Why Nemo can stay lost…

October 27, 2009 at 12:57 am (pieces of me, random Puffs)


“I’m dead. I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead,I died, I’m dead.”

– Marlin (Finding Nemo)

So, yeah. . .I admit it. I’m a bit of an over protective first-time mom. I am. But just a bit. A huge part of my paranoia is devoted entirely to television, and what it’s beaming directly into my kid’s brain. And for right now, The movies made by Disney are some of my biggest enemies. Most recently vetoed was Finding Nemo.

“FINDING NEMO!? REALLY?”

I can hear you over there, incredulous tone and everything. Yes. Finding Nemo. Don’t misunderstand, I enjoyed the movie back in 2003 when I first saw it. Which is why I thought it would be fun to watch with my daughter in the first place. It’s a cute movie, yes – but not for toddlers, regardless of clever marketing. At least, not for MY toddler. Not YET.

We sat down the other day to watch it together, and about 15 minutes later we were done. She enjoyed what she saw, and everything else I skipped. Crazy? Yeah. . . But hear me out.

The film opens up to a scene of terror. Though he is still unborn, Nemo’s mother and all of his siblings are eaten by a barracuda. Niiiiiiice. JUST what I need my 2-year old to worry about. This is every kid’s worst nightmare – and one that I don’t think T has even thought of yet. Lets keep it that way! It’s traumatizing. . .it is. And when you really think about it, nearly EVERY Disney movie involves the death of parents, or the evil replacements for parents that are already dead – 9 times out of 10 its the mother. Whats up with that?

SKIP

Next scene: Nemo is older, and it is his first day of school. His father is very nervous about his son’s safety (considering the tragedy that befell the rest of his family, I find this understandable). Nemo, of course, is embarrassed by his father’s hovering. Everything was going okay. . . right up until Nemo tells his father that he hates him, and deliberately disobeys him by swimming into the open water, and refuses to return when his father tells him to. All of this before Nemo, inevitably, gets captured by a diver (in a frightening scene) and taken away from his father and the home he knows. . .

Wow. Does this sound like a lot for a tot to process? 1. T does not yet know the word hate. I’m fine with that. I don’t need her telling me she hates me until she’s a little bit closer to thirteen, thank you very much. Regardless of the words, she doesn’t speak to me in that tone of voice – even if I’ve made her angry – and she doesn’t need to start. Yet. 2. T is willful enough as it is, what with her being two and all, and we do NOT need to encourage this behavior. While it is true that Nemo gets into an awful lot of trouble because he doesn’t listen to his dad, I don’t know if T will grasp that, and even if she does – KIDNAPPING and IMPRISONMENT is a pretty severe punishment, dontcha think? The whole end of scene is a bit too scary for her, anyway, what with all the screaming and such. . .

SKIP

An extremely frightened Nemo is put into a fish-tank in a dentist’s office. He is to be given to a little girl who is notorious for killing fish. Great. In the background a screaming patient is having a root canal. T is scheduled for her first dentist visit this week. This is not the impression I want Puff to carry of the dentist! Meanwhile, Nemo’s dad is having more than his fair share of frightening scenes to be skipped through. . . including possible death or dismemberment by sharks, angular fish, and a jellyfish colony. And skip we did. I won’t bore you with the rest of the movie, save to say that it all ends happily (duh, Disney) and that it has been put away for a few more years. . . I like the movie, I really do – it’s just a bit too much for her right now. Its frikkin’ SCARY! And the score is so dramatic, it intensifies the tension by about 97 percent.

So what did she actually get to watch? The turtles. We loved the turtles. The turtles were awesome. . . even if I suspect that Crush was stoned outta his mind. . .

I know, don’t worry – I’ve heard it before. Like I said – I’ve taken a lot of flak for some of my parenting decisions – this being a MAJOR one.  One of the biggest arguments I hear is “They don’t understand!” And I guess thats really it. The root of my movie paranoia. I don’t believe that. Not for ONE second. She DOES understand whats happening on that screen, but imperfectly. . . and while I don’t think it would ruin her life to see these things, and I don’t think any less of anyone who does allow their kids to watch – which, yeah, is just about the entire rest of the world – I think we’ll just stick to short shows like Blue’s Clues and good ol’ Sesame Street for now.

So what do YOU think? Am I over-the-top protective for banning Disney (and other ‘children’s’ movies) for another couplea years?

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