Australian Council on Children and the Media

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG to 13 (Viol.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
  • a review of Spy Kids 3D: Game Over completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 December 2003.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Due to the level of scariness and violence in this movie it is not recommended for very young children.
Children aged 5 to 8 Children aged five to eight will need parental guidance to view this movie.
Children aged 8-13 Some children in the eight to thirteen age bracket may still need some parental guidance with this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Would be okay 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: Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Low level violence
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Juni Cortez. ex-OSS agent, is called back to active duty to rescue his sister Carmen who is trapped on the fourth level of a computer game called Game Over. The game, invented by the evil Toymaker, is a trap intended to take over the minds of the world’s children and thus the future of the world. Carmen was sent into the game to shut it down and now Juni has just twelve hours to close it down before the game goes online.

Juni lands in the virtual reality game and has to battle pogo trolls, robots, programmers, the deceiver and various robotic monsters to reach level 5. He starts with nine lives and quickly loses several. He enlists the aid of his grandfather, a cripple, who lost the use of his legs due to the Toymaker several years earlier. In the game, Grandfather regains the use of his legs and is transformed into a large and powerful ally. Together they overcome all the obstacles to reach Carmen. From there they have to reach the next level which has never been done before and where they will be able to shut down the game. To get there they have to swim through a lava ocean. Once there Grandfather has an old score to settle with the Toymaker with interesting results.

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 quite a lot of ‘virtual violence’ in this movie enhanced by the 3D effects. There is a lot of fighting, falling and crashing into objects with no real life consequences. The following scenes are an example of what happens:

  • Pogo trolls chase Juni and poke out their long tongues. Juni grabs a tongue and twirls the troll through the air knocking the troll out.
  • Juni bounces off a target which propels him into space – he crash lands on the moon.
  • Juni has to fight Demetra from the top of giant robotic monsters. The children do the actions with their hands, but the robots do the actual fighting.
  • During a high speed motorised machine race, a large machine with pincers grabs Juni’s machine from above him leaving him on a wheel hub.
  • Juni and another boy Arnold, have to fight with laser beams; Arnold traps Juni with claws.
  • A giant lava monster throws lava rocks at the children.
  • Large robotic monkeys leave the game and enter the real world where they cause much destruction. Juni’s family fight them off managing to destroy them all.

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.

Younger children in this age group would probably be scared by the monsters and robotic creatures in this movie. The virtual reality makes it all very unrealistic and the older children in this age group might not find it scary.

The 3D effect adds to the fun and would also increase the scariness for younger children. As well as the violence mentioned above, children in this age group would probably also be scared by the following scenes:

  • Carmen floats in suspended space while she is trapped in the game.
  • Grandfather transforms from being in a wheelchair into a large powerful person while he’s in the game then reverts back to being in a wheelchair afterwards.
  • The fact that the robots leave the game and enter the real world.
  • One of the robotic monkeys almost swallows Carmen.

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 in this age group would probably not be scared by this movie as they would understand it is only portraying a video game.

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.

Children over the age of thirteen would not be scared by this movie.

Sexual references

There are no sexual references in this movie.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity in this movie.

Use of substances

There is no use of substances in this movie.

Coarse language

There is no coarse language in this movie.

In a nutshell

The underlying theme of this movie is forgiveness of others and self.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • friendship
  • co-operation
  • forgiveness of others and self.

Values parents may wish to discourage include the use of violence as a way to get ahead.

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