless Smurfette reveals her secret. This scene is quite disturbing.

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 are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

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.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern in the movie, but associated merchandise being marketed to children

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Victor is changed back from a duck to a man while flying with some of the Smurfs. They land in a laundry dump covered in towels. The Smurfs declare that Victor is naked and one of them says that he saw ‘despicable things down there’ that will scar him for life.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

Some name calling, such as “moron”.

In a nutshell

Smurfs 2 is an animated movie that is likely to greatly appeal to children. It has more of a storyline than the first Smurf movie and we see more of the villainous Gargamel. As a result, it is probably more suited to older children, but all but the very young are likely to enjoy it with some guidance from a parent. It contains both comic and more realistic violence and some scary scenes which may be too disturbing for under 5s.  At 105 minutes, the film is also over long for this age group.

The main messages from this movie are that ‘it doesn’t matter where you came from - it’s who you choose to be’ and that ‘we rise to the amount of love we’re shown and sink when it drops’.

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

  • The importance of family.
  • The ability to choose who we want to be.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Acceptance of others.

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

  • Whether hurting people and animals is actually funny and what would happen if real life if those same actions occurred.

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