What is Appropriate?

December 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

As we were watching “March of the Penguins”, I  kept wondering how I would have reacted to the movie as a child. I remember when the film came out reading articles and hearing conversations about whether or not it was suitable for little kids. Obviously it is a pretty G movie but the scene with the gull was pretty upsetting. The entire classroom of 17 and 18 year olds was cringing and had we been 10 years younger there very well could have been tears. This got me to thinking about what is appropriate for children. I know that this was a source of controversy for “The Lion King” and “Bambi”. I came to the conclusion that the loss of a parent or a home or predation in wildlife is indeed acceptable for children to see and actually important for them to understand.

One movie that we watched this year that I however do not think is appropriate for children is “Fantasia”. When I was a little girl “Fantasia” scared me  shitless. It does not teach children to fear rational things such as death but completely insane things like Satan and vindictive Olympians. As a child I would experience an odd combination of fear and boredom during “Fantasia”. It was too creepy for me to enjoy! When I re-watched it this year it was a bit like what I would imagine an acid trip to be like. Now I recognize that the film has some very admirable qualities. It teaches children to appreciate classical music, science and mythology but it is legitimately frightening and I think I will wait until my children a bit older that I was to let them see it. 

“Dirty Trash Can Full of Poop”

December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

While watching “March of the Penguins”, I was reminded of the characters from one of my favorite films, “Surf’s Up”. “Surf’s Up” tells the tale of Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf), a young penguin from Shiverpool, Antarctica and how he realizes his dreams of becoming a great surfer. “Surf’s Up” mimics classic surfing documentaries, with scenes that perfectly mirror parts of another one of my favorite movies, “Endless Summer”. The soundtrack of the movie features songs by Weezer, Greenday and Lauryn Hill and is delightful and appropriate to the overall mood of the movie.  “Surf’s Up” is lighthearted, entertaining, laugh out loud funny and extremely sentimental.

I was first introduced to the movie by my mother. I went upstairs one day to find her in bed with a box of tissues crying. When she informed me that an animated penguin movie was responsible for her tears I quickly went downstairs to escape the insanity. The next day I went to her room again and she was actually re-watching the movie. At the time I was rightfully apprehensive about the singing/dancing penguin cartoon craze so it took a lot of convincing for her to get me to sit down and watch a movie about  animated penguins who of all things surf. I’m glad I finally caved though. “Surf’s Up” has become our family movie. My mom and I force almost everyone who comes over to watch it with us and we are yet to get a bad review. We watch it on holidays, when we are sick, we even have two copies of the movie- one for  home and one for our beach house. My mother always says that it teaches its audience the true meaning of life. Although this may be a bit of an exaggeration, “Surf’s Up” does serve as a lesson on the importance of perseverance, passion and friendship. I would obviously recommend it to anyone who reads this post.

You can stream the soundtrack here.

Also enjoy this trailer to understand the title of this post and find out what it really means to be a winner. 

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