Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is a 10-year-old outsider who desperately wants to fit it in at his local Hitler Youth brigade. His imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler (Taika Watiti). Jojo and Adolf discover that Jojo’s beloved mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), is harbouring a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie). As Jojo struggles with his Nazi fanaticism and his mother’s ‘betrayal’ of Germany, he goes on a journey that opens his eyes to the truth of the war and the beliefs he has so ardently defended.
War; death; love; racism; anti-Semitism
Jojo Rabbit has some violence. For example:
- A Hitler Youth trainee throws a knife at a tree. The knife bounces back and hits another child in the thigh.
- Hitler Youth trainees play war games that involve pretending to kill each other with rocks. This is presented as funny.
- A child is asked to strangle a rabbit to death. He refuses, so an older boy kills the rabbit instead.
- An older Hitler Youth member threatens to crush Jojo’s head with his boot.
- Jojo accidentally sets off a grenade near himself and is rushed to hospital with severe injuries.
- A man is kicked in the groin.
- Dead bodies hang by their necks in the village centre.
- Jojo stabs Elsa in the shoulder. She is OK, but blood is visible.
- There are war sequences in which people (including children) are shot and killed.
Jojo Rabbit has some sexual references. For example, there’s a reference to ‘tongue kissing’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Jojo Rabbit shows some use of substances. For example:
- Characters drink.
- Imaginary Hitler offers Jojo cigarettes many times.
Nudity and sexual activity
Jojo Rabbit has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Jojo Rabbit is a satirical depiction of the experience of a 10-year-old Hitler Youth trainee, as he discovers the truth about Nazism and the Jewish people.
Jojo Rabbit has strong violence, language, and themes of war, death, loss and anti-Semitism. Therefore Jojo Rabbit isn’t suitable for children under 15 years. It does have strong performances, great pacing, funny dialogue and sequences, and poignantly dramatic moments, so it’s likely to appeal to older teenagers and adults.
The main messages from this movie are to treat others with respect and to help others, even in the face of overwhelming abuse.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:
- being brave
- showing empathy
- not judging people by their appearance.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- Nazism – the movie handles this in a satirical way, so the grave nature of Nazi crimes might not be clear to some children and teenagers
- body-shaming – for example, there are jokes about a child being fat
- the dangers of playing with knives, guns, and explosives.