Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On Filtering Media: Parenting Fail

My six-year old son, Duzi is one of those kids who memorizes movie lines and then quotes them at the most random moment possible. In the car, at the dentist, at the doctor’s office, at the bus stop, and at baseball practice, he always has a one liner ready. He uses movies to practice American slang. Lately, he’s been experimenting with the words “sucker” and “dude.” As in, "Dude, can I have some eggs?" And, "Duuuuude - is it chore time?" And then, my favorite one - especially when he says it in public - is, "That's right, SUCKER!"
The kid will repeat anything. We sort of accidentally let him watch a movie about tornadoes that the older kids wanted to watch, completely forgetting about the foul language contained therein. The next day, as we pulled up to the grocery store, I overheard Duzi playing with his cars in the back seat. One car said to the other, “OH SHIFTS!” The car then proceeded to get sucked up by a fake tornado. I was 1) Thankful that he mispronounced the bad word and 2) Very aware that I need to closely monitor this kid’s media exposure.

So, we recently took all three kids to see RIO – the new cartoon movie about the birds.
Duzi told me that it was the funniest movie he had ever seen. He also told me that about Soul Surfer…so I’m not sure that his is the most discerning voice.

I’ve never really felt the need to view kids movies with such scrutiny, but here we are. Actually, truth be told – I sort of hate kids’ movies. Unless it’s The Incredibles. I like that one.

In spite of my aversion to kids' movies, I did like RIO. It’s a beautiful movie, colorful, alive, and the songs move. Will-I-am gives a great performance as an Angry Bird (his “romantic” song had the entire theater laughing - especially Duzi), and Tracy Morgan is classic as a bird-friendly-bulldog. The bad-bird Cockatoo was frightening and funny, and gets his just reward in an appropriately comic way. The monkeys are fantastic, and the bird-club-rave-slash-gang-brawl was brilliant.

A little…dare I say…racy for a kid’s movie? Blu bounces off a bikini’d buttocks, and the final Carnival costumes are flamboyant and buxom…accurate, I imagine, to Rio’s culture, and a stark contrast to the “MinniSNOWta” life that Blu lived until he was transported to Brazil. But just a tad…racy. Also, the plot line of getting the McCaw’s together so they could mate is a bit of grown up theme, and could cause questions for young viewers. (ie. Caleb asking us, “How does the information get from the daddy to the baby in the mommies tummy?”) Compared to Rango, there is no tobacco consumption that I noticed, but there are some adult themes that might need to be unpacked.

There’s the Howerton take on Rio.

There are not any bad words in it. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for commenting on the film Rio, because I have been wondering myself should I check it out or not, and is it worth it.

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