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The Brookline Parent: Scary Movies

gnomi writes this week's The Brookline Parent column, Scary Movies:


I hate Disney movies.

Wait, no. That’s not fair. I don’t hate Disney movies. I just have a problem with them being considered the pinnacle of children’s film fare. Because think about it: Disney movies have certain beats that they all hit: the death of a parent in the beginning minutes, characters you are supposed to think are nice who are not, children without anchor being forced to deal in a cold, cruel world. And songs. Lots of songs. Songs with catchy hooks that get stuck in your head and you can never let it go. No, I don’t want to build a snowman; it’s April, and there’s finally grass visible.

Sorry. I think I digressed there...


Click Scary Movies to read the whole column.
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Our daughter is now 22. I despised the Mouse Marketing Machine when she was little, because they managed to make it virtually mandatory that we purchase every new release within days of its VHS debut, and secure the entire back catalog on those rare and short windows that the Mouse made them available. We called it "Mickey's Law"- that we could be turned over to CPS if they ever visited and didn't have the entire current set of Disney videos on top of the entertainment rack.

Now, after more than two decades and a couple of movie format changes, we still have a whole set of VCR boxes on top of the cable box. Because you never know when the Mouse might return....
Neat column, and I'm glad you and the kids liked Frozen! (on home viewing, anyway).

Hmm--Tangled doesn't feature the death of a parent, but it's the only one that immediately comes to mind that doesn't.
I remember reading something around a year ago where researchers studied the effects of 1/2 hour TV shows that purport to teach morality to kids. You know the format: the show spends the first 15 or so minutes telling the story of how the kid gets bullied at school. There's a couple minutes of the kid learning what to do about it, followed by the plan put (usually successfully) into action, followed by 1-2 minutes of closure where the bully learns the error of his ways and everyone lives happily ever after. (Figure the whole story takes about 22 minutes, to allow for adequate commercials in the 1/2 hour time slot.)
Wonderful, right? I mean, we learn that you shouldn't bully your peers.
Wrong. The study found that the show spent those first fifteen or so minutes reinforcing the idea that if you bully people, you'll get high fives from your peers and minimal punishment for your efforts. Because, y'know, everyone lives *happily* ever after, including the bully.
As far as I'm concerned, most all of the Disney/etc canon is just an expansion of this, and therefore no better for human consumption than the 1/2 hour TV version. Which is to say "not at all".

Edited at 2014-04-27 12:51 am (UTC)
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