- Movie Reviews
- App Reviews
- Top Tips
- Take Action
Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 12 (disturbing themes, animated violence, some scary scenes, and crude humour)
This topic contains:
|Children under 8||Not suitable due to disturbing themes (cruel, selfish parents; children wanting their parents dead), animated violence, some scary scenes, and crude humour.|
|Children aged 8–12||Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing themes (cruel, selfish parents; children wanting their parents dead), animated violence, some scary scenes, and crude humour.|
|Children aged 12 and over||Ok for this age group.|
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:||Willoughbys, The|
|Consumer advice lines:||Mild Crude Humour, Mild Themes, Mild Violence|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
The Willoughbys are a dysfunctional family of four children, Tim (voice of Will Forte), Jane (Alessia Cara) and twins Barnaby A and B (voice of Sean Cullen), who suffer under their horribly selfish parents, Mother (voice of Jane Krakowski) and Father (voice of Martin Short). Mr and Mrs Willoughby are so much in love and absorbed by each other, that they don't have any love or time left for their children and "their childish needs". Tim learns from an early age not to seek love from his Mother but to find it elsewhere. The children are neglected and punished for trivial matters and Tim often ends up in the coal bin. Fed up with being neglected, maltreated, and starved for love as well as food, the young Willoughbys hatch a plan to rid themselves of their self-centred parents and become orphans. The plan is to create a travel brochure to lure their parents away to foreign places, however, the travel plan is full of deadly traps, devised with the hope the parents will never return.
Things do not turn out exactly as planned when the children realise that their parents found a Nanny for them before they left. Nanny (voice of Maya Rudolph) was the cheapest the parents could find but she turns out to be really nice. Before discovering this, however, Tim advises Children's Services that they have a bad nanny. The children are separated and taken into care. Tim now has to devise a new plan to get his parents back so the children can be together again. The plan has a major flaw though; obliviously escaping every single death trap, their parents are planning to sell the family home to finance more adventures and Tim does not know if their parents will even want to take them back.
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.
Childhood neglect and abuse; Dysfunctional families; Orphans; Resilience; Determination; Making the best of one’s fate; The importance of family.
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 a lot of slapstick violence in this movie including:
Other violence includes:
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:
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:
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:
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 further of concern.
There are some sexual references in this movie, including:
There is some coarse language in this movie, including:
Based on Lois Lowry's novel with the same title, The Willoughbys is a very dark animated comedy. It is narrated by a cat (Ricky Gervais) and is fast paced. Some crude jokes and comments are clearly aimed at adults rather than at children. There are some positive messages to be drawn and the movie’s slapstick humour gives it a light appearance but its themes are dark and disturbing. Therefore, it is not suitable for children under 8 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 8 – 12 years to make sure the movie is not taken literally, and to help these older children understand the dark humour and exaggeration. Best suited to teens and above.
The main messages from this movie are that despite adversity the human spirit can remain strong, smart, resilient, hopeful and creative; everyone needs and deserves love; and that it is important to keep an open mind and heart.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.
Content is age appropriate for children this age
Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended
Content is not age appropriate for children this age
Children and Media Australia (CMA) is a registered business name of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM).
CMA provides reviews, research and advocacy to help children thrive in a digital world.
ACCM is national, not-for-profit and reliant on community support. You can help.