Saturday, June 20, 2009

thumbs down for 'up'

amidst all of the glowing reviews for pixar's 'up' movie, i thought i'd share our experience. you know, just to give two sides to the whole thing!

i should begin by saying that we are really conservative when it comes to media for our children. that's our 'thing', if you will. we don't watch television, but we do have a family movie night once a week (or a 'it's way too hot outside emergency sing-along video' occasionally!). our moonpie has a sensitive heart, so the movies we choose are always gentle, and usually made in the 50's or 60's.

fast forward to yesterday, the day we threw all caution to the wind and saw a movie in the theater WITHOUT being previewed or even researched a tiny bit. or the fact that i've boycotted all movies rated PG for the kids. it is rated PG- that's right, they tried to warn me with the rating!

here are the positives about 'up'. it has a great message. the theme is that personal relationships are the greatest adventure anyone can have. i agree with that- of course i do! also, there is no objectionable behavior, coarse language or weird sexual innuendos. i hate that about modern kid movies. moving on... i should also mention the animation. it is spectacular! the skin on the people looks real. better than real. like, just got back from a facial real!

so what didn't i like? the peril. my oh my, is there peril! i can't exactly say how long the chase scene between the dogs and the characters lasted, added on by the murderous old man, but it was loooooooooong. and just when you thought it was over (a dog would yell 'squirrel' and point in another direction, funny!) it picked up again. my poor little moonpie was a wreck. she is very intuitive and had already picked up on the more adult themes of an inability to conceive ('why can't she have a baby, momma?'), the death of a beloved spouse, and a dead beat dad. add to this a glorious bird being bitten ('momma, does he still have 2 legs?') by a vicious dog and an old man trying to kill the main characters- and she was a ball of nerves. but determined to stay in that theater. i think she needed to see it all resolve. she needed the happy ending. buddy on the other hand told me he wanted to leave. NOW! i handed moonpie over to her daddy and took buddy to the lobby. he is more of the out of sight out of mind persuasion. but his big sissy had to be carried to the car and asked to just 'rest on the couch' when we got home.

last night before going to bed she said, 'momma, when you asked if i wanted to see that movie i should have said no'. and while i appreciated her sense of responsibility, i felt horrible. no my sweet girl, i should have said no. i'm the mommy.

in true moonpie fashion she is working it out her own way. she has already made a dog costume and is playing the role of the vicious 'alpha'. and this seems to help. a little play therapy, if you will.

i think, for us, we better stick to the gentle adventures of pooh, or the silly antics of charlie chaplin.

and if a parent of a preschooler asks me for a recommendation, i'll have to say '2 thumbs down'.


Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, I'm so sorry the movie was hard on your babies! I was a sensitive kid, too, but my boys are surprisingly fine with suspense, so far. They pick up on all the adult situational things, though, so I have to watch that or I have to fend questions I'm not prepared to answer!

Thanks for reviewing this! The older two wanted to see it, and even if I still let them, I won't be sending Littlest.

Amy said...

Oh, Mandy! Poor Moonpie. I haven't even heard of that movie, in true Griffin fashion, but this post does remind me to make sure what my children see, on tv or off, is MY responsibility and we can't compare with what is ok for other people. I miss you guys a ton.

gardenmama said...

Such a thoughtful post.
We do not have a t.v. we will do an occasional movie, and I agree only G rated. There is so much in movies 'made' for little ones today that completely shock me! It is very sad...
Off the subject but, thank you for adding me to your blog list : ) Please check out my giveaway, I think you would like it!

Diane said...

There was just something about the movie that did not sit right with me either. My 8 year old daughter started crying when the old man was going to be sent to the nursing home too, so that did not add to my happy feelings towards the movie. I just wanted to scream, "Let go of the house already!"