Husband and I have discussed what movies the boys are or will be ready for, and we usually agree and just as often get it right. We try to err on the side of acted movies rather than cartoons or computer animated or whatevs, and we try to include things that are current pop culture for the boys and their classmates, instead of only retro stuff like Bugsy Malone which I can’t find on amazon, or Charles in Charge, for that matter.
I introduced the boys to overgrown and approaching scary monsters a few months back when we watched Godzilla – the one with Matthew Broderick, not the Japanese ones. I like Hank Azaria’s Animal antics, and I prepped the boys with talk of science and etc, so while they were a little shaken up at the idea of an enormous monster sinking ships and toppling bridges and buildings in a city that they have actually heard of, they knew it was science based – movie science, but science nontheless. Cut to recent weeks and we watched Jurassic Park. True, it’s scarier and maybe more realistic because the “science” is explored in greater detail; there are also more scary scenes, even though you don’t actually see someone getting ripped in half. It also helped that I set them up for the “guy getting eaten off the toilet” scene which they found hilarious when we were talking about it. It turned out to be a little scarier when they watched it, but they were not permanently scarred.
Jurassic Park 2 was a bit far fetched for them with the idea of the second island, but the familiar theme of good guys (Dr Malcolm’s team) and bad guys (the suit and the safary guys) made sense.
Jurassic Park 3 probably was aiming at an older audience and it was a teensy bit more obvious, not necessarily graphic, but 5yo said it was scary and even 9yo sat by me for the majority of the film. Seeing Billy get done in by the Pterodactyls in the river was upsetting, for sure. Poor Billy, with his good intentions and then the chewed up parasail.
That means that Jurassic World is up next, and guess what? A kid in 5yo’s kindergarten class has seen it already. wft? Maybe the kid has older siblings, whatever. Everyone does what’s right for their family and etc. Husband is excited to watch Jurassic World again as am I, and the boys’ fears have been somewhat allayed since I told them that the two main characters are boys too, in a clear ball that rolls around the island, no less, and that they do no get eaten.
But post dinosaur movies, what then? We’re keen to move away from the people-eating theme but stick with the real-life theme, obvs that’s a loose term. I’ve decided on Kung Fu, because 8yo wants to be a ninja and because Sir David Caradine is awesome AF.
This will pave the way for life goals such as focus and concentration, strength, justice and when an ass-kicking is warranted, as well as bringing back the people-eating/killing theme in later years for Kill Bill and Office Space, which are coming of age films and introductions to full leather outfits and working for the man.
And then they will want to watch Kung Fu all over again. The circle will be complete.