Sunday, January 23, 2011

Urggh... children's movies for children please! a rant...

I've just got back from taking my my nearly 4 year old to 'Tangled' this afternoon and just had to write a few 'thoughts' on it...I knew it was going to be pretty painful as I am so not into Disney movies and characters but it was probably even worse that I thought it would be!! I knew that it was PG before we went and yep, I know I chose to take my daughter to it and all that but.... can't they just make kids movies for actual kids???!!!  Why does there need to be 'low level violence' in a movie that is for children, particularly young children if it's a movie with a princess/ fairy tale theme??!  Maybe my daughter is a bit sensitive but she actually nearly started crying in one scene when the 'mother' turns into this scary evil old women (so many negative stereotypes in this movie I wanted to scream!) and spent other parts of the movie with her hands over her face. The only reason we didn't leave was because she had really been looking forward to going and I thought if we left while she was all scared and freaked out she would probably have nightmares about it but at least with the few happy bits and the happy ending that she might forget the scary bits.
Even Toy Story that we went to a few months ago had some really scary scenes with the toys about to be burnt in a fire pit and an evil teddy bear leader (great to use something as innocent as a teddy bear for an evil character thanks Pixar) and the obnoxious older sister on her mobile phone and flicking through magazines for much older girls...grrrr.  Why can't there be movies with characters like Milly Molly Mandy or Little Miss Pepperpot or something for young children- G rated, happy movies with likeable characters and suited to children, just children, not the adults that accompany them.
I just saw on Facebook that "Orchard Books has acquired a new picture book range based on the children's product and lifestyle brand, Belle & Boo"- now if they made a movie with Belle and Boo characters that's one I'd take my daughter to!  I am getting sick of these movies that are for children but have adult themes in them and jokes and references to things to keep the adults happy too. So that's it for a while- I have only actually been to Toy Story and Tangled with my daughter but that is definitely enough! I saw Shrek back in my teaching days and even then when I wasn't a mother of young girls I was surprised at the innuendo's and references to things  that I didn't think were appropriate in a 'kids' movie.
Well. there's my rant for the day, I haven't actually ranted before on my blog (I don't think) but this just really bugs me! What do you think?
If you are interested I read about Geena Davis's campaign a while back - she has started an Institute on Gender in Media- good on her! You can check out the facebook page here
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Geena-Davis-Institute-on-Gender-in-Media/114517985247301?v=wall
And there's also this 'campaign for real role models' in the UK www.pinkstinks.co.uk. While I'm not a huge fan of the name ( I do like the colour pink!) I do agree with their goal of " influencing marketeers and the media about the importance of promoting positive gender roles to girls."


Anyway, hope you are all having a good weekend, maybe getting some organising done? My craft space is shaping up very nicely, can't wait to share next Friday!


Megan
I should add that my daughter absolutely loves anything to do with barbie, princesses, cinderella, tinkerbell etc and I do buy her the odd thing on occasion like a princess crown, barbie colouring in books and all that.  I'm not knocking that stuff (well except Bratz which I really don't like) but like I said I just wish kids movies could be for kids!

24 comments:

Christina said...

I know! My husband always complains when he gets home from the DVD rental place, that there are never any decent movies for little children.

We pretty much stick to children's tv shows on DVD, like Thomas the Tank Engine or Bob the Builder, because there's nothing inappropriate in them.

When I was sick and looking after Cohen alone, I spent most of my time on the couch, with activities on the lounge room floor to keep him occupied. I watched one of the free to air channels that plays old tv shows. Bewitched and the like. Because there is no swearing, no violence, etc. And it kept us both entertained!

:)

Megs said...

I just got back from taking 2 of my kids to Tangled too - a 5 and a 3 year old, and I totally agree with you. My 3 year old boy shivered and cried throughout most of the film and my 5 year old girl cried when the Mother turned into the scary old witch. I too only stayed because I wanted them to see that there would be a happy ending rather than as you say leave with those bad images in their heads. Still I am wondering how bedtime will go tonight. Gee I didn't even realise it was PG, so how bad am I!

boysmum2 said...

I took my 2 to see Tangled, ok they are 5 & 7 and we had no problem, but they saw Toy Story 3 last year and that didn't go down well with the mean teddy bear and fire scene. I would be the first out the door to watch Milly Molly Mandy but don't think my 2 boys would be there with me though!

Lesley said...

Rant away! PG is PG due to it's content... but you guys have covered that. I have only ventured to the movies once with my children... to see Thomas Misty Island Rescue! Of all the movies we have at home, Babe & Cars are up there at the top for genuine family entertainment, with positive themes throughout, and just enough drama. Lately we've been taking the mystery out of animated movies by showing the kids the actors whose voice features, and clips of the makings-of - I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do or not. And, whilst we're talking about adult humour disguised in the dialogue - we experienced this in real-live form from Cornflake the Clown at the kindy Christmas do. Went right over the kids heads, but man, some of it was... shall we say - risque!!

gaijinwife said...

Totally agree - haven't seen the movie but have thought many times how there aren't enough purely kids stuff on TV. I remember thinking the Smurfs was good clean kiddy tv but it's not really with gargamel always trying to eat them. The most popular little kids program / character here is Anpanman - a flying piece of bread who can break off bits off his head to give to people and when he gets beaten up by the baddy gets a new face cooked for him.

Dee said...

couldn't agree more. I've promised to take my daughter to Tangled on the eve of her 7th birthday. it'll be her FIRST TIME EVER to the movies!!! (mean eh). the Barbies movies are totally the same as the Disney ones - don't be deceived by the lovely, feminine covers on the DVDs!!! especially Swan Lake...argh, scary!!
we get alot of movies from the library that include the older Disney ones - stories about kids and dogs, etc Or older movies like Annie, Polly Anna, Anne of Green Gables etc My daughter has been utterly obsessed with Little House on the Prairie after being loaned a few of the series. They don't notice the quality difference and it seems to really captivate them.
Out with the new, in with the old! haha x

Anonymous said...

There is a new (but in the old illustration-look style) Pooh Bear film coming out to cinemas this year, I am looking forward to taking Miss 4 to something appropriate for once :)

Jo said...

Totally Agree!

Stella said...

I remember when my niece (she was about five or six at the time) went to see her first movie (Finding Nemo), and she broke down into tears when she got home because her lasting memory of the film was the shark scene...

I think heaps and heaps of kids are so de-sensitized to scary films (I saw some really young kids at the last Harry Potter film, that movie scared ME), and so film makers keep pushing the limits further and further.

For me, the films I have set aside for Eleanor's viewing when she gets older are videos (yes outdated, but you find some great films for uber cheap at the op shops) of Brambly Hedge (!!!!!), Paddington Bear, Peter Rabbit, and most recently - Jolly Bear!! Total scores! I know videos have terrible picture quality, but I'm sure she won't even notice, hopefully the novelty of being allowed to watch something will win her over (I'm not a huge fan of kids watching tv so it's going to be very limited in our home)...

I so wish they would make some sweet and innocent children's movies, so that you can take them out for a special treat, without having nightmares to look forward to for weeks to come...

As for the gender/consumer messages in modern films and television, don't even get me started! Nothing gets me more riled up!!!

So, in a nutshell, I agree!

FaerySarah said...

get bratz out for sure!

i haven't seen tangled but never thought about it being 'not for kids' I thought you were maybe going to say that it had heaps of underlying innuendos like Shrek did (remember that? what was with that!). I would have never thought 'violence'. mmm really makes you think.

when i was in the latest narnia movie over xmas a little girl walked out with her big brother and then came back (too soon i think) because of the sea monster... i was scared too for goodness sake! The other 'kids' movie i thought would be SUPER scary for kids was 'The Waterhorse' that was crazy scary in the end... ahwell. things I have to look forward to huh?!

lovestitches said...

I watched the beginning of that Madagascar 2 movie on TV tonight and it starts with poachers stealng a lion cub from under its father nose in a really scary (for kids ahem) way. As for other kids movies....they are pretty ridiculous now with their need for adult innuendo. A Milly Molly Mandy movie would be AWESOME.

Allana said...

Oh my goodness, I totally agree!! My husband and I often talk
About this issue and it is a real minefield choosing appropriate movies even
With g ratings! A Molly Molly Mandy movie would be amazing wouldn't it! I think desensitizing children to violence is such a huge issue in past and present media and it ALWAYS pays to watch new things with our children first time through. It is amazing how often guns appearin g rated movies for instance. Maybe we could all
Compile a list of real child friendly movies to share on our blogs?

Angela Noelle of SK said...

Do NOT get me started on how 100% inappropriate the name "Lord Farquaad" is. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Naturally Carol said...

I'm not condoning these current kids movies but just remembering that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had the childcatcher and I was terrified of him! Mary Poppins had the children getting lost and that birdlady who was pretty scary for kids. I was a whoos of a kid though and never saw Bambi 'cos I heard that she died...and I didn't want to experience that!! Not a very practical suggestion with busy parents...but probably with really little kids it may be best to wait til the dvd comes out and watch it first at night when they're in bed and censor it.

Fondant Kiss said...

Totally agree! Where did all the innocent stuff go? There is a real gap in the media there. Our kids grow up far too quickly!

Laura, Happy Homemaker UK said...

Ugh, I totally agree with you. I am really down on Disney too, but there is nothing like a day at the cinema (& popcorn) and they just don't leave us many good options for movies. Don't they realize they have our child's brain in their hands for the hour? My daughter's birthday is next weekend, and we've promised to see 'Tangled' but thank you for your forewarning.

Looking at your interests and books, are we long lost friends?! XOL

Tracey said...

with you on that, 100% my kids have a bit of a disney phobia, which is a problem when they go to friends places and start watching movies like this or I try and pop them into the Ikea play area, were there is usually a disney movie playing

The Clip Cafe said...

It's what sells. That is why they are making them. I stay away from it all.

Jen said...

I agree about the scare factor. I realise that they are trying to make it appeal to a wide range of ages - maybe we are just trying to take our children to the movies too young! On saying that, I took my 2 plus a friend to Tangled a couple of weeks ago. Thats my son at 3.5, and my daughter and her friend of 6 & 5 years old. My son didn't make it very far b4 climbing on my knee & asking to go home (luckily I could just text my husband to come & get him & take him back to his work). My daughter thought it was very scary, but her friend was fine about it.
At the moment, my daughters favourite DVD is Mary Poppins. A great singing dancing extravaganza that seems to keep all ages entertained - even boys.

Anonymous said...

Good on you for having a 'rant' megan - I have thought this many times when watching 'childrens' movies!! Totally agree. Ange

Simoney said...

Oh I'm so surprised! I must be the only one here that like Tangled and was glad that for once there was no real evil characters e.g. The Princess and the Frog (where the Voodoo man and evil spirits were chasing people) Now THAT was an evil movie and totally spoilt what was otherwise a fun and entertaining story with cute characters.
We had gone to see it for a birthday party and I sat there covering my daughters' eyes for half the movie, we couldn't leave as it was a birthday gig :(
My daughter is six and a half, so i guess the couple of extra years makes a difference to her enjoyment of Tangled.
I peronsally love Toy Story 3 but then... my kids are a bit older. They have a different perspective and realise that movies are make believe and made on computers which younger littlies don't have yet.

For younger kids I think movies like Cars and Madagascar 1 (#2 is RUBBISH)... now I am racking my brains to think up some completely innocent younger kids movies!
Erm, the Tigger Movie?? At a push?

Barbie movies DO often have some quite evil characters in them.

Maybe we need a better rating system on movies that indicates the age these films are targeted at? because I'm pretty sure Princess and the Frog was (G).

Anyway... I hopped over from Meg's Blog (growing kiwis) to check out the organised home project. Sounds fun. If I get organied, I'll join in...
PS TOTALLY add a linky. it's very easy. :)

MissMollyCoddle said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post. I totally agree! Where are the wholesome movies we had as kids. I'm not liking all these japanese cartoons and Bratz dolls are going to be a definate no go in our house(though I was a HUGE Barbie fan). Girls clothing that looks like tarty teenage outfits(and heels on little girls) are a another dislike, they'll be trying it on soon enough anyway, lets not encourage. Mum saw a fantastic interview last year on good morning. Was on an author and their book about raising girls with good role models etc... wish we could remember the name!

Craftysquirrel said...

Oh I so agree - against my better judgement I let my 4 yr old daughter rent Barbie faries the other day - all the focus on appearance with makeup etc - so not want I want my 4yr old getting into. The Koala Brothers is a firm favourite of ours and Tinkerbell isn't too bad - there are the odd scary bits like the hawk chasing them but with some explaination my daughter didn't seem to traumatised!

Jenny@ kids bean bag said...

I'm with you on this one. It's always frustrating to see movies with your kids when it's not appropriate for them. Yeah, I agree with Simoney's comment "Maybe we need a better rating system on movies". Specially for the really young ones.

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