I Have Nothing Against Tacos, Really.

by Alexa on October 10, 2013

¶ Various children’s entertainment failures

Simone has never been that into princesses, so I haven’t had occasion to really, well, CARE about her Princess Media Consumption, and I generally like sweet, bobble-headed Sofia the First with her ecstatically dilated pupils, but I think we may be done with her after the episode Simone just watched, the moral of which seems to have been “don’t get too excited when a good thing happens to you or at least don’t TALK about it too much or you might brag without realizing it, alienating your friends and bringing a curse upon yourself.” Worse, apologizing for unwittingly making your friends feel bad isn’t enough! No, it turns out that to remove the curse you must give up the good thing entirely, giving it to the friends you wronged by accidentally “bragging” about your good fortune.
Ick. ICK.
And look, it’s not like I am terribly reactionary about these things: there is plenty of sexist bullshit in children’s television most television practically everything, and I am comfortable letting much of it slide, partly because there is such a wide variety in what Simone watches and enjoys, and partly because one area where I am doing a pretty good job as a parent is talking about these issues with her, and smacking it right down whenever she comes home with the news that girls can’t like/do X, and the idea that a movie or television show is going to outweigh and undo all of my very explicit parenting on the subject is just silly. My favorite TV show as a kid was The Donna Reed Show, and I still grew up to read Backlash in Junior High and become temporarily insufferable about The Patriarchy, so there. I don’t need my entertainment to be morally above reproach. But you will have to believe me when I say this episode was bad, so bad it made me squirmingly uncomfortable to watch (I kept watching at first because I thought surely I was imagining things, and then because I was expecting the story to turn around somehow) and after it was over Simone and I had a stories-on-TV-aren’t-always-right-about-everything chat.

This came on the heels of the much more spectacular failure of one of our weekly Movie Nights. I instituted Movie Night when school started, and now every Friday we curl up on the couch in our pajamas and watch something while eating popcorn (well, Simone and I curl up on the couch, Scott sits in a chair and Twyla stands couchside with her arm elbow-deep in the popcorn bowl). The first movie was Cinderella (see–not reactionary!), which Simone had never seen and which she very much enjoyed. We decided to continue with Classic Disney a bit, as Simone has never seen most of them, and the animation is so pretty. And because she likes both Tinkerbell and pirates, Peter Pan seemed an obvious choice.

Okay, so have you seen Peter Pan recently? Because I had not. I mean I’d SEEN it, obviously, as a child, but apparently I’d forgotten quite a bit. For instance I did not remember, at all, the…Native American portions of the story, more especially a musical number called “What Makes the Red Man Red.” (We stopped the movie before discovering the answer.)

Movie ideas for 5-year-olds, anyone?

¶ Health Despond
My thyroid has been giving me trouble again, and I feel like I am sliding into a sort of Health Despond, in that this particular issue feels unending and unfixable and doomed to get worse as I age and age and eventually die. My very nice endocrinology NP is out on maternity leave until February(!), so later this month I am seeing some strange endocrinologist I have never met before, and I am not feeling terribly optimistic that he will be helpful, which is probably not fair, but IS solidly in line with previous experiences, so. And unlike infertility, thyroid issues seem to be an area where the Internet is not just unhelpful but actually, actively AWFUL. There are some nutty, strident folks out there, and lots of wildly conflicting information, and lots of people with very sad stories and it is all fairly terrifying and depressing and does not inspire confidence in really anything at all.

¶ I still haven’t finished the costume.
If anyone at the NSA is reading–which, come on, I think we can assume they are–I’d just like to say that while taken out of context some of my recent Google search activity may seem odd, even disturbing (“rainbow suspenders child” “child wig”), there is actually a perfectly innocent explanation, which is that Simone wants to be a clown for Halloween.

¶ Good Taco to you!
I mentioned this on Twitter, but it tickles me, so I am mentioning it here as well: Simone’s favorite part of school so far is Music, which they have once a day for a week-long block (the blocks rotate between Music, Enrichment, Science, and Gym). Anyway, they have been singing a bunch of new songs in Music, and one of them is basically “hello” in various languages: “Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias/Guten Tag, Konichiwa.”
Only Simone is CONVINCED that the last line contains the phrase “Guten Taco.” As in “Guten Taco, Nichiwa,” you see. I have tried to correct her, gently, but it makes her furious, so “Guten Taco” it remains.

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{ 60 comments }

Tamara October 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I watched such terrible movies as a child it’s a wonder I am the feminist I am today. That said, there were some really delightful movies that I love and aren’t too racist and sexist, but might be too adult/scary still for Simone. The Labyrinth (that just took me a long time to spell correctly), The Dark Crystal (this is probably best to wait on), The Rescuers Down Under (Moe LOVES the opening flying sequence in this), The Iron Giant (which I saw as an adult, obviously, because I’m an old person), The Flight of the Navigator, The Black Stallion (which some people find incredibly boring, but I LOVE, so step off my horse drama people), ET (which was kind of scary for me when I saw it at 6 years of age, but I still loved it), all of the Herbie movies (not the Lindsay Lohan one, THE ORIGINALS, which come to think of it are probably only available on VHS at a weird video store down by the river, but you live near the Mississippi River, sooooo), Pippi Longstocking (which actually might be kind of racist, I can’t remember), The Muppets Take Manhattan (or any Muppet movie). Um…

Well, that was a weird list. I hope maybe one of those will work.

Jesabes October 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Oh yes! The Muppet movies. I adored those. Especially The Muppets at Walt Disney World which was apparently only a special on NBC way back in the day and is unavailable in any form except crappy taped-off-TV-with-a-camcorder YouTube vidoes, to my everlasting regret. I watched every one of those YouTube videos about six months ago, though. I think growing up we had a taped-off-TV-with-a-VCR version.

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

We are watching The Muppets Take Manhattan tonight!

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

We must be just about the same age because I have many of the same favorite childhood movies (and similar ET delight/trauma experiences). Most exciting to me is your mention of Pippi Longstocking, mostly because it reminded me of my very favorite childhood videos of all time, the (HORRIBLY dubbed, and as a result sort of oddly poetic and surreal) Swedish Pippi Longstockings, which I adored and requested every time I was allowed to rent a video (my poor parents). I think my favorite was Pippi Goes On Board? They are beautiful and colorful in a very specific late-1970s way, and possibly responsible for my visual aesthetic even now, as an adult. I bought them again in college and watched the tapes over and over because they were so pretty and I wanted the film I was making to look just like them, and also I was stoned. (But they really were wonderful.)

Davida October 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Might I suggest the lovely Puss in Boots starring Christopher Walken as Puss (live action)?http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177606/

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I had entirely forgotten about that one! And the cover on the IMDB page reminded me (because: cat) of The Cat From Outer Space, which I had ALSO forgotten about, and loved as a child. Though I think I was a bit older than Simone.

Cas October 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is on somewhat-fairly-regular rotation in our house. It has a message that its OK to be smart/different/yourself – and Bill Hader does the voice of Flint Lockwood, so everybody wins.

Also, if you’re pressed to keep watching Sofia, do you know the episode where she fights The Man to be included on the flying-horse derby team that only Princes are supposed to do? The song, “Princess Things” is a bit funny, which is lucky, because I’ve had it in my head for the past two months… ;)

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I love Bill Hader, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs sounds like a winner. I will add it to our list!

Katie October 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Kiernan LOVES Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and watched it about every day when she was 3. There’s a part at the end that’s a little scary, but the gender stuff is pretty good (he underestimates the girl and she kicks his ass and they are BOTH scientists etc etc, she tries to change her image to look cute to impress people but realizes that’s stupid, but still has a ridiculous cartoon body). Just don’t assume it’s true to the book, because WHOA, not. We also just saw the second one in the theater, which has the awesomeness of a series of characters called “fruitimals,” which appear to be fruit-based animals with all names that are puns (my favorites are the hippotatoes and the watermelephants). So a good series all around.

Lately, Kiernan has liked: the original Muppet Movie (on Netflix), Milo and Otis (same), Mary Poppins (paid $2.99 to rent off Amazon Prime, worth it but VERY LONG, like almost 3 hours long holy cow), both Cars movies (never saw earlier, but she wants to see Planes and I can’t understand watching them out of order), Despicable Me (haven’t seen the second one yet), both Monsters movies (I think you’ve seen those), the Lorax (not as good as the 1970s book-version one, but cute).

Kiernan liked one of the Tinkerbell movies but then found them boring, and has been trying to get me to let her watch Peter Pan, but NO, NO WAY, on account of the racist stuff you mentioned.

Swistle October 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm

That is some seriously nice maternity leave.

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm

You’re telling me. I kept thinking I had misunderstood, and she was on maternity leave NOW but then was also booked out to February as a result, but another receptionist said the same thing, so…

meeshie October 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm

When I was young (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) my favorite movies were Dark Crystal and The Goonies. Neither of them are particularly sexist. On the whole, I am totally anti traditional disney crap. It’s eeeeeeeeeevil.

Also, who do I have to kill to earn a maternity leave like that? Dear gods ;)

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Love The Dark Crystal, but don’t think Simone is quite ready for it, as she scares easy…

(And I think you are about my age and I DON’T REMEMBER ANY DINOSAURS.)

Jesabes October 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm

My kids (4 & 2) are absolutely in love with Bambi. I suppose it depends how it hits them at the time whether they will like it, as my first watched it at 2 and thought it was the most boring thing ever. But they love it now. I like that it’s a Disney movie where the only remotely sexist thing is that the father deer don’t attend the birth of their children. (Or really, help in the raising of said children at all.) And I really doubt my children are going to somehow get the idea fathers should be in the waiting room handing out cigars instead of in the delivery room from a movie about deer.

There is the whole bit about Bambi’s mom DYING and all, but my kids are completely unbothered by this. YMMV.

Kate October 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Oh. My. God. I thought my head was going to explode when we saw that Sofia episode. And up until then they had been doing a relatively good job at not making me want to kill them. (I mean, aside from the episode where the ‘shy’ princess was magically cured by singing and dancing in front of everyone).

We aren’t big into movies at our house, but on the tv front, Dinosaur Train is both relentlessly educational and relatively low on the wtf-was-that scale.

Alexa October 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I am so glad that someone else had the same reaction to that episode! I was…shocked.

Sarah October 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm

My son is almost six and has liked the following semi recently:
Dolphin tale, despicable me, wreck it Ralph, rise of the guardians, Wallace and gromit movies, lady and the tramp, Mary poppins, music man, singing in the rain, and Annie.
:)

Nancy October 10, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Ponyo (Studio Ghibli) is our 4 and 7 yos old favourite and my husband and I love it too.

Deborah Simms October 11, 2013 at 1:05 am

What is the diagnosis on your thyroid? Do you have Graves Disease?
If so, I can perhaps advise (diagnosed with it in 1990)…

Allie October 11, 2013 at 2:32 am

As someone with fond memories of the “hello” song, I just have to interject that “G’day” precedes “Gluten taco.” Apparently Australian English qualifies as foreign enough for song purposes. :D

As for children’s movies, my vote is for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (a heroine who likes books! And wants to travel! Pay no attention to the emphasis on appearance…), The Man From Snowy River, and The Princess Bride. (The second two I adored as a small child; didn’t understand the nuances for years of course, but the music! The horses! The swashbuckling! I fully intended to become the Dread Pirate Roberts when I grew up.)

Ruth October 11, 2013 at 6:19 am

I gave away our copy of “The Rainbow Fish” for the same reason you hated that Sophia episode. The way to friendship and social acceptance is to GIVE AWAY the thing that makes you unique. Better yet, give a bit of your special something to everyone, so that you all look exactly alike!! Feh.

As for movies, my six year old loves the Studio Ghibli movies (Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Tortoro). Other favorites: Matilda, Wreck it Ralph, anything Pixar, Rise of the Guardians, Despicable Me ….

jen October 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

We keep to pretty standard fare on the movie front. My 5 yo likes Epic, Rise of the Guardians, Wreck it Ralph, How to Train Your Dragon, Tangled, Hop. Rise of the Guardians is a touch scary (mine is prone to nightmares and Pitch is, well, the bogey man).

He also LOVES Harry Potter. He’s watched the first three movies and we stopped there, for now. Again, the dementors are a little bit scary. After reading the first three books, we are now on the fourth book so we’ll see how he reacts to that before letting him watch the movie. There is a lot more dying from the 4th book on and since he was about 3, he’s been afraid of dying so I’m very wary to get to the point in HP where the main characters start dying off.

Guten Taco. Ha, that is so funny. I love when kids have their own version of things.

kissme November 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

You read Harry Potter to your 5 year old!!!! And the dement ors are a little scary?! Please tell me this is a joke. And yes I’m passing judgement or whatever you want to call it. That is just the stupidest parenting ever. Why not show them The Exorcist next?

Jenn H. November 11, 2013 at 4:07 am

Before you pass judgement on someone’s parenting, it pays to read their post for comprehension. She said she stopped before the 4th film, because the Dementors are scary. Meaning she hasn’t shown that film to her son. Reading about the Dementors is quite a bit different than seeing them on the screen, complete with special effects and scary music. And watching a Harry Potter movie is quite a lot less scary than The Exorcist, which is not at all for children.

kissme November 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Honestly–I think we all need to pass judgement on people’s parenting. Harry Potter is not for kids this age. Simple. I wish more parents would show better judgement so others wouldn’t have to do it for them. Admit it–most parents are idiots and that’s why there is so much of the anxiety and violence we have now. Because everybody says “Oooo . . we shouldn’t pass judgement . . .” so parents think they can let their kids behave badly and read and watch crap they shouldn’t be watching. I’m the one–when I see a kid misbehaving I say “knock it off” and they do. Wish the parents would do the same.

Katie October 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

The new Tinkerbell movies (there are four of them) are actually really good. Mae Whitman does her voice (love!) and my 4.5 year old adores them all. Netflix has them. But, alas, no pirates. Just fairies.

We also love Sound of Music (that Maria is a damn good role model, if you ask me.)

C October 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

I was going to suggest the Tinkerbell movies too. Nothing offensive, and not bad to watch from an adult perspective.

Elizabeth October 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I’m always sort of torn on Tinkerbell (the first one). If I formulate the message as, “Girls can be good at engineering,” it’s awesome. If I formulate the message as, “Your skills are determined at birth and are immutable thereafter, do don’t try doing anything other than what you’re preordained to do,” I don’t like it as much.

Cori October 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Well now that song will be stuck in my head all day…

I second the Studio Ghibli recommendation. Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro are all favorites at my house. I think my kids are probably old enough for Spirited Away now too.

Carrie October 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

My 6 and 4 year old girls like:
Annie
Goonies (we watched once this summer, and suprisingly, they loved)
Tangled
Princess Bride
ANY of the Tinker Bell movies
Elf
Cinderella (you’ve seen)
Camp Rock (giggle -Jonas Bros and a young Demi Lovato)
and yes, they just started Grease (after Teen Beach movie) and they are enthralled w/the music scenes. I figure, I SAW it when I was young, so what the heck. They love the dance part (with Sha Na Na?)

What is going on with your Thyroid? Hmm. Hugs on that.

Love that Simone. She’s a hoot!!!

Stephanie October 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Okay, so I’ve only watched one episode of Sofia the First ever, and it’s the one you’re describing above! It didn’t make any sense to me either.

As for movies, we really like Tangled and The Princess and the Frog. Both movies have catchy songs and overall good messages, especially The Princess and the Frog.

Guten Taco!

Stephanie October 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Wreck it Ralph is also great. My 4 year old daughter loves it!

GingerB October 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Well I am annoyed with Disney not just for sexism but that every stinking princess has serious mother issues. Just what do we want our little princesses to learn from that?? I was finding Sophia less annoying but I missed the episode in question. And although the new Tinkerbell series has pretty good stories and morals it bugs me that the fairies are all buxom and hippy and have eyes the size of their mouths.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! I want to marry Dick Van Dyke, so I am biased.

Megan October 12, 2013 at 8:38 am

Hmm. I remember loving the following films, but cannot necessarily speak to their political correctness — it’s been a long long time since I was Simone’s age! These all have lots of music in them, so my apologies for any lyrics (correct or not) that get stuck in Simone’s head for weeks on end, but she might enjoy them for that reason alone.

An American Tale
Land Before Time
Aristocats
Oliver and Company
Lady and the Tramp

I saw a vote for Singin’ in the Rain, which I second…but pretty much any Gene Kelly musical is going to be fun, and pretty PG to boot. Have fun!

Jenn H. October 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I would have to second those Studio Ghibli movies, especially My Neighbor Totoro, and the Tinkerbell movies. I was prepared to hate those, but the girls in those movies are all sorts of girls (not just “girly” girls, and Tink is a clever fairy who makes cool stuff). My son likes ‘em, too. Don’t know if you get the Pippi movies over there.

Giiirl, I’m going to try to help you wade through all that Thyroid info out there, and I know just the site you’re talking about when you say “strident.” I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) earlier this year, after years of dealing with hypothyroidism (a “fun” condition). I’ve found this site useful: http://www.thyroidpharmacist.com/blog.html. Also some Facebook groups:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/Hashimotos.Thyroiditis.Support?fref=ts and https://www.facebook.com/#!/thyroidsexy?fref=ts. Good luck!

Emily October 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

We have also started a Friday movie night tradition (along with some sort of super easy dinner like spaghetti) so I just made a little google spreadsheet of movie ideas from the comments for us to watch (yes, I am a big nerd). Thanks!

I have an almost 7 year old boy, 4.5 year old girl, and almost 2 year old girl and lately our favorites have been Madeline, Iron Giant, American Tale, Milo and Otis, The Land Before Time, Annie, and The Sound of Music. FYI, if you are ever in Los Angeles in late September the Hollywood Bowl has a Sound of Music sing-a-long where many thousands of people dress up in costume, eat a picnic dinner, drink wine, and then watch The Sound of Music on a big screen while singing along at the top of their lungs. I have taken my oldest who thoroughly enjoyed it. Somehow I feel that this would be your kind of thing. It’s awesome.

Our library also has at least 100 episodes of the classic Reading Rainbow on DVD (young Levar Burton!) and I often pick up one or two of those a week to pop in when I need to get something done and keep then children occupied.

Connie October 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Since I don’t know much about kids’ movies, may I suggest a princess book you will like? The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch will make you glad you’ve met Princess Elizabeth.

Alison November 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

The Paper Bag Princess is one of my 4YO daughter’s FAVORITES. As in, so favorite that we’ve now had to regulate the book. “Sorry, D. we’ve read TBBP 15 times today. Let’s give another book a turn, ok?”

Spoiler: And we always add at the end…”She did not marry Prince Ronald.. and she lived happily ever after.” Lesson for her–even if you never marry a prince (or princess-yay Hawaii!), you can have an awesomely happy ever after. :)

greta October 13, 2013 at 6:57 am

My daughter (also five, also a former preemie, not that this is in any way relevant to ones taste in movies) likes the Studio Ghibli films too – My neighbor Totoro and Ponyo are great. Just don’t get Castle in the Sky. It was way too scary – even for me.

Sarah Lynn October 13, 2013 at 7:42 am

Could you sit through “Mary Poppins”? Would she like the “Sound of Music”? My granddaughter at that age loved the old “Meet Me in St. Louis” movie, although this pining over boys is not precisely today’s message. There is a wonderful Madeline movie with Frances McDormand that I can watch over and over.
Not movies but highly entertaining for me as well as my grandchildren, are the old Faerie Tale Theater episodes (Shelley Duval), which are on DVD. You could watch two of them for an evening, always assuming you picked some that are not too scary for the audience. I could watch Robin Williams as the Frog Prince over and over and I love the Three Little Pigs too.

Stephanie Burgis October 13, 2013 at 7:48 am

I also have a 5-year-old who started school this year, and we’ve instituted Friday Movie Nights – and we ran into EXACTLY that same problem with Peter Pan! Somehow I, too, had completely forgotten the horrifically racist bits (and I, also, shut off the movie midstream).

I will soak in any movie recs from other people! So far our very most successful one has been “UP”, which my son loves AND my husband and I loved, too! It was a perfect family film. Star Wars was also pretty good (although just teetering on the edge of “too scary”), and WALL-E was really successful (although I had to do some explaining of what was going on). (Chicken Run was another failure, sadly – way too scary for the five-year-old.) I’m becoming more and more a fan of Pixar during movie nights!

Melissa October 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

Oh I do love to make movie recommendations!

I’d second Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, it’s a fantastic movie. Tangled, Up!, Annie and Goonies as well, although the language in Goonies surprised me, I didn’t remember the liberal use of the word “shit”. (About a week after watching it my five year old told me he thought ‘shit’ was a great word. Easy enough to set him straight on that though.)

Don’t miss Gnomeo and Juliet, set to music sung by Elton John and with voice appearances by Ozzy Osbourne and Dolly Parton to name a few. It is really, really good and has a great message for girls in the Juliet character. Stuart Little (Michael J. Fox as the Stuart voice) has a great story line and I just adore Bolt, I could watch that one over and over again. The music in Rio is also really fun, though the plot is a little funky.

Friday night movie nights with my kids are right up there with reading books in the ‘why I wanted to be a parent’ category. They’re the things that get me through the Monday mornings and the late night wakeups, absolutely delightful especially once the weather turns cold.

Clarabella October 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

Guten Taco sounds like the kind of German/Mexican fusion restaurant I could happily eat every one of the remaining meals of my life. So.

nancyk October 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm

you’re going to roll your eyes but the Barbie movies (animated) are very good. They always wind up with the Barbie character saving the day using her own skill and wits. The swan lake one has wonderful music. And available from the your local library!

Kristin October 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm

My daughter is just ten weeks old and one of the things I’m MOST excited about is watching movies with her later on. I actually started making a list last week, because I’m a dork like that. It includes many of the ones already suggested here, along with: Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, Never Ending Story, Finding Nemo, Charlotte’s Web, and Sleeping Beauty (old school, yes, but the MUSIC! And that fantastic dress/cake-making scene).

Jen October 17, 2013 at 7:06 am

I’ve got 5 and 8 year old girls who like movies, so I have a lot of recommendations.

The Studio Ghibli movies are excellent. My girls liked Castle in the Sky, but they are not easily scared. My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, The Secret World of Arietty and Kiki’s Delivery Service are all good choices.

I’ll second the Barbie movies, and believe me, it was a total shock that they were pretty good. Barbie is always smart and plucky in these movies and a good role model. There is always a good message.

Other movies we like a lot – The Rescuers, 101 Dalmations, Hotel Transylvania, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Brave (a little scary, especially the first time), The Princess Bride, Despicable Me, Megamind, the Night at the Museum movies, Elf, The Croods, The Addams Family Movie, The Swan Princess (which I don’t really like, but my girls do – another telling of Swan Lake), The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Shrek movies, and Labyrinth.

Amy October 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

Our whole family loves the Wallace and Gromit movies (with the exception of the one about a serial killer)(?!). We also especially love Shaun the Sheep.

starla October 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I still regret the day I corrected my now twelve your old daughter from saying hangerbur instead of hamburger. I am convinced she still would be saying it just as cute as she did at three.

Dot October 20, 2013 at 1:04 am

What is ‘Enrichment’? Is it where they get the five-year-olds to set up their own hedge fund?

I certainly hope that adult attitudes don’t have to track childhood media consumption, because my boys basically enjoy anything with fighting in it. I had to ban my almost-six-year-old from playing online computer games because he always clicked through to some horrible shoot-em-up. I told him I didn’t want him playing games with killing in. “But I *like* killing,” he responded mournfully.

Lisa October 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm

My daughter really liked Wall-E at that age. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I don’t really screen stuff for being morally upright and PC and inoffensive. I screen it for sex, language and violence (my kids are 10 and 7). So from quite early they watched Star Wars 4&5 (saved 6 for a while bc of Jabba and co), the Muppet Show, Looney Tunes, Fraggle Rock… old Disney movies are a favourite (not Peter Pan, but that’s bc I can’t stand Peter), old Mickey and Donald cartoons… Yeah. My son pointed out most of what we watch is at least 30 years old! And they’ve inherited my love of old 50s scifi movies, so that’s fun. We talk about things you just can’t say today, and how women don’t need to sit around and wait to be rescued, and how attitudes to different things have changed. So far that seems to be working, and as a result I have 2 kind and thoughtful kids with dry senses of humour.
Oh, and my daughter takes ukulele lessons and belts out Ethel Merman show tunes, so I loved when Simone needed an accordion!

Rhi October 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

A very Guten Taco to you and yours.

KathyM. October 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I last saw Peter Pan in about 1958, haven’t since. But when you mentioned the song “What Makes the Red Man Red,” it immediately began playing in my head! Of course, only the first two measures, but it reminds me how powerful a song can be–that I remember it from when I was 7, and I know I thought it a great explanation for red skin at the time. Of course in that era we played cowboys and Indians all the time–no one wanted to be an Indian. The good news is that at nearly 62, I am not a racist–a movie is not the last word.

THE GIVING TREE–much as I love Shel Silverstein–is a book to skip on the lines of the Sofia episode. Chop yourself to the ground for a spoiled brat, and then be glad when he comes back and SITS on you. Ugh.

I loved THE GREAT RACE. Jack Lemmon is hilarious as a bad guy whose evil plots fail every time.

K October 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I loved The Rescuers and Rikki Tikki Tavi (not sure of the spelling).

Not to get preachy, but please be careful that Twyla doesn’t try to eat the popcorn. Apparently, popcorn is a common cause of choking in little ones.

Amber October 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I am also making a list of movies for my family!

I have a 4 year old who likes things on the scary side, and so far we have liked: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the old one, with Gene Wilder, and we fastforward through the tunnel scene), Kirikou and the Sorceress, the Incredibles, Wallace and Gromit, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Fantasia 2000, and Finding Nemo.

Adah November 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm

The Gnome-Mobile (1967)!

jane November 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm

For Pirate-loving kids, the Muppets ‘Treasure Island’ is delightful and so is the live action Peter Pan starring Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook/Mr.Darling. Captain Hook does shoot a few of his crew members on screen, so there is some violence, but it is a wonderful movie.
As for classic Disney, Aristocrats and The Jungle Book are favorites in my house. Also, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a big hit.

Jill November 28, 2013 at 7:00 am

Oh course the NSA is reading this! They read everything we post online because It’s their job to keep us safe. Thanks, NSA; you’re worth the billions of taxpayer dollars that you get for vigilantly patrolling the interweb in search of the mention of pressure cookers, clown wigs and children dressed as foxes, because you just know some crazy shit is going on there.

Jill November 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

And as an aside to Kissme, my special snowflakes (4 and almost 6) LOVE the Hannibal Lechter movies. They like to watch them before bedtime, when I read to them from the Necronomicon.

Jerilyn December 11, 2013 at 10:15 am

I know I’m late to this party, but thought I would throw in my two cents on movies…

My 5 year old loves, loves, loves all the Toy Story movies and the first Cars movie. She also likes Tangled, Up!, the Tinkerbell movies (particularly Secret of the Wings), and the first Shrek movie (she’s thinks Princess Fiona is awesome).

As for movies to avoid, I recommend staying away from Beauty and the Beast. I know this will be controversial, because so many people love Belle. I love Belle too, but I have lots of issues with the movie: scary scenes in the woods with wolves when Belle’s papa gets lost were too much for my daughter, Gaston makes offensive comments about women, the whole icky Stockholm-syndrome part of Bell falling in love with her captor the Beast, and all the townspeople trying to KILL the Beast. As far as old Disney movies go, Cinderella is a better choice: no one tries to kill anyone and while it’s not great, at least Cinderella spends an evening getting to know the nice prince before she falls madly in love with him.

As for Sofia the First, if you didn’t like the episode about the bragging, then you would despise the episode called “Just One of the Princes” where they tell Sofia she can’t be part of a horse race, because she’s a girl!! It was the first episode that aired after the initial Sofia movie debuted and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Yeah, Sofia entered the race anyway and I think she won, but that wasn’t enough for me. The so-called moral at the end of the episode wasn’t enough to justify putting such an awful storyline in a cartoon directed at little girls! I haven’t been crazy about some of the other episodes, but they are light-years better than “Just One of the Princes”.

liz December 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I am very late adding my 2 cents, but I must insist that you get MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. I have a 15 yr old, a 12 yr old and a 4 yr old – so I believe that I have watched every kid movie — ever. Totoro is hands down the best. Plus, it is about 2 sisters. What could be better.

Late breaking — FROZEN is perfect. Perfect in every way.

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