To all parents - Please take a moment to check out the Blue Ray movie trailers prior to the Happy Feet 2 movie on DVD.
The series of violent, scary, realistic and shocking images are totally unsuitable for young innocent children. Large realistic dinosaurs jumping out of the screen, a giant scorpion, slow motion images of a man being punched so hard in the head that the flesh on his face moves on impact, scary wolves and warrior scenes similar to the images of battle on Lord of the Rings.
We are used to pressing the menu button in order to start the movie quick and don't usually sit through all the advertised trailers. Our children have learnt how to operate the DVD player so we thought nothing of handing over control as Happy Feet 1 was no problem. It turns out that all the movies advertised are for a much, much older age range so this is clearly a disasterous error, but the damage is done now.
I wondered why our daughter suddenly and unexpectedly started getting awful nightmares and when I realised and sat through the trailer I literally cried. The images flash up really quick and without warning in quick succession. I am furious as like everyone else, we try our best to protect but this got into our living room under the radar.
I think I know what you mean - it's the advert for Blu-Ray as a format, a whole montage of clips from various films showcasing the range out on Blu-Ray. Someone didn't think that through, making one generic version stuck in front of all films...
Oh yeah, that's awful. Actually, the BBFC just started a six week consultation period to take on public opinion about age certification. This may not strictly speaking be applicable (they may not have control over 'format advertising' clips) but if you go to the BBFC website and click on the online survey link you may be able to make your views known?
This whole thing grew out of sudden nightmares on the part of our youngest girl. On realising where the problem came from we contacted Tesco, who put us on to Warner Brothers and we also contacted the BBFC. After a lot of exhausting toing and froing it ended up with Warners admitting the wrong trailers, unsuitable for a 'U' film, had been put onto the master copy. They undertook to replace all unsold stock with a new version, cleaned up. This they had cleared with the BBFC.
We finally got a long telephone call with Warners Operations Director when we very strongly urged her that Warners step up to the mark and come clean and recall the 250000 DVDs already sold. (Remember the horse meat scandal was just breaking at this point, so Tescos reaction to us was just to dive behind Warners and hope we would go away). She stated that they had taken legal advice and that this response was 'appropriate and proportionate' but she would take our concerns on. The final response was that, (after 'taking it back to the business)', 'Our decision is that we are not going to do a full recall'.
They told us that we were the only people to complain to them, so this may have been a factor but we did try very hard to reason with them that to be honest and open would not harm Warners image in any way but obviously they did not agree.
There the matter rests, we are not in a position to take this further despite our having huge concerns about this film damaging very young minds. It is also part of the general level of screen violence seen routinely by young children having a deleterious effect on their behaviour patterns overall. The standards set on the BBFC website for each category seem to us to be so out of kilter with what we would want our children to see that we no longer have any confidence in those categorisations.
Hopefully with the publicity generated by Mumsnet, we can do a bit of good here.
If anyone wants all the names of the 18 movies involved we will post them a bit later tonight.
This is Mike talking. I'm new to Mumsnet and the one thing I do not want to do is 'spam' the board - but - I run a website called Is This Movie Suitable.com with my wife and this is a fascinating story.
Would you be interested in me interviewing you about this? I think it would certainly be in the interest of parents everywhere to ensure that they are careful when sticking an otherwise perfectly fine DVD on and leaving the room temporarily.
If you are interested then please either let me know here or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to set this up?
I really don't want to spam, but this seems like just the sort of thing we set up the site to bring awareness to.
The films included in the Bluray clips and their BBFC classifications are: Inception (moderate violence 12) Clash of the Titans ( ditto) Sherlock Holmes (ditto) 300 (strong bloody violence 15) The Dark Knight (moderate fantasy violence 12A) Gone With the Wind (mild sex references PG) The Hangover (very strong language, nudity, sex references and drug use 15) Blade Runner (15) Cats and Dogs, Revenge of Kitty galore (U) Sex and the City 2 (15) Legend of the Guardian (scary scenes PG) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (12) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 (moderate fantasy violence 12) Journey to the Center of the Earth (scary scenes PG)
There are 18 clips with everything from men in masks, sword fighting, dinosaurs with open mouths jumping out at you, huge scorpions, battle scenes, a demonstration of a man being punched in slow motion, The Penguin from Batman, a disaster movie, sea monster scene and a helicopter crash. The images are really quick and shocking.
Dear MikeandLor, Sorry, and no offence meant to you, but we have been made very tired by the process of getting this far. We have put the facts of the matter out for Mumsnet viewers to look at and if anything good comes of this then we are very happy that we have done what we can do. What we have put out are the facts as we know them to be, feel free to use them as you will. Interviews and publicity simply are not for us. We will monitor this link and contribute if we can.