By Heather O.
I’m a huge Pixar fan, and was really excited for this show. I took my 2 year old daughter and went with some girlfriends and their daughters. It was fun, but I feel like there are things we as parents need to talk about.
When Marley and Me came out, I took my 6 year old son. This was a mistake. It wasn’t because Marley and Me is an inappropriate or racy show. It’s a great movie, and I recommend it—to anybody over 12. Again, it’s not because there are things that are inappropriate. It’s just that Marley and Me deals with issues that are far above my son’s maturity level: miscarriage, marital issues, job disappointment and coming to terms with what it means to be a father. I found Marley’s death much easier to cope with than explaining to my son what “trying to get pregnant” meant.
I felt the same way with “UP”. It’s an incredibly sweet and powerful story about love and marriage, loss and fulfilling dreams, but it’s also a story that deals with things that I felt were way beyond a child’s maturity level. And if my now 7 year old had been with me, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that I would have again found myself explaining pregnancy and miscarriage, as the movie briefly deals with these concepts. Seriously. And not in a Finding Nemo “We have to name our orange fish eggs” kind of way, but in the mom crying in the doctor’s office and having to take down a crib kind of way.
Most of it is too subtle, however, for a younger child to understand, and my girlfriends who had 4 year olds spent the entire movie explaining stuff that had gone way over their kids’ heads. My two year old was perfectly content to just watch the balloons and talk about the dogs, and then fall asleep in my lap, so we had no problems there. But I found myself wondering how the writers would have thought this particular story line would be appealing to little kids. Toy Story this movie is not.
Perhaps I’m asking too much of Pixar, or perhaps in my familiarity of the other movies, I’m forgetting that I had issues with them, too. For example, I was bothered that the Incredibles basically opens with a gun fight, Cars couldn’t hold J’s attention at first, The Wiz hates that the phrase, “Welcome to hell!” is used in Ratatouille, and the Wiz and I both think that Wall*E is anything but charming. (I think we’re in the minority, though.) Maybe if I watched UP again and got into it more, I could appreciate it better.
But my daughter is getting addicted to the same Pixar shows that my son loved as a toddler, and I can see why. I just can’t imagine anything better than Toy Story, both 1 and 2. Simple, direct, based on a fantasy that all kids have. I mean, who hasn’t thought and pretended their toys came to life and had staff meetings while they were gone? And even if you don’t understand what’s going on, Buzz Lightyear is still pretty dang fun to watch, even for the tiniest kid. Little Sister yells, “It’s BUZZ!” every time he comes on the screen. Let’s face it–Buzz is the bomb.
So moms, if you haven’t seen UP, and you’re planning to take your kids, just be prepared to do some explaining. And I’ve seen it argued that having to explain things to kids isn’t all bad, and that kids have to understand real life sooner or later. Perhaps that’s true. But somehow I think that real life shouldn’t have to be explained by a Pixar movie.
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '1842' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date