Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe, and the Four Year Old

Kinsey loves movies. She would watch the same movie over and over again if she could. Right now, it’s The Polar Express. In the past, it’s been Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Sleeping Beauty, Lion King, and Toy Story 2. You’ll probably notice a lot of Pixar movies in there. I personally love the Pixar movies because they are good and appropriate for kids, but even more importantly they tell great stories. I remember watching the first Toy Story in the theater and having to remind myself that I was watching a cartoon because the story was so engrossing.

One movie that we were really uncertain about was The Incredibles when it came out in November of 2004. It was the first PG rated Pixar film and Sheryl and I saw it in the theater to see if Kinsey could take it. We decided that since there was quite a bit of violence and a character does die at the end, it would be too much. Of course, we got it on DVD because we figured that Kinsey would really get into it when she got older. Well, I started showing it to her when we got it, just to see how she would do with it. And she loved it. Loved every second of it. She laughed at all the funny parts, liked to pretend that she was Dash, all the great stuff. She didn’t even seem too bothered when the character dies at the end. Well, this got me all jazzed up to show her Star Wars (Star Wars IV: A New Hope for you completists out there) However, Sheryl vetoed this (she has a very powerful vote) thinking that it would be completely different seeing violence done to real people.

At any rate, all of this is brought to my mind by the upcoming release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (TLTWATW). I read the book to her this summer as well as reading a story book version of it, which she loves. However, I don’t think we’re going to take her to the movie version. I think it looks a bit too Lord of the Rings in the violence category and I think the scene with Aslan on the Stone Table looks particularly scary (and a good thing in my opinion). I want to take her to good entertainment, but I also don’t want to scar her too early. Also, there’s something different about seeing something like that in a dark theater rather than with the lights on in the family room.

So what do you guys think? Is 4 years old too young to see violence in something like TLTWATW? Or am I being oversensitive?

8 comments:

Malia said...

I am super sensitive to the movies/shows that we allow our five-year old to watch. I pretty much veto all PG movies. This started about three years ago when we borrowed Shrek from my sister and allowed Sweetpea to watch it. I soon put it away and didn't allow her to watch it anymore, it was in my opinion, completely inappropriate for young children to watch and we have not seen the sequel. I was very leary of The Incredibles and it wasn't until my SIL (who is even more conservative than I in the tv/movie department) said that she had allowed her 3 & 5 year olds to see it that I even considered letting Sweetpea watch it. I still thought it was a bit too much for young children with the violence and the death. I doubt we will own that one.

I wouldn't take Sweetpea to TLTWATW. Reading it aloud from the book allows the reader and/or listener to see the story in their own way in their own heads. Seeing someone else's graphic representation of the story can be too much for young minds. Think Harry Potter - has Kinsey seen these? Sweetpea has seen some of the first one and that is all I will allow from this point on (especially in light of the current PG-13 ratings).

So, no, I do not think that you are being oversensitive.

On another note about movie ratings, David and I have often thought that there should even be a rating between G & PG. Take The Polor Express for example. There are some pretty intense moments in the movie (like when they are on top of the train racing down the track) that could "scare" younger children. Something like a G-6 rating so that you know its a G movie but maybe not apporpriate for those under 6 years of age.

Tony Arnold said...

Phil, Maria (5) wants to see it. I have read her the books. I too am wrestling with this.

She has watched the first 3 Harry Potter movies, with the Prisoner of A. having some scary parts that she won't watch. Probably a bit too much, but she has shown no ill effects from either in language, behavior, or sleep.

Each child is different too in how they react to things. Let's talk.

Tony

LB said...

As the teacher of 6 year olds who tout Chucky as a favorite movie, I say no. Now, I know that they are VASTLY different, and that you and Sheryl are those rare parents that acutally talk to your child...and that you want to introduce Kinsey to all the wonderful things in life like Narnia and Hogwarts...but now's not the time for the new one...but I do have the old animated one on VHS if you'd like to borrow it...

Tiffany said...

Another non-parent weighing in with a "no" vote. The movie looks amazing - which means the violence will be graphic and believable. Kinsey is smart, but still learning to separate what is real from what is imagined. Y'all know her best, of course, but you did ask for thoughts....

amanda said...

I just got done reading the TLWATW and the Aslan/Stone Table part totally made me wince.
I think if y'all take Kinsey to see the movie, make sure her Dan is sitting within arms reach!! ;)

TCS said...

I would say to see it yourself first. We had to do that with the last StarWars. Our boys LOVE StarWars, but in the end our 8 year old went and the others stayed at home. I don't think they are stunted for life by missing it.

Jana said...

Why don't you and Sheryl see it first by yourselves and then decide?

Phil said...

Jana, we were planning on doing that anyway, but I was curious where other people would come down on it.

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro