Friday, November 16, 2007

Where Has G-Rated Gone?

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.


Marilyn said...

Two words Alicia...CLEAR PLAY!

dandee said...

You are definitely NOT alone. I feel the same. Easton is getting to the age where he doesn't always want to watch what Abby and Owen want.

As I mentioned to you yesterday, I broke the news to Easton that we were going back to PBS cartoons for his afterschool "unwind time". Somehow we slowly started watching more and more of Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. I'm not saying that these are bad shows, and I hope no one takes offense, but I noticed a definite change in attitude in my eldest after he started watching these. It seems like a lack of respect for adults is a common thread in these "tween" shows. Something I'm unwilling to allow in my home. I'm also not thrilled with the advertising that takes place on the Disney channel, so back to PBS it is. Surprisingly, Easton was fine with the news. Actually, he almost seemed relieved. I think that we sometimes encourage/allow our children to grow up before they are ready. Besides, Arthur has always been a favorite show of mine, and I've missed him.

{I'm pretty sure this is the longest comment I've ever left on a blog}

Heather said...

I'm with you 100%. Maybe this could be your goldmine... you are great with movies!!

meohmyers said...

This has actually been on my mind a lot lately. Referring to Dandee's comment, I can't stand how much the TV is on in our house. The same shows day after day for hours at a time. I wish our kids weren't exposed to such filth that has become acceptable nowadays. I'm ready to pull the plug on the TV all together and save $70 in our cable bill, too!

Marilyn, what is Clear Play?

Shayla said...

I'm with Marilyn...Clear Play is a great alternative to these issues. It's a DVD player that you download filters for a specific movie and then it filters out whatever stuff you designate you want filtered. As far as the DVD player goes, we've had some issues with it not working...but when it does, it does the job well. We found ours at Target for $49.99. I totally agree with you on everything else. As you know with the obsession of Disney princesses in our house, I worry about the messages my girls are picking up. Yeah, there are some good things in those movies, but the clothes are just miserable, the body images, the kissing, the idea that all that matters is looking beautiful and finding your prince is the most important thing ever...ugh! We have Nick Jr. on too much at our house too, and have found with the advent of our children loving the internet as much as we do that it can take over our lives pretty quickly too. Scary! Have you tried getting old episodes of Transformers on DVD instead of the movie, maybe they wouldn't have the language? I know there's a website where you can watch them for free...ummm...let me's, I think.

tharker said...

Alicia, first of all, I'm glad you are back. I missed your blog.

Second, I am 100% with you on this issue. Why does Cody Maverick in Surf's Up have to call the other guy a word that rhymes with "Checker Face"? A word which Jake picked up the first time he watched it. Lovely. "Mom, is Checker Face a bad word?" That was a fun one.

I hope I am allowed to read your blog. I saw your new sign in name on Danyelle's blog and got a little too excited!

Alicia said...

Tiffani, I am so glad you found me! I didn't have your e-mail address to give you my new blog address!

Noelle said...

ok, i'm the one with the totally lame computer and it deleted my comments twice. ugh! so let's try it again.....
i go to the library atleast once a week and get all the clean nick jr. and nickolodean (sp) cartoons via dvd and also, they have he=man and transformers dvd's of the vintage cartoon episodes. it's so great. and free! well, if i return them in time. so i'd check your local library. man, doesn't that sound like a commercial.