Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rated G

Valerie has never been to the movies. She has only seen two feature length animated films that I can think of: Dumbo and (not all of) The Jungle Book.

Make that three. Sunday we watched The Little Mermaid, sitting side by side on the couch. I told her that Ursula the part-octopus-sea-witch might be a little scary when she cast the spell on Ariel. That's the only scary part I remembered from back when I last saw the film in 1989. I should have done my research. Near the end of the movie--when Ursula is big and even meaner and then gets killed--Valerie had train wreck syndrome. It was so horrible she couldn't look away. I know this because I asked her a number of times if I should turn it off. And she said no. Then she cried for the duration of the credits at the end of the movie, I think out of the shock of it all, being the most violent thing she has ever seen. I felt awful.

My Valerie, just this holiday season, has been able to enjoy Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman for the first time, without my having to turn them off when the "scary" parts started. (Though for some reason The Grinch, whom she could not get enough of when she was three, was too scary this year.)

So, when she asked to see the movie about that "princess" from a deck of Ariel playing cards given to her as a gift, I said, OK. Well, no more princess movies for a while. Though I can't think of anything violent or very scary in Cinderella. But I will be sure to look into it before I let her watch.

Not that she needs those kinds of movies right now at 5 years old, anyhow, what with all the romantic love and sexual innuendo. Please. What age is that appropriate for anyway? Ten? Twelve? Eighteen? Back in the day, my own parents (along with countless others, so no offense, guys) took me to see Star Wars and James Bond movies as a young child. Darth Vader scared me into having nightmares, and James, well, James...

I've found two sites that offer reviews and information about movies to help parents make informed decisions: kids in mind and common sense media. I'm not very familiar with them, but it is a starting point for me. Yikes.

Note: Image is Microsoft Clip Art.

1 comment:

  1. Cinderella has the stepmother who is pretty mean to her (and her own girls - I remember her whacking one on the head with a flute - or maybe it was sister to sister) but there is also the big cat (Lucifer is his name - your first clue he's no good) that tries to get the mice and eat them....he comes pretty close too.