Story

Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues is a sequel to the 2013 movie, Belle and Sebastian. The movie is set in a picturesque village in the French Alps, where nine-year-old orphan Sebastian (Felix Bossuet) is living happily with his adopted grandfather Cesar (Tcheky Karyo) and his best friend Belle, a large white Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It is 1945 and Sebastian’s cousin Angelina (Margaux Chatelier) is due to return from fighting for the French Resistance. Tragically, Angelina’s plane crashes into a forest on the border with Italy, causing a large forest fire. Angelina is presumed dead.

Cesar refuses to believe that Angelina is dead and decides to hire a pilot to fly over the forest, searching for signs of survival. The only pilot available is a rogue called Pierre (Thierry Neuvic), who Cesar knows to be Sebastian’s father. Although Cesar is reluctant to hire Pierre, he knows it is his only hope. Cesar tells Sebastian that Pierre is his father, but together they decide to keep it a secret. 

When Pierre agrees to fly over the forest in search of Angelina, Sebastian and Belle hide on board the plane. When resulting events cause them to makes a crash-landing by a lake near the forest, Sebastian, Belle and Pierre are stranded and decide to search for Angelina on foot. Braving the forest fire, they set off on a perilous adventure during which they forge many new relationships.

Themes

Loss of a parent; abandonment; war; natural disasters, gender stereotypes

Violence

Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues has some violence. For example:

  • Cesar is very frustrated with a communication radio, so he hits it violently and it breaks.
  • Belle attacks Pierre and bites his arm. Pierre loses control of his aeroplane and it crashes. No-one is harmed.
  • To stop Sebastian from going into the fire, Pierre forcefully picks him up and locks him in a van.
  • Belle discovers a large brown bear in the forest. The bear is trying to attack a young girl who has climbed up into a tree. The bear attacks Belle, and Sebastian is terrified that the bear is going to kill his dog. Belle is knocked to the ground but isn’t hurt.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • There is a graphic scene of an aeroplane malfunctioning and crashing into a forest. There are also scenes of the wreckage, but are no dead bodies are shown.
  • Sebastian is tobogganing down a grassy slope and can’t brake quickly enough. He nearly falls off the cliff but stops himself just in the nick of time.
  • There is a complex emotional scene where Cesar explains to Sebastian who his father is and how his mother was abandoned and then died. Although children under five years might not understand the conversation fully, they might notice Sebastian’s confusion and distress.
  • Sebastian and Gabriella venture into the forest fire and find themselves trapped among the burning trees. They must escape before the fire engulfs them.
  • Sebastian, Pierre and Gabriella need to go into a dangerous rocky cave to rescue Angelina. Sebastian is lowered on a rope down into a deep crevasse. The escape from the cave is very tense. They must get out as fast as possible but not fall into the crevasse. The scene culminates in a large explosion, and it’s not clear whether Pierre has survived.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group, particularly those who can read the subtitles or speak French. For example:

  • There is an emotionally distressing scene in which Sebastian discovers that his cousin Angelina is believed dead.
  • The scene when Sebastian is told about his father is likely to be distressing for children in this age group.
  • When Pierre notices that Sebastian is wearing an identity tag that once belonged to him, he gets very upset and shakes the boy. Sebastian is forced to reveal himself as Pierre’s son. This is a very emotionally tense and moving scene.

From 8-13
Children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie, although it is an emotional movie for both children and adults.

Sexual references

Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues has some mild sexual references. For example:

  • Pierre describes how he met Sebastian’s mother and how they had to meet secretly because gypsy men didn’t like other men being with their girls.

When Pierre and Angelina meet, there is romantic chemistry between them. Sebastian and Gabriella comment that they’re ‘head over heels’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues has some mild coarse language, including mild insults and French swear words, which aren’t subtitled.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues is an entertaining, moving and well-made family drama.

There is plenty of adventure and excitement to engage older children and the themes are complex and relevant to modern life. But because of the movie’s emotional themes and scary scenes, we don’t recommend it for children under 9 years, and we do recommend parental guidance for children aged 9-13 years. And because the movie is in French with English subtitles, it’s likely to be difficult for non-French speakers with limited reading skills to understand.

The main message from this movie is that with great determination and courage, you can be a hero.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include self-initiative, bravery and loyalty.

You could also talk with your children about:

  • Sebastian’s relationship with his newly discovered father
  • Gabriella’s need to pretend to be a boy so she can do what she wants to do.