Arkie (Jillian Nguyen) is a 12-year-old girl who lives on a peninsula with her adopted dad Blister (Rob Collins), an octopus. Their environment is constantly being robbed of sunlight due to the evil experiments of Dr Maybee (Sam Neil), who lives in a large, futuristic city full of light. Maybee runs the city as a supposedly kind ruler who only wants to give his citizens a better life.
But Blister has restorative powers that Maybee wants to harness to recreate his lost daughter. He orders the Keeper (Anna Torv) to search the planet to find Blister. The Keeper, in turn, orders Chihoohoo (Tim Minchin) to use his cronies to scour the planet. Chihoohoo eventually spots Blister and captures him. Arkie now has to leave her familiar environment and venture into the big city to find and rescue Blister. She does this with the aid of Bunniguru (Remy Hill) and his companion, Egg (Kate Murphy). Along the way, Arkie discovers the truth of who she is.
Science fiction; despotic rulers; adopted families
Scarygirl has some violence. For example:
- Arkie is adventurous and likes to climb high on objects. She occasionally falls, crashing to the ground.
- Arkie lets go of a wheel, which causes everything to crash down, breaking many objects.
- A beam of light causes Bunniguru’s aircraft to go off course and very nearly crash into a larger spaceship. The aircraft crashes to the ground.
- Chihoohoo’s cronies chase after Blister in their spaceship and fire missiles at him. They eventually capture him in an iron cage. When Blister tries to open the bars of the cage, he is electrocuted but not obviously hurt.
- Several small creatures are put into Maybee’s DNA transference machine and are visibly weakened by this.
- Blister is put into Maybee’s machine and is seen visibly distressed.
- Co-joined twin creatures fight amongst themselves. They grab hold of Arkie and throw her.
- The Keeper rebels and attacks Maybee with a blinding light.
There are no sexual references in Scarygirl.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Scarygirl has some substance use. For example, there is some drinking in a bar.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Scarygirl.
There’s no product placement in Scarygirl.
There is some mild name-calling in this movie, including ‘idiot’, ‘moron’ and ‘mutt’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Scarygirl is an animated, Australian, steampunk movie set in a dystopian future. The movie is based on the original character by Australian author-illustrator Nathan Jurevicius that has also inspired vinyl toys, graphic novels and video games. In the movie, Arkie is not a scary girl at all, in fact, she is kind, adventurous and courageous. And the movie is visually stunning in places as it moves from darkness to light, comparing the world of machines, cogs and wheels, to a world of natural beauty. However, the story is a little complicated and some scenes are visually scary, both of which make the movie unsuitable for children under 6 and we recommend parental guidance for children 6-7 years.
The main messages from Scarygirl are that there’s always something you can do to make the world a better place, and to persevere at tasks that are difficult.
Values in Scarygirl that you could reinforce with your children include courage, bravery, kindness, care for the environment, and loyalty.
Scarygirl could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life consequences of issues like these:
- Pursing your goals at the expense of others.
- Betraying your friends.