Map to Paradise, The

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Not suitable under 8, parental guidance to 13 (themes and graphic images).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Map to Paradise, The
  • a review of Map to Paradise, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 September 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes and images of animal cruelty.
Children aged 8–13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and images of animal cruelty.
Children over the age of 13 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Map to Paradise, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Map to Paradise is a powerful documentary about a new movement to save the ocean and all the creatures that call it home. Audiences will be taken around the world to different countries and communities who are playing a role in helping restore balance to the sea. The damaging practices that humankind has inflicted upon nature are shown, such as the terrible state of the marine ecosystem in Greece and the devastation wrought by the whaling industry. However, the movie also offers hope that there are ways to combat and restore what has happened. Viewers will meet Mario from Apo Island in the Philippines, who has grown his mother’s marine sanctuary into something that empowers his people, especially the girls, and is sharing his vision with other islands around his country as well as other nations around the world. Viewers will also see how the efforts of The Republic of Palau, who forcibly protect 80 percent of their water, are leading the world in terms of environmental protection and recovery. The documentary illustrates the efforts of reaching one of the United Nations goals about protecting the sea and shows us what is possible and what we must do if we are to restore balance to our incredible ecosystems.


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.

Animal distress; environmental distress; cruelty to animals and destruction of ecosystems. There is also the legend of a child who is killed by his community.

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:

  • Images of fish and sharks being speared or lying dead on the beach.
  • A story from Palau of a boy called Chaub, who has an insatiable appetite and, despite constantly feeding him, eventually the villagers realise that in order to save themselves they must destroy him. They set him on fire while he is sleeping. The story is told in illustrations as well as verbally and may be distressing to those not able to understand the logic behind his demise and only see the fact that a community is setting a young child on fire while he screams.
  • Video clips and photos of whales being harpooned, slaughtered and dragged onto ships and cut up.
  • Numerous sharks are stabbed and killed for their fins. Thousands of fins litter one sidewalk. Other kills are displayed as trophies.
  • Graphic images of sea life being mutilated and caught in nets.

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:

  • Photos are shown of abandoned whaling stations with masses of whale bones littering the beaches.
  • Whales are hunted and harpooned. Ship decks are filled with blood and the ocean water turns red.

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:

  • Images where lifeless fish and sharks are strung up like trophies.
  • Models are shown wearing the skins of the animals they are holding or standing beside, such as zebras and cheetahs.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Aside from the above-mentioned scenes there is nothing further in the movie that is likely to frighten children between the ages of eight to thirteen.

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be frightened by this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • The PADI diving program was used to successfully train many dive masters in Palau as part of a community and environmental development program. Some people wear hats and T-shirts with the PADI logo.

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:

  • One instance of “What the heck?”

In a nutshell

The Map to Paradise is an educational documentary about what is happening to the oceans of the world from a number of different perspectives. Animation, interviews and historical footage are used to piece together the movie’s important message. The movie is best suited to older children and adults.

The main messages from this movie are that we have done terrible things to our oceans’ ecosystems but if humanity makes some simple changes we may be able to reverse much of the damage. Also, each of us has a role to play in helping aid recovery and if we work together wonderful things can happen.

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

  • Dedication
  • Sustainability
  • Hope
  • Courage
  • Persistence and determination

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of:

  • conservation and doing the right thing for the environment as we are not independent of the world we live in, we are a part of it. Whatever we do to the world we ultimately do to ourselves.
  • protecting vast expanses of ocean and enforcing tough penalties for those that break the protection laws.
  • the empowerment of women and the important role that they can play, especially in island nations where many believe they are not strong enough to make a difference.