In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a tad passionate about movies. I love everything about them, from the actors and music to the way they take you to a different time and place for a few hours.
It's not surprising that my kids love movies, too. I'm only a little ashamed to admit I was that mom that plopped my babies in front of Baby Einstein and Elmo often so I could actually get something done. But from the get-go my kids were mesmerized by movies. They would sit there, enraptured, even through the credits.
Fast forward to now. We don't have one kid tv station, not even PBS. If my kids want to watch something, it has to be a movie. This has it's plus-side, for all of you gasping right now: I know exactly what my kids are watching, when they're watching it, and there is a definite start and stop point, whereas before I would switch on Nick Jr. and walk away. Six shows later I'd suddenly realize maybe it was time to shut it off. The downside is fairly obvious: My kids are sick to death of the movies we own, and we have quite a collection. Needless to say, we are at Wal-Mart every Tuesday that a new "kid movie" is released on DVD, cash in hand.
But here is where my problem lies. Finding "kid" movies that I want my kids to watch, knowing they will watch it over and over til they have it memorized. It used to be frustrating to me that every kid movie, even Disney ones, had stuff in them I wasn't too keen on having my kids learn, ie the references to "butts" and how often they say "shut up." These just aren't words we say in our house.
Now, I miss the old days of "not-nice" words. Now I have to worry about actual swear words, and references to much worse things than bodily functions. Case in point: Ice Age? Great. Cute, funny, clean. Ice Age 2? My kids watched it once and we had to sell it on eBay after hearing three swear words in it. Do you know how much I hate to own a movie and not its sequel?
What got me fired up enough to write this post was my experience last night. When Transformers came out on DVD, we knew we were going to have a problem on our hands as my husband had done his best to get our son OBSESSED with Transformers and we knew that as soon as the movie was in our home (Monday night at midnight of the release date) it would be torture with him begging constantly to watch it. YEAH RIGHT! Besides the obvious guns and shooting, there were completely unnecessary parts of the movie that made me squirm. So my husband, in all his wisdom and foresight, ordered the "vintage" cartoon Transformers movie that he grew up with. We waited anxiously for it to come in the mail, holding our son off from the PG13 version as long as we could. After over a month (yeah, someone's getting negative feedback) it finally came yesterday. I excitedly popped it in and watched with joy as my little boy parked himself a foot from the tv and started pointing out all the characters with glee. Halfway through it, however, my joy turned instantly to shock as I heard what I am 90% sure was the "sh" word. I thought I must have been mistaken, but was convinced I wasn't when five minutes later one of the transformers yelled, "work, da**it!" WHAT?! Are you KIDDING me? And this movie was made in the 80's, all our husbands grew up on this movie. A CARTOON. I was completely disgusted and devestated as I realized it would be the last time he would get to watch what was sure to be his new favorite movie of all time. How do I take this away from him now?
UGH! Why can't people just make kid-friendly movies anymore that are actually age-appropriate and have a positive influence on our future generation? Am I alone in this? Let me know how you feel about this.