Good vs. Evil

I finally let Declan watch Star Wars. A New Hope, to be exact. Number 1 to us, Number 4 to him. Those of you who know me well? Please don’t send me the bill for the concussion you just got for falling off your chair.

Yes. I realize I am crazed about Declan and violence on TV.

Hell, half the time in the morning he still watches the Wiggles. His choice, which proves I was totally right about him being gay, but no matter.

Here’s the thing.

THERE ARE NO APPROPRIATE MOVIES FOR SIX AND SEVEN YEAR OLDS. Teasing about gayness aside, I hate gender bias, but the truth is, there are even less quality movies for BOYS.

Either someone dies, a parent leaves, a friend dies, a dog dies, a whale dies, a dolphin swims away into the ocean, a crazy clown beats up a dog, a dog’s friend dies – or some combination of the above.

Take The Waterhorse. Rated PG for “some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.” How about rated PG-13 for “being told in confusing flashbacks that no kid can understand, social ambiguity because the ‘good’ guys – the English army sent to protect the town from the Nazi’s – are actually bad guys cause they are mean shitheads who shoot at the little boys pet dragon sea horse thing – and oh yeah, also! The dad that the kid believes is alive and well and just off patriotically fighting the war? He’s DEAD.”

Stupid Waterhorse.

This is why I let Declan watch Star Wars. It’s easily definable. Luke = Good. Darth = Bad. Until the later [earlier] episodes when Anakin is good, but whatever. Sure there are some light saber scenes that got dicey for him. But it was WAY better than trying to explain FLASHBACKS. Seriously. Think about it. How confusing would that seem to a kid who is used to singing “Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy” and dancing along with Henry the Octopus???

So. Here I am. On the Bad Mommy Violent Movie Express.

At least I can stomach what we are watching for once.

This article has 19 comments

  1. zipper

    YAY! Declan is now on to the GOOD STUFF.

  2. Meghann

    We’re pretty lenient with what our kids watch.

    But, I will say the girls don’t necessarily have it any easier. I mean, consider the big money maker for little girls: Disney. My girls LOVE the princess movies. But watching them one day I realized, they are all about the same thing. The girl getting the guy.

    I want to know, where is the movie where the princess is a strong, independent woman? And that’s it? Mulan was promising, but no, there had to be the guy in that one too. I never realized until I was a parent what a bad message that sends. “No matter how great of a person you are, what really matters is whether or not you end up married.”

    /soapbox rant

  3. Jen F

    OK it’s been a while since I’ve watched it so maybe I forgot about any “bad parts” but…

    What about “The Sandlot”?

  4. tiddleywink

    I applaud your commitment to non-violent movies, and assure you that I saw A New Hope at the tender age of 6 and have yet to so much as get into a fistfight with anyone, let alone cut off any body parts with a lightsaber. My friends think I’m crazy for finding The Lion King to be a terrible movie for kids (Violence! Male chauvinism!), so I feel your pain.

    The Sandlot is a good suggestion, and I know that, while they are films intended for adult audiences, I really enjoyed American Graffiti and The King And I as a kid. Also, any and all Marx Brothers movies.

    AG: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069704/parentalguide

    King: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049408/parentalguide

  5. Nat

    There was a film called Millions. There is a dead mom, I’m trying to remember if there was any violence.. there are definitely bad guys and religious nuts.

    If you knew what we let The Boy watch I am sure you’d faint. But it’s framed in a reality vs. fantasy context.

  6. chloebear

    I don’t remember when I watched Star Wars, but at least we turned out ok! and at least you try…

  7. Mayberry

    My daughter was watching Air Bud yesterday and bawling her little eyes out (dead parent). Ooooooops.

    How about Wallace & Gromit?

  8. Megan

    ha ha! you caved! ūüėČ

  9. tiddleywink

    Oh yes, the Wallace + Gromit shorts are wonderful! No swearing, smoking, drinking, and the violence is limited to a dog getting into the Knit-O-Matic.

  10. J at www.jellyjules.com

    It’s a mine field, isn’t it? We took Maya to see “Winged Migration” when she was 7. You’d think that was safe, right? Nope. There are huge crabs menacing an injured bird. There is a bird stuck in oil. There are birds attacking baby penguins. No one dies on camera, but you know it’s happening, and what’s worse, you know it’s real. She used to yell at the theater when we would drive by, that’s how angry she was.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer beating the crap out of vampires, no problem. Star Wars, no problem. Fake stuff has never really bothered her. But show her a real live animal that’s about to die? That was too much.

  11. Anonymous

    yea. totally with you. what is WITH the lack of movies for kids around 5-7 years old??

  12. Backpacking Dad

    Pretty sure I’d seen porn by the time I was seven.

    Non-violent porn, though.

    I do remember waiting in line to see “Return of the Jedi” when I was six, and recognizing the 20th Century Fox opening as being Star Wars related. I think I’d seen Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back a bunch of times before then.

  13. Oz

    Dude, I have no idead how to handle the tv/movie thing. Seriously, ET gave me nightmares when I was a kid. ET. Nothing is safe.

  14. Anonymous

    “Fly Away Home” is another good one, and I second “The Sandlot.” Dd is also really into the old Scooby Doo Where Are You. It’s a little bit more mature, yet doesn’t scare her b/c she knows it’s safe. The Mighty Ducks is another good one. Oh, the Lion King-worst Disney movie ever! But, my kids have never been interested in Disney movies. Hey, what about Lassie? I loved that as a kid.

  15. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    thanks for all the suggestions! I will check them out!

  16. Builder Mama

    We’re on that slippery slope too – Monkey Man got to catch part of Jurassic Park at someone’s house and of course is obsessed with it now. Of course there are lots of nightmares with that, sigh.

    Most recently he’s been very taken with that Adam Sandler movie Bedtime Stories. And it’s fairly tolerable, considering I am not a big Adam Sandler fan. Last Christmas he loved A Christmas Story, but try explaining to him what the big “F” word was that Ralphie got his mouth washed out for. Of course, MM had already dropped that in Pre-K, but I totally blame myself for that. Oops.

    He loves Star Wars too, but more like Clone Wars and the little half-hour episodes they show on cable.

  17. zenrain

    you know what my kids love, “Singing in the Rain”
    And they also watched and liked “Millions”

  18. tiddleywink

    Hear hear! Singin’ In The Rain was (and still is) one of my all-time favorites! Moses, he knowses, his toeses aren’t roses!

  19. Rebecca F.

    My 7 year old loves Dr. Doolittle.

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