Thelma the Unicorn

NZ release: 17 May 2024

Adult themes Rated on: 17 May 2024

Thelma the Unicorn poster

What’s it about?

Thelma is a small farm pony who dreams of becoming a famous musician with her band mates Otis the donkey and Reggie the llama. After a humiliating audition for SparklePalooza, Thelma finds unexpected stardom when she is accidently transformed into a pink sparkly unicorn.

The facts

  • Directed by Jared Hess, Lynn Wang
  • English language
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Cast includes NZ’s Jemaine Clement
  • Songs written by Bret McKenzie
  • Based on the children’s book series by Aaron Blabey

Why did it get this rating?

This film was self-rated by Netflix. You can find out more about self-rating by streaming providers here.

Adult themes

A PG age rating means parental guidance is recommended. With a content warning for adult themes that means there are topics within the film that are mature or may require an adult to help a young one understand.

In Thelma’s journey she experiences a number of embarrassing or humiliating situations, both as a small pony and then as a famous unicorn.

The idea of fame is explored, and how sometimes fame brings with it negative experiences like being away from friends or becoming distant from friends. Thelma is booed on stage when she reveals her true identity. This concept of being accepted for being yourself and being okay with being yourself is a more mature theme across the story.

The concept of cruelty and people doing mean things to get achieve what they want comes up with several characters that Thelma meets. When she becomes popular an older manager uses the situation to get her to sign with him. He then exploits Thelma and keeps her away from her friends and old manager. He is always trying to get the best business deal often at the expense of other people’s best interests, including Thelma’s. A competing musician’s manager uses their phone to photograph Thelma in an embarrassing situation (her unicorn appearance is wearing off and her “horn” a carrot comes off). They threaten blackmail to get Thelma to stop performing. The idea of people always watching, using their phones to record you and then using that video or image to embarrass you can be a mature idea especially for much younger children who don’t have mobile phones themselves. This could be a good conversation starter about the rights and wrongs of phone use.

In a funny scene some characters are setting off fireworks – they throw them to each other like a game of ‘hot potato’ and then someone chucks the live firework into an outhouse. The fireworks explode and a character jumps out of the damaged outhouse.

There are several scenes that show dangerous driving. In one funny scene a tractor narrowly avoids driving over two characters walking. They swerve and crash into a chicken house.

In another scene a truck driver is shown to be a terrible driver, swerving all over the road, causing accidents, and being oblivious to their own dangerous habits. This character is shown in a humorous light, even when we see police cars chasing him. We don’t see any negative consequences for the driver throughout the film.

Further information

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