Australian Council on Children and the Media

Tooth Fairy

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Short takes

PG under 8 (Violence, disturbing scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Tooth Fairy
  • a review of Tooth Fairy completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 January 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and disturbing 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: Tooth Fairy
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

??????Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) earned his name on the ice hockey field as ‘the Tooth Fairy’ due to his aggressive behaviour and ability to knock out his opponents’ teeth. After sustaining a serious shoulder injury, he was moved down to a minor grade and now has a tough and cynical approach to life. His attitude results in him dashing children’s hopes and aspirations, and affects his relationship with his girlfriend (Ashley Judd) and her children.

Derek’s behaviour comes to the attention of the Head Fairy (Julie Andrews) who sentences Derek to a week working as a real Tooth Fairy, complete with wings. He is assigned to a carer named Tracy (Stephen Merchant) who is given the task of rehabilitating Derek from a hard-nosed cynic to a more caring and kind-hearted person.

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.

Children in single parent families

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 sporting action, and frequent accidental harm mainly played for laughs. Examples include:

•    Accidental, and deliberate, pushing and shoving on the ice rink
•    A player is pushed through a glass barrier, shattering glass everywhere and losing his tooth.
•    Derek reacts badly when he finds himself in fairyland and pushes fairies out of his way.
•    Derek and Tracy constantly bicker, push each other and fight with fairy wands.
•    During a flying lesson, Derek gets assaulted with tennis balls, including to his genitals.
•    Derek gets squashed behind a door
•    Derek suffers a lot of accidental damage as a tooth fairy, including falling off beds and over balconies.

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:

  • Derek shrinks to a very small size and has to walk past a cat. The cat chases Derek down the passageway.
  • Derek buys some faulty merchandise from a bad fairy and when he uses it, his head shrinks and expands and transforms into funny shapes.
  • Derek gives one of the players a mint which makes him bark and growl like a dog.
  • Derek steals some tooth fairy money to continue gambling.
  • A young boy wakes up when Derek falls off his bed and screams when he sees him.
  • Derek uses his invisibility spray and enters a house where a woman can hear him moving about and can see the path he makes – she thinks he’s a ghost and cries out before fainting.

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.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of 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.

?Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

??The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Coca Cola
  • Dunkin’ Donuts

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

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

  • There are some magic substances used in this movie such as shrinking paste which makes Derek shrink, invisibility spray, mints that can make a person bark like a dog, and amnesia dust which makes you forget what just happened.

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Tooth Fairy is a family comedy that could appeal to all ages. Julie Andrews is a wonderful Head Fairy while Dwayne Johnson is hilarious in a tutu.

The main messages from this movie are

  • the importance of magic and fantasy for children
  • the need to have dreams and aspirations.

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

  • encouraging children to have dreams and hopes for the future
  • letting children have their fantasy world
  • kind-heartedness
  • tact and diplomacy

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the problems faced by children in single parent families and the importance of not taking out frustrations and personal disappointments on other people.

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