ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Antz (1998), PG
CAP Score: 69, CAP ID: 0.56

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

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The CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model (the CAP Model) was not intended to analyze cartoons or animated features such as Antz. My concern about the suitability of the CAP Model to animated movies was how to incorporate the huge gap between the influence of character formats. For example, there is a great difference between the influence on kids by Elmer Fudd and Freddie Kruger, even if they played the same script. I believe that every child who can somewhat reliably participate in two-way conversation or who begins to show awareness that s/he is different than other kids can understand that Buggs Bunny is not real, but maybe not with the parts live actors/actresses play.

For some time I have been toying with the idea of experimenting with the CAP Model on animated movies which present somewhat realistic computer-generated characters. In an email forwarded to me from Morality in Media, a very good mother had strong concerns about Antz. So I used her concerns as a prompt to experiment with the CAP Model by analyzing Antz. Apparently the CAP Model works as well for animated features as long as an assumption is made that anything a realistically presented non-cartoon animated character can say and do that can be said or done by a human actor/actress is essentially of equivalent influence on the impressionable. Following is the CAP analysis of Antz.

Antz (1998) was in every sense a PG movie with the typical use of the three/four letter word vocabulary and an abundant portrayal of up-yours kiss-off attitudes (the single heaviest influential presence in the entertainment industry - see UP YOURS: In Perspective from our Home Page opening screen). Kids would not likely understand the adult-oriented material. Understanding most of the events and happenings in the movie requires more experience than most kids have. The most severe finding in the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) Investigation Area was a talking decapitated head. Impunity/Hate (I) found many examples of unacceptable language, arrogant behavior such as trespassing into forbidden areas, and encouragement of dissension, and of eating fecal matter. Sex/Homosexuality (S) found few examples of ignominy such as innuendo and suggestive eye movements with a little language related to sex and sensual matters. Drugs/Alcohol (D) noted a few scenes of a bar with "drinking beer from the anus of another creature." Offense to God (O) lost points to (as usual) the use of God's name in vain, though without the four letter expletive. Murder/Suicide (M) lost no points at all.

FINDINGS/SCORING: Antz (1998) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost intermediate level points once due to a talking head of an ant (decapitated from its body) but lost no points in the maximum level.

Impunity/Hate (I)(1) lost no intermediate or maximum level points.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost no intermediate or maximum level points.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost no intermediate or maximum level points.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost no intermediate or maximum level points.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) lost no intermediate or maximum level points.

Other examples of entertainment ignominy warranting the loss of the minimum point level included

  • "My mother never had time for me" and "My father was a drone" in a belittling way.
  • "If I can't see her, life is not worth living"
  • "What about ME!" exaggerated selfishness with self degradation
  • God's name in vain three times without the four letter expletive.
  • three/four letter word vocabulary seven times
  • arrogant militarism, dictatorial subversion, lust for power, encouragement of dissension
  • "We get to kill them"
  • drinking "beer" from the "anus of another creature" at least three times
  • "We're the lords of the earth"
  • arrogant trespass into areas forbidden by parent
  • encouragement of noncompliance with parental rules
  • fighting to settle dispute
  • at least two bar scenes with beverages
  • graphic and intimidating animation
  • "Kick b---"
  • consumption of a good guy by a bad guy
  • suggestive eye movements
  • sexual innuendo
  • realism in battle horrors with deaths by impalement and being eaten
  • death by incineration
  • "I'm a sensual worker"
  • "Erotic fantasies"
  • "Bite me"
  • torture of a hostage to get "answers"
  • "Kill him"
  • "Tastes like c---" by one character sampling a substance by mouth, "It IS c---" by another eating it
  • drunkenness

    In accordance with the numeric comparative baseline database of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model, Antz (1998) presented programming equivalent to R-rated material in Impunity/Hate. The movie was equivalent to PG-13 programming in Wanton Violence/Crime and PG programming in Sex/Homosexuality, Drugs/Alcohol, and Offense to God. Antz was equivalent to G-rated programming in and Murder/Suicide. Thus, Antz is equivalent to 16% R-rated programming, 16% PG-13 programming, 50% PG-rated programming, and 16% G-rated programming.

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impunity/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impunity/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide, deaths by police action, and deaths by war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Please remember we believe that if even one of the six Investigation Area scores for a movie is equivalent to the CAP comparative baseline database scoring range for R, PG-13, or PG material, the entire movie should be regarded as so rated.  For example, if only Wanton Violence/Crime earns a score equivalent to R but all other Investigation Areas earn a score equivalent to G, THERE IS R-RATED MATERIAL IN THE MOVIE AND YOUR KIDS WILL SEE IT AND HEAR IT IF THEY WATCH THE MOVIE!

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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