Some good animated movies I like are: Megamind, and Toy Story 1, 2, 3. But I didn't really even love Up that much. It starts out great but then that colorful bird gets involved. I liked Cars but Cars 2 was insufferable. (Ugh, Mater--SPARE ME.) Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is good. I loved the premise of Mars Needs Moms. Such potential to say something good and interesting! I liked the beginning where they don't take permissive moms--they only want good, firm moms. But I ended up hating that movie so much. The martian who wants the firm mom is a cruel, controlling matron who has banished all the males to a junk yard. I feel like this movie was written by someone who uses the term "femi-nazi." The men were worthless Rastafarian freakazoids. As if sitting through Jar Jar Binks the first time weren't painful enough. I appreciate that Mars Needs Moms tries to be pro-family but it misses the mark.
Additionally, it's not that my standards are super high, I'm just super picky. I don't want to show my kids crass movies with the F-word in them. I don't want to show them anything sexually explicit or nasty. Mostly violence doesn't bother me. Drug use does. It's not funny to me and it I find it very disturbing. Stupid humor I can not tolerate, which is why I wouldn't allow my kids to see The Smurfs. In fact, I recorded Mystery Men to watch with my kids. I watched it first just to check it out. I really love parts of it and I think my kids would really like it. But it has so much crude humor I decided not to show it to them. Let them watch it with their friends some day. If I show it to them it's like I endorse it. I have a lot of hang ups. Sam is old enough to be sick of baby cartoon movies but Ellen is basically still into that. Maggie is sensitive to swears. Ben is impressionable. You have to be careful!
So last week I showed them one of my all-time favorite movies, Unstrung Heroes. Ellen fell asleep. It's not good for little kids. But my other kids enjoyed it and seemed engaged and interested. We've talked about it since and referred to jokes in it, which is the fabric of family life--don't you think? My kids rated it from 1-10, 10 being the best, as follows:
Maggie (age 12) 10
Ben (age 9) 7
Sam (age 14) 8 or 9.
The thing is, it's a sad movie. But it's beautiful and funny and moving and says good things. It's so, so much better than Mars Needs Moms--and "pro-family" as well. My kids did wonder why I showed them such a sad movie. I told them it was to show them that even a quirky family can give you what you need. Remember John Turturro before he was in Transformers? He's great to watch and it's good for kids to see a dad who's weird and then gruff and to understand that he's like that because his wife is sick and he's worried about her. It helps to understand different people's perspective. He has lost his faith and has this exchange with his brothers:
The dad: Religion is a crutch. Only cripples need crutches.
The uncle: A crutch isn't bad if you need it, Sidney.
Other uncle: All of us are cripples in some way.
The dad: Well, I'm not.
The mom dies. If that will haunt your kids then don't show this movie to them. I think it was good for my kids--makes them appreciate me more. Also, Kramer is in it.
Any suggestions for movies I can watch with my kids?