When Cecile (Caroline Anglade) goes to Prague for a work trip, her son Sebastian (Robinson Mensah-Rouanet) is reluctantly invited by his aunt Noemie (Alice David) and his grandmother Corinne (Michelle Laroque) to spend the summer with them on their farm, and to later help them herd sheep in the mountains. By chance, Sebastian has a run-in with Belle, a beautiful sheepdog abused by her owner Gas (Syrus Shahidi), who also happens to be Noemie’s boyfriend. Initially scared of Belle, Sebastian soon learns to put his fear aside and he helps Belle escape from Gas. Sebastian and Belle encounter each other again in the mountains and Belle proves herself invaluable on several occasions. The two quickly develop a fast friendship and when Belle is once again discovered and captured by Gas, Sebastian will stop at nothing to protect the dog he has come to love, even if it means risking his own life in the process.
Family dysfunction; animal abuse, threats to animals and children; corrupt business practices; deceitful behaviour; anger management issues
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation has some violence. For example:
- A bully roughs-up a random character.
- A child gets hit by a car.
- Belle runs away from Gas (who pursues her on a quadbike) and is terrified and whimpering when he finally catches up to her and forces her into a metal collar.
- Belle attacks Sebastian when he gets too close to the sheep.
- Gas kicks and hits Belle.
- Gas makes the motion of a gun with his fingers and shoots it in the direction of some local kids. He freaks them out when a can flies into the air after he does this.
- Belle kills a hedgehog by breaking its neck.
- Gas violently smashes his hands against the steering wheel in aggravation. He looks like he is coming unhinged.
- Gas threatens to kill Belle if Sebastian mentions the lake he has found.
- Wolves attack a flock of sheep, killing several of them. Their bloody bodies are shown lying on the ground and being loaded into a truck.
- Belle fights off a wolf. She is viciously bitten a few times but manages to run the pack off in the end.
- Gus pursues Belle with a hunting rifle, shooting at her repeatedly as Sebastian tries to get her to run.
- Sebastian uses a parachute to glide off the mountain towards Belle but gets pulled off course by strong winds and loses control. He crashes into a group of trees and lands unconscious on the ground.
- Belle runs at Gas and knocks him over a rocky ledge where he falls into a small pit. He is later shown to be bruised but otherwise unharmed.
- Gas shoots Belle while she is trying to bring help for Sebastian who is lying unconscious in a den full of wolves. Gas points the gun at Noemie before finally lowering the weapon when he appears to begin to understand the gravity of what he has done.
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation has some sexual references. For example:
- Gas tells a young girl, who is sunbathing in a bikini top, that she has beautiful eyes. It’s not exactly sexual, but it is creepy and the girl herself is very uneasy around him.
- Sebastian asks Corinne about why some of the sheep are different colours and she replies that is has to do with the sheep that have been mounted. Sebastian doesn’t understand so she vaguely explains about how the mounted sheep will have babies. Sebastian later helps her deliver one.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation has some substance use. For example:
- Gas smokes cigarettes.
- Gas offers cigarettes to a bunch of boys who accept them. He leaves the pack with them for good measure, promising that they will be rewarded if they help him find Belle.
Nudity and sexual activity
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Sebastian is shown peeing outside one night after he couldn’t bring himself to urinate in a bottle. The stream of wee is shown more than anything else.
- A girl is shown in a bikini top and short shorts, sunbathing with a bunch of boys.
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation has some product placement. For example, Instagram is mentioned.
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation has some coarse language, name-calling and insults.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation is a heartfelt, French adventure with English subtitles. Loosely based on the book by Cecile Aubry, the story is filmed in the French Alps and features beautiful cinematography. Although at first glance this would appear to be a children’s film, the movie is better suited to tweens and more mature audiences.
These are the main messages from Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation:
- Always show kindness to others.
- Good deeds are eventually rewarded.
- When the time comes, we can draw on stores of unimaginable courage and bravery if we look inside ourselves and stay true to who we are.
Values in Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation that you could reinforce with your children are compassion, empathy, courage, kindness and loyalty.
Belle and Sebastian: Next Generation could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like these:
- Bullying others to get what you want.
- Deceiving your neighbours to make a profit.
- Hurting animals or threatening children. And what can be done if these things happen.