Animated films and DVDs submitted to the Classification Office are generally aimed at an adult audience and often contain strong violence, offensive language or sexual content.
While the Classification Office doesn't classify television broadcasts, it does classify DVD box sets of television shows and also online TV shows. Examples of animated television shows classified include South Park and Family Guy.
In New Zealand, animation is classified in the same way as other publications.
In New Zealand, animated publications have the same classification criteria applied to them as other publications. If the animation deals with extreme violence or cruelty, for example, it is likely to receive a restricted classification even though the characters are not 'real'.
A lot of people assume that cartoons are for kids.
In 2008 the Classification Office teamed up with the Broadcasting Standards Authority to do some research into what people think about violence in films and television. The research involved young people aged 14-17, and adults aged 18 and over. As part of this research, we showed participants a clip from an episode of the animated show Family Guy. Some of the participants in the research (mainly those who were not familiar with the show) thought that because what they were seeing was a 'cartoon', it was aimed at kids. They were concerned that parents might let their young children watch it, and that children might try to copy the violence depicted.
More about the Viewing Violence research (you'll find the info on the Family Guy clip on pages 39-43 of the report).
R16: contains violence, sexual references and offensive language.
The Special Edition CD/DVD set of rapper 50 Cent's album The Massacre was submitted for classification to the Office of Film and Literature Classification by the Department of Internal Affairs on behalf of a member of the public. Find out more about 50 Cent - The Massacre
Members of the public can submit publications like graphic novels for classification. They have to get the permission of the Chief Censor to do this - usually by explaining why they think the publication needs to be classified. Find out more about Genre case study: Graphic novels
Horror is one of the core classification criteria along with sex, crime, cruelty and violence - so what does it mean and how do we classify it? On this page you'll also find a list of horror films and games along with information about their classifications. Find out more about Genre case study: Horror
This controversial book was initially rated M, but changed to R14 by the Board of Review on appeal. The Classification Office changed it to Unrestricted after reconsideration. Following a second appeal, the Board of Review also classified it as Unrestricted after temporarily placing it under an Interim Restriction Order. Find out more about Into the River
A member of the public thought this energy drink should be banned or restricted due to the sexualised images and wording on the can. The Classification Office agreed that the can was offensive, but did not agree that its unrestricted availability would be harmful to the public. Find out more about Miss Svenson's Classroom Detention
The show's frequent depiction of taboo subject matter, general toilet humor, accessibility to younger viewers, disregard for conservative sensibilities, negative depiction of liberal causes, and portrayal of religion for comic effect have been the main sources for generating controversy and debate over the course of its run...
Parker and Stone assert that the show is not meant to be viewed by young children, and the show is certified with TV ratings that indicate its intention for mature audiences.Wikipedia South Park entry, June 2015
All 13-year-old boys are on board with Family Guy. They love this show and no wonder. It's silly, subversive and caters to their endless craving for humor about bodily emissions. The fact that Family Guy is also breathtakingly smart is just a bonus (or even beside the point). But the deft blend of the ingenious with the raw helps account for its much broader appeal...
As a Family Guy fan who's long past preadolescence, I crack up watching it. I cringe. I ask myself: How do they come up with this stuff?Frazier Moore, Associated Press