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  • Opening Page
  • No need to go into any depth here…just let them absorb what’s seen on screen and move on…
  • More obvious stuff for them to take in but I’d reiterate the importance of: Audience: address and appeal Moral Framework , especially with regard to films aimed at younger audiences Artistic/Educational Merit: perhaps explain the reasoning behind the 15-rated Saving Private Ryan or the 18 uncut given to Nine Songs (if you’re feeling brave) Harm: echoing the points made when talking about the VRA Offensiveness: talk about differing types e.g. racial, sexual…I always mention how difficult it can be to measure this factor for different audiences an example of the American Pie (or similar) Sex comedy franchise…mid-teens love it…most of their parents appear to be appalled by it! Context: we all know context is virtually everything in our game, so make the point, even if it is a little obvious


  • 1. Classifying films for children: U and PG
  • 2. BBFC current classification symbols
    • These are the current classification symbols for films targeted at young children and suitable
    • for family viewing
    • Which is the odd one out?
    • What do the symbols stand for?
    • 3. Which of the following examining issues do you think are the most relevant when
    • classifying films for young children?
  • 3. Examining: Issues
    • Violence
    • Language
    • Sex
    • Sexual References
    • Sexual Violence
    • Drugs
    • Criminal Activity
    • Weapons
    • Imitable Techniques
    • Horror
    • Theme
    • Legal Issues
    • Discrimination (added 2009)
  • 4. Wider considerations
    • Are there any wider considerations the examiners should consider?
  • 5. Wider Considerations
    • the work – its story, style, treatment
    • the audience – address and appeal
    • the moral framework
    • artistic or educational merit
    • potential level of offensiveness
    • precedent
    • possible harm
    • context
  • 6. U - Universal Suitable for All
    • Different children are upset by different things, so it is sometimes difficult to say what might upset a
    • particular child. However, U films should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over. If
    • there is any violence, threat or horror in a U film, it should be over quickly and the film should tell
    • children that everything will turn out okay. Films and DVDs for children should make clear to them the
    • difference between right and wrong. Examples of films passed U include Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang
    • and The Princess & the Frog.
    • Theme/Topics - Films and DVDs should be about subjects which are generally suitable for younger audiences.
    • Language - There should be very little mild bad language.
    • Nudity - There can be occasional glimpses of people who have no clothes on, as long as they are not linked to romantic activities.
    • Sex and relationships - Only mild references (e.g. to 'making love') and mild behaviour (e.g. kissing) are allowed.
    • Violence and Threat - Mild violence only. Some mild threat and menace are allowed.
    • Dangerous Behaviour - There should be no dangerous behaviour that can be easily copied by young children.
    • Weapons - There should be no focus on weapons that are realistic or easy to get hold of.
    • Horror - Moments with ghosts, witches and monsters should be over quickly and not be too scary. Nothing at U should really frighten or disturb young viewers. The film or DVD should tell children that everything is okay.
    • Drugs - Drugs should not be mentioned, unless the film or DVD teaches that drugs are dangerous.
    • Discrimination - There can be no language or behaviour shown that would offend a person’s religion, colour, gender, sexuality or disability, unless the film or DVD teaches it to be wrong.
  • 7. PG - Parental Guidance
    • Can be viewed by all ages, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
    • Children of any age may watch a PG rated film or DVD, with or without an adult. A 'PG' film should not
    • trouble or worry a child aged eight or older. However the PG does tell parents that the content of the film
    • may upset younger or more sensitive children. Examples of films passed PG include How to Train Your
    • Dragon and Tooth Fairy .
    • Theme/Topics - Films and DVDs may be about more grown up topics such as crime, racism, bullying or violence in the home. There must be nothing which suggests these are good things.
    • Language - Mild bad language only.
    • Nudity - Some nudity is allowed, but not if it is linked to romantic activities.
    • Sex and Relationships - Sex can be mentioned, suggested or joked about, but only discreetly.
    • Violence and Threat - There can be stronger violence than at U, but without detail. Violence which takes place in a comedy, fantasy, or historical film may be treated less strictly.
    • Dangerous Behaviour - There should be no detail of fighting techniques or other harmful and dangerous activities that children might easily copy.
    • Weapons - There should be no focus on weapons that are realistic or easy to get hold of. Weapons should not be made to look attractive.
    • Horror - Frightening scenes should not be too long or scary. Horror scenes which are part of a fantasy film may be treated less strictly.
    • Drugs - There should be no mention of illegal drugs or drug taking unless completely harmless, or the film carries an anti-drug message.
    • Discrimination - There can be no language or behaviour shown that would offend a person’s religion, colour, gender, sexuality or disability, unless the film or DVD teaches it to be wrong or is presented within an educational or historical context. Discrimination by a character who is seen as a hero by the audience is also unlikely to be allowed.
  • 8. Differences between U + PG
    • At PG, the following are acceptable:
    • Themes can be more grown up/serious
    • Sex and relationships can be joked about, discreet mentions are allowed
    • Violence + threat can be a little stronger
    • Horror – Can be scary, but not prolonged. Fantasy treated less strictly
    • Discrimination ok if educational/historical context
    • Otherwise, the same
  • 9.
    • Questions to consider:
    • How would you rate the following trailers?
    • What would you take into account?
    • What specific issues have you noted?
    • Use the examiners sheet provided in your folder
  • 10. Trailers
    • Tangled
    • Thor
    • Cars 2
    • Red Riding
    • Hood
  • 11. Tangled trailer
    • Issues – violence/threat
    • They would pass the work at for the following
    • reasons:
    • 'This is a trailer for an animated film based on the well-known fairytale, ‘Rapunzel’. The trailer is funny and silly in places so we know the film is likely to be a comedy. In the trailer, we see a man steal a jewel by descending into a room on a rope. Looking for a place to hide, he breaks into a tall tower. We then hear a loud ‘clang’ as he’s hit over the head with a frying pan. He wakes up tied to a chair by the long hair of the woman who hit him, Rapunzel. When he refuses to help her see the world, she throws him out of the window and the chair falls towards the camera. Out in the world, the pair are approached by two men with swords and we see a man with a hook for a hand. The hero hits the attackers with the frying-pan and he also fights a horse, who is holding a sword between his teeth. At the end of the trailer, the horse kicks the man in the stomach. The violence is exciting but it isn’t scary or upsetting, and there is comedy throughout the trailer. We don’t see any blood or injury at all and the various weapons never make contact with any of the characters. ‘
    • R
  • 12. Thor trailer
    • Issues: Weapons, Horror, Violence/Threat
    • The BBFC would therefore pass the work at for the following reasons:
    • 'This is a trailer for a film about a super hero, based on the Marvel comic book character. Thor, a man with super-human strength, is banished from his home planet and sent to Earth, where he must protect the citizens from a metal giant. The trailer contains some mild violence and horror. At the beginning, we see Thor break out of a hospital, throwing one of the medical staff against a wall, with a crashing noise. We see him kick some soldiers and push one through the side of a tunnel so he falls into space. We do not see any blood or injury and the actual blows are not clear. Later, in a scene that takes place in the dark, we see Thor kick a man in the chest with both feet. Back on Thor’s home planet, he is reprimanded by an old man, who tells him he has been ‘reckless and arrogant’ and talks about how he has led his peaceful people to war. We see men and women holding weapons and clashing in some sort of battle. The scene is very quickly edited, so the action is not clear.
  • 13. Thor trailer continued
    • When Thor is expelled, he is sent through swirly clouds and lands in a field on Earth. On Earth a large metal man marches through a small town as the people look on in fear. The robot swipes cars aside and we see some fires and explosions. We do not see anybody actually hurt and there is no blood. The weapons in the film are not realistic. Thor has a large hammer and we see some large swords and other medieval-looking weapons. They are not similar to anything that we might come across in real life. The trailer also contains a scene where Thor kisses a young woman on the lips. The trailer feels like a family action film, with lots of adventure and exciting scenes. It is too strong for ‘U’, where very young children may be upset by the violence and the characters in danger. It is similar to other ‘PG’ trailers though, like those for other action or super hero films like the IRON MAN films or TRANSFORMERS. '
  • 14. Cars 2 trailer
    • Issues: Violence/Threat
    • The BBFC would pass the work at for the following reasons:
    • 'This is a ‘teaser’ trailer for an animated sequel to the popular Pixar film ‘Cars’. The characters from the original film travel to Japan to take place in an international race and get caught up in a spy mission. As the trailer opens, we see Lightning McQueen racing against other cars on a city race-track. In a garage, one car rams the side of another, but it isn’t clear why and we don’t see any damage to the car. Later, a car is dragged through the window by the hook on a pick-up truck but seems to enjoy the experience. Another car, a British spy vehicle that seems to be a James Bond character, fires a missile at another car. However, we don’t see the missile hit anything. This is a short trailer and there are plenty of jokes mixed in with the action. The audience is never in doubt that everything will be OK in the end and this is exciting, thrilling stuff. '
  • 15. Red Riding Hood trailer
    • Issues: Horror, Violence/Threat, Sex & Nudity
    • They would pass the work at for the following reasons:
    • 'This is a trailer for a live action version of the classic fairy tale. Red Riding Hood and her woodcutter boyfriend discover that a werewolf has been attacking the inhabitants of a village. As the trailer begins, Red Riding Hood and a man embrace in a wood. We learn that her hand in marriage has been promised to another and they vow to always be together. We then see the body of a woman lying on the ground in the middle of the village and a voice says ‘He’s killed again’. There is no detail of any blood on the woman’s body and the scene is shown from above. Tense music plays as we learn that there is a werewolf at large and that he is probably someone in the village. The heads of all the villagers turn to the camera in quite a spooky moment. Red Riding Hood and her boyfriend kiss and embrace in several sequences and he is seen pushing her down onto the floor, with the suggestion that they might have sex. We then see people carrying torches and running from something. As the trailer ends, we hear the wolf roar and see Red Riding Hood wearing a mask in a room full of candles. Although there is no detail in the violence, the trailer is quite scary and it is too strong for a ‘PG’ because children might be frightened by the on-screen action. The suggestion that Red Riding Hood and her boyfriend are having sex would also be too strong for ‘PG’. '