Such an Ugly World

Hat tip to Mark Windsor for the link to this article. I see this kind of thing all the time, and even though I homeschool it’s still a big concern for me.

“I didn’t like the part in the restaurant,” Hannah, my 6-year-old granddaughter, said. We were leaving a screening of Sony’s new animated feature, Open Season, and I was trying to remember any scene in a restaurant.

When she said it was “too messy,” I realized that she meant an early scene where the movie’s lead characters, a suburban bear and a one-antlered deer, run loose in a mini-mart. After they rip open candy bars, gulp down slushies (bypassing the use of cups), and get a tongue tangled in the hot dog roller, the place is a sticky disaster.

I said, “I didn’t like the next part, when you see the bear through the window, and then he throws up on the window.” The memory of that fountain of candy-flecked green rose to mind. “Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know that was supposed to be throw-up.”

Grandparents have had all kinds of post-movie conversations with kids over the last seventy years or so, but this is probably the first time it’s included a lesson on identifying vomit.

Indeed. I’ve been saying for years that I’m tired of movie-makers feeding our children’s lowest instincts and loading almost every single kids’ movie with one bathroom joke after another. What is described in the rest of the article convinced me that this movie is one we will not be going to see, let alone rent.

Even when you carefully choose a movie (like the G-rated Cars), you never know what’s going to happen in the previews. When we saw Cars with the girls on Father’s Day, the previews were started off with ads for Sprite. Now, if you don’t watch a lot of sports, you might have missed the S&M-laced ads Sprite was running over the summer. In one, that is so creepy that I can’t even watch the entire thing, a man, wrapped in plastic wrap, lies on a table. He has a lemon on one eye and a lime on the other. There is some faucet sort of thing over his mouth. Some slutty-looking woman comes in and lets a drop or two out of the faucet while he squirms around.

That was the ad shown before a G-rated movie. If you really want to, you can watch it here.

As soon as I saw it begin, Hubby and I ordered the girls to cover their eyes. They’re good kids, and they did it right away. (Sadly, they are used to that because of the inappropriateness of so many ads during sporting events; we often will have them cover up while we try to change the channel quickly.) But I wondered about the effect this ad had on all of the other kids there, nearly all under 12.

It’s an ugly world out there, and it’s really becoming difficult to show my children the beauty in it.

By the way, if you want to watch some great movies with your kids, Netflix is a great way to do it. My girls have one DVD on our three-at-a-time list dedicated to them. Aside from the usual kids’ fare (like recent Disney movies), we’ve been watching some old classics. Movies the two of them have really loved include:

  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Lilies of the Fields
  • Pollyanna
  • Bright Eyes
  • Singin’ in the Rain (we watched this one three times before we could send it back)

Waiting for them when they get back is Captain January. Shirley Temple might just turn out to be a new favorite for them.

Watching these movies with them has been our way of showing them that being entertained doesn’t necessarily mean that Mommy and Daddy need to endure 2 straight minutes of farting and belching or bathroom jokes about poop and pee. You can be funny without it. Really.

3 thoughts on “Such an Ugly World

  1. Oooooh…I should add those, too! I used to LOVE those old Little Rascals. Our elementary school would show them on rainy days when we couldn’t go out for recess. That, and Charlie Chaplin movies. They were GREAT! (I’ve already put some Little Tramp movies on the girls’ list.)


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