Australian Council on Children and the Media

The Queen's Corgi

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Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 13 (Adult concepts, Violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for The Queen's Corgi
  • a review of The Queen's Corgi completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 December 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to adult concepts and animated violence.
Children aged 10–13 Parental guidance recommended due to adult concepts and animated violence.
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.

Name of movie: The Queen's Corgi
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and animated violence
Length 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Queen of England (voice of Julie Walters) receives a corgi puppy as a present from Prince Phillip (Tom Courtenay) that she names Rex (Jack Whitehall). Rex soon becomes her favourite, much to the annoyance of the older dogs, Nelson (Anthony Skordi), Margaret (Lin Gallagher) and, particularly, Charlie (Matt Lucas). Rex is quickly elevated to top dog but falls from favour when, at a state dinner for the visiting US president, he bites Donald Trump (Jon Culshaw) in the ‘unmentionable place’.

Charlie sees this as his opportunity and suggests to Rex that they run away to live in the Pope’s palace. Rex is unsure about leaving his palatial lifestyle, but Charlie persuades him. Charlie, however, has other plans and pushes Rex off a bridge into freezing water. Fortunately, Rex is saved but he ends up in a dog pound. There he meets Wanda (Sheridan Smith) who he instantly falls in love with but Wanda belongs to Tyson (Ray Winstone), a large Pitbull. Tyson runs a fight club which Rex gets initiated into. Rex eventually manages to escape with the help of Wanda and the other dogs, but still has a long way to get back to Buckingham Palace.

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.

Adult themes; bullying; predatory sexual behaviour; treachery and betrayal.

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 violence in this movie including:

  • Prince Phillip throws a slipper at Rex.
  • Charlie drags Rex by the scruff.
  • Charlie and Rex cross a busy road, dodging cars. Rex gets hit side-on but is unhurt.
  • Charlie reveals that he’s jealous of Rex and says that he’s entitled to be the top dog. He then pushes Rex off a bridge into the freezing Thames river.
  • Tyson approaches Rex growling and threatening. He then proceeds to pick Rex up by the tail, hits him several times and throws him against the wall.
  • Rex has to fight the Boxer in the fight club but at the last-minute Tyson steps in to take the Boxer’s place. The fight is about to start when Rex runs away. He falls through pipes and lands at the gate of a furnace. The Boxer then lights the boiler and Tyson is about to put Rex in the fire when Wanda turns the power off.
  • Tyson is about to hit Wanda when Rex stands in front of her and takes the punch, which sends him flying. Chief steps up and takes Tyson on, with one punch he knocks out all of Tyson’s teeth.
  • Rex finally gets back to the palace with Wanda. When Charlie sees him, he knocks over a cupboard of ornaments which collapse on top of them both. Charlie then sets fire to the ornaments and blocks the door. Rex manages to get out from underneath. He can’t find Wanda but eventually pulls her out unconscious. He manages to save Wanda but he seems to be trapped. This is another intense scene.

    Some of the violence is done for laughs such as:
  • Rex throws objects at the other corgis.
  • The dogs often knock the butler over as they rush by.
  • The dogs knock an armoured statue over causing much havoc.
  • Trump grabs the Queen by the arm and accidentally pulls her over.
  • Mitzy (Melania’s spoilt corgi) aggressively pursues Rex even though he isn’t interested in her. He begs the Queen not to leave him with her. She lassoes Rex by the leg and drags him to her.
  • Mitzy chases after Rex who goes flying over the bannister.
  • Rex bites Trump in the ‘unmentionable area’ which causes him to send his soup bowl flying and spills all over the Queen.
  • Rex has to train for the fight club. He’s put in a washing machine which spins around and Rex’s face can be seen against the window. All Rex’s attempts at fighting end with him on the floor.

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 of the dogs in the pound are very scary looking, particularly Tyson. He’s a large Pitbull with huge teeth and angry eyes and attitude.
  • Charlie leads Rex into St. James’ Park which looks very scary to Rex. It’s cold and misty and he sees strange shapes. The geese start chasing them and Rex is very frightened.

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:

  • Rex falls into the frozen river and the ice starts to crack. Rex falls through the freezing water and is trapped underneath by a bicycle wheel. It appears that he might have drowned as he starts to imagine he’s back in the palace with the Queen. This is quite a scary scene.
  • Rex appears very sad inside the cage in the pound. He says to his cellmates Jack and Chief that he was betrayed by his best friend. Jack tells Rex that Chief, a very large sad looking dog, was starved by his former owners.
  • Charlie smears Rex’s collar in a red substance and the Queen thinks he’s been eaten by a fox. A graveside service is held for Rex.

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:

  • The underground basement where the fight club is held is a particularly nasty scene. Tyson is definitely in charge and a fight occurs between a mean looking Boxer and a Dobermann. Before the fight takes place, Wanda sings a seductive song and pole dances! The Dobermann is later seen being carried away on a stretcher. This is quite a disturbing scene for younger viewers.
  • Wanda later returns to the burnt-out room to try to find Rex. She, Jack and Chief search everywhere in the smoke and ruins.

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 further concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Coca Cola.

Sexual references

There are quite a lot of sexual references in this movie, including:

  • The Queen and Prince Phillip are shown in bed together reading books. The Prince puts his arm around the Queen and finds Rex in-between them.
  • Rex begs the Queen not to leave him with Mitzy who aggressively pursues him. Mitzy pulls Rex into her carriage which is shown bouncing around. Mitzy tells Rex, “I hope you’re ready for your first kiss”. This is supposed to be funny but is quite disturbing.
  • Prince Phillip asks Melania what attracted her to Trump to which she replies, ‘his big hands don’t hurt’.
  • Rex is being examined by a vet when he suddenly wakes up and tells the vet that she’s crossed the line.
  • A man dressed in drag, comes to the pound to look for a dog. Rex thinks it’s the Queen but then realises that “he’s no queen”, Jack replies, “not so sure about that mate”.
  • While Wanda sings, all of the male dogs pant after her. Rex says, “she’s hot” and has fallen for her. He’s been seduced by her female charm.
  • Wanda flirts with Rex, rubs his back and they rub bodies and dance together.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Nelson asks Margaret if she’s, “been at the brandy again”.
  • Drinking wine at the royal dinner.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Blasted
  • Damn it
  • Tyson tells Rex “You’re dead”
  • Tyson also tells Wanda she’s dead
  • Name calling such as: little wimp, loser, old fool.

In a nutshell

The Queen’s Corgi is an animated comedy based on real people. Parents should be aware that the movie contains adult concepts, disturbing scenes and gender stereotypes which make it unsuitable for children under 10. Older children might find it entertaining but parental guidance is recommended to 13.

The main message from this movie is that you can achieve more together than alone.

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

  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Teamwork.

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

  • Why was Charlie such a nasty character? Did he get what he deserved?
  • When Rex said he wasn’t interested in Mitzy she should have accepted that and not relentlessly pursued him.

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