Australian Council on Children and the Media

The Big Trip

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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 8 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for The Big Trip
  • a review of The Big Trip completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 March 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 5–8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 Ok for this age group though may lack interest for older children.

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: The Big Trip
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, Animated violence
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mic Mic (voice of Pauley Shore) is a grumpy grizzly bear who is quite content to live alone on the edge of the forest. When an inept stork accidentally delivers a baby panda to his gate, Mic Mic decides to set off in search of the panda’s rightful parents. As luck should have it but much to Mic Mic’s displeasure, an unfortunate rabbit named Oscar (voice of Drake Bell), who seems to encounter no end of trouble, decides to tag along. The unlikely pair are soon joined by Duke (voice of Stephen Thomas Ochsner) a flamboyant pelican who can’t stop talking; Amur (voice of Joseph Sell) a poetic tiger; and Janus (voice of Danila Medvedev) a lone wolf who journeys through life constantly paralysed by fear. As the group journey in search of the panda’s parents, they must keep the baby safe from the perils they encounter, particularly from an evil and dangerous snake bent on revenge. Soon the unlikely companions come to realise there is strength in numbers, that courage can come even from the most fearful and that friendships can be formed through adversity and adventure.

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.

Separation of a baby panda from its parents, revenge, overcoming fear.

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 scary snake is about to eat a wild pig who appears to be hypnotised.
  • The snake chases monkeys through the forest attempting to attack and harm them. Just when it looks like he is about to strike them he bites his own tail instead. The monkeys fly through the air and crash to the ground.
  • A large panda grabs the snake by the neck and roughly throws him into the trees. The snake threatens revenge as he slithers away.
  • A rocket, also Oscar’s house, explodes with Oscar inside it. Bits of debris fall from the sky punching holes in Mic Mic’s boat and upsetting his bee hives. Oscar crashes to the ground unhurt.
  • A stork reminisces about a botched delivery and it was implied that a horse father, upset that it clearly wasn’t his offspring, trampled a baby zebra to death.
  • A stork is hit by flying shrapnel, gets a bucket on his head and crashes into a tree.
  • Oscar falls through the roof of Mic Mic’s raft.
  • Mic Mic repeatedly slams his head into a wooden pole when the baby panda cries.
  • The snake throws Oscar against a huge rock and Oscar lies there unconscious. The snake wraps himself around Mic Mic; he smashes through rocks blasting bits of stone to the side as he goes. Janus joins the fight and they manage to tie the snake to a tree, into a knot and fling him into the air. He lands in the distance with a huge crash.

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:

  • The movie opens with a sinister voice hissing in the forest. It is followed by an intense action scene where a creepy, evil, snake tries to eat a wild pig, three monkeys break the hypnotising spell and the snake chases them through the forest repeatedly trying to attack them. The scene is loud, intense and suspenseful and is likely to be too much, too soon, for very young viewers.
  • A wolf is shown running through the darkened woods, clearly terrified of numerous sounds that it hears. Suddenly a sinister voice begins to echo through the darkness telling the wolf that it is his own fear. The wolf collapses in terror as the voice keeps whispering all about the things he fears. Eventually the wolf stands up and runs off begging the voice to get out of his head.

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:

  • Mic Mic’s raft gets into dangerous waters. It begins to hit rocks in the rapids of a river and the characters start to panic. Mic Mic is shouting and the baby panda is crying. Ultimately the raft hits some large rocks and explodes into pieces. The characters are uninjured but the scene is intense and may distress some children.
  • There is a creepy rock cave, with a snake mouth and fiery flames. Inside the evil snake is holding the baby panda hostage. The baby is crying and clearly very scared. The snake is preparing to cook the baby and hisses at it not to cry as then it won’t taste good. The snake is interrupted before it can do any harm but the creepiness of the snake and the fact that the baby panda is cowering in distress may disturb some viewers.

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

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • There is a verbal reference to Dolce and Gabbana.

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:

  • Infrequent name-calling such as “Blabbermouth,” “Knucklehead,” “Pathetic Loser,” “Fluff head,” “Stupid,” “Clown” and “Idiot.”

In a nutshell

The Big Trip is a Russian, animated adventure with good graphics and quirky characters. While this film is aimed at a family audience, the violence and scary scenes warrant it unsuitable for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended to 8. Furthermore, the fairly predictable plot may lack interest for older children. The film will therefore, likely be most enjoyed by children around nine.

The main messages from this movie are to believe in yourself, to complete what you start and that friendships can be found in the most unlikely places.

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

  • Teamwork
  • Determination
  • Helpfulness
  • Friendship
  • Courage.

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

  • Anger management issues.
  • The impact of blaming others and picking on their faults while ignoring your own.
  • Believing that you don’t need friends and that you are better off on your own without help from anyone.

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