As I feel somewhat couchbound these days, and, therefore, am not doing much of anything exciting to blog about, I have found a bit more solace than usual in the television.
(That, and a new love for painting my fingernails, something I haven’t done in a decade. Because long, thick fingernails is one of the only positive side effects a la Newbie, and I want to FULLY appreciate it.)
(My pinkie nail is so gorgeous right now that Sally Hanson could totally rip it right out of my nail bed and sell it as a press on. No lie.)
And so, in my lack of more interesting and coherent thoughts, I will share my “deep” televisional thoughts…Especially in one area that I haven’t ventured into in about 20 years: Children’s movies.
Ali has never watched too much TV – an episode of Dora or Thomas here or there, but not full-length movies. Until now, when her Mommy needs desperately to sleep while she watches, or to simply rest in order not to puke.
And so, in our new Movie Watching Era, I’ve come to some conclusions:
1. Pixar makes EVERYTHING better. I am completely in LOVE with Pixar. They should totally be given an award for miraculously finding the way to wholly entertain children AND adults all at once.
2. The crisis in each movie must be carefully analyzed from a three year old’s perspective to see if it will scare the toddler snot out of them or not. For instance…
- Cars has the completely non-traumatic storyline. The “crisis” is simply that the star selfishly wants to get back to his race. Nothing remotely bothersome in that..
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – also quite perfect. What kid wouldn’t enjoy food falling from the sky? And who cares if it gets gigantacorically bigger?? Especially when it’s mounds of ICE CREAM?!?!?
- Finding Nemo was surprisingly a horribly disturbing movie. Start out by having the Mom die (because all Moms die in Disney movies), then the poor Momless kid gets traumatically taken from his Father. We ended up fast forwarding to the happy ending to prevent Ali from needing Prozac.
Oh – and the vegetarian shark was pretty disturbing, too.
3. Sometimes the plot line you THINK would bother a kid totally wouldn’t, while something that you wouldn’t even think of as a crisis would destroy their little hearts. For instance…
- The Queen in Snow White says in the most horrid voice, “Cut out her heart and bring it back to me in this box”. I was disturbed. Ali didn’t even blink.
(Thank goodness there’s not a lot of heart-cutting-out that happens around here.)
- Cinderella’s pink dress getting torn off by the mean sisters is STILL the Number One ranking most horror-movie-scene Ali’s ever watched. The nightmares stopped, but the memories remain.
4. Always communicate about your movie strategies. When watching Monsters, Inc, I downplayed the fact that monsters were scaring CHILDREN by talking about how cute they were. Ali totally bought it. At the end, Chris came in and said, “Was that fun? Were the Monsters SCARY???” She cringed and curled into fetus position and said, “Yes!!!! They scared me SO MUCH!!!”
5. Some children’s movies are so blatantly full of very depressing and disturbing social messages (because three year olds TOTALLY get that stuff and all) that they don’t have room for a decent plot, any entertaining moments for children OR adults, and are a ridiculous waste of good cartoonists. And that movie would be Happy Feet.
To summarize, in our New Era of actually watching Children’s movies, Mine and Ali’s favorites have been Cars, Up, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, all of which are magnificently entertaining and, thank goodness, not scary to three year olds.
Any and all recommendations of movies along the same lines are greatly appreciated, as our future still looks pretty movie-ey.
Now, I’m going to go back to admiring my fingernails.