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Kung Fu Panda and the like

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
Not everyone here may share my view, but wondering if a few do so ...

My dds' (6 and 8) swim team goes to the movies once a month. We never go because I find so few "children's" movies acceptable.

They are older this year and had some interest so this time we went despite the rating and my reservations.

We left within 10 minutes at my older dd's request. 100% violence -- swords, explosives, characters deliberately inflicting pain, depiction of a very scary prison. The humor was directed almost entirely at the adults.

*Why* in heaven's name do people find these kind of films acceptable for their young children? The theater was *packed.*

Don't people realize exposing their young children to this dark, violent stuff begins the numbing process; gives our children a dark vision it would have been hard for them to create themselves?

I think it reveals so much about our culture/society -- that we would make movies like this for our children and then voluntarily take our children to them. My dd, in first grade, has classmates who have seen all the Star Wars and/or Indiana Jones movies.

It seems to me parents are not exercising good judgement in exposing their young children to this stuff. Yet, I seem to be such a anomaly.

What do you think about popular culture for young children like Kung Fu Panda?

M
post #2 of 101
I find it hard to generalize, because I know that different children have very different tolerance levels and interest levels. Just from my family's perspective, I do get tired of how many 'children's' movies are totally not something my daughter could see and enjoy.

We decided not to go see Kung Fu Panda. My daughter's big triggers are violence involving animals, or deaths of parents, so that leaves out a lot of 'children's' movies. She wasn't sure she wanted to see it from the ads, so we checked out Kids in Mind and read her a couple of the scenes they described, and she said no way. She's almost 7, and a great, smart kid. She can handle some scary things (loved The Iron Giant), but there's lots that is just not ok for her.

Oh, and her otherwise very nice teacher over the past few months has been showing movies on Friday afternoons now and again. Dd told me she was proud no one saw her crying during Ice Age! :
post #3 of 101

I didn't personally like Kung Fu Panda

I thought it was poorly written and the storyline didn't make a lot of sense.

I do agree that it's not for little kids. It's not a little kid's movie IMO.

The cuddly Panda bear as a main character may be misleading IMO

That said I had no problem with my 6 yo seeing it. We watch Star Wars and Indiana Jones too.

That's us though and I have no issues with other people choosing not to view movies like that.
post #4 of 101
What's wrong about being conditioned to some violence? Any farm or patch of woods anywhere in the world has more violence on a daily basis than the worst kid's movie out there. Does it serve a pariticular purpose for your kids to be so sheltered from real life?

Not that I've thought it through and decided that open exposure is better. But if I'm going to go dramatically out of my way to keep my kids from knowing about or feeling the reality outside the safety of our neighborhood block, then I guess I'd want to have a pretty compelling reason. What is it that you feel is the gain of this approach?
post #5 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
What's wrong about being conditioned to some violence? Any farm or patch of woods anywhere in the world has more violence on a daily basis than the worst kid's movie out there. Does it serve a pariticular purpose for your kids to be so sheltered from real life?
sorry, but :. i don't want my kids to be blindsided by the big scary society out there past our front door i think if i had continued to "protect" them the way i did at first, they wouldn't know how to cope with the rest of the culture as a teen/young adult.

i was a very sheltered child, and i don't think my parents did me any favors by that.
post #6 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by meandmine View Post
Not everyone here may share my view, but wondering if a few do so ...

My dds' (6 and 8) swim team goes to the movies once a month. We never go because I find so few "children's" movies acceptable.

They are older this year and had some interest so this time we went despite the rating and my reservations.

We left within 10 minutes at my older dd's request. 100% violence -- swords, explosives, characters deliberately inflicting pain, depiction of a very scary prison. The humor was directed almost entirely at the adults.

*Why* in heaven's name do people find these kind of films acceptable for their young children? The theater was *packed.*

Don't people realize exposing their young children to this dark, violent stuff begins the numbing process; gives our children a dark vision it would have been hard for them to create themselves?

I think it reveals so much about our culture/society -- that we would make movies like this for our children and then voluntarily take our children to them. My dd, in first grade, has classmates who have seen all the Star Wars and/or Indiana Jones movies.

It seems to me parents are not exercising good judgement in exposing their young children to this stuff. Yet, I seem to be such a anomaly.

What do you think about popular culture for young children like Kung Fu Panda?

M

I totally agree!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
What's wrong about being conditioned to some violence? Any farm or patch of woods anywhere in the world has more violence on a daily basis than the worst kid's movie out there. Does it serve a pariticular purpose for your kids to be so sheltered from real life?

Not that I've thought it through and decided that open exposure is better. But if I'm going to go dramatically out of my way to keep my kids from knowing about or feeling the reality outside the safety of our neighborhood block, then I guess I'd want to have a pretty compelling reason. What is it that you feel is the gain of this approach?
There's nothing real about movies like King Fu Panda. Reality - the good, bad, and ugly is something parents can guide their kids through. Yes, some animals die and other animals eat them. Yes, there are mean people in the world. Yes bad things happen that we can't explain.

But let's kick some butt, blow things up, call people names and laugh all the while so you can get desensitized and brainwashed into the next "big thing"? No way!
post #7 of 101
I did go see Kung Fu Panda and my issue was not so much with the violence but more the messages they sent. They refer to Po as "fat" in more than one way and say that he cant possibly learn Kung Fu because he's fat....they never resolve that or address it.

When the Master calls Po an "idiot", my son had a fit. He was really upset about that.

There was a lot of ignorance in the movie and I did not like it one bit. Dreamworks is quickly earning a reputation for that kind of stuff and it's too bad.

HOWEVER:: Not all parents agree with me. SOme people comfortably let their young kids watch KFP, Shrek, etc with no problems and it's fine. Not all kids are the same and not all media exposure affects them the same way. Bottom line, you have to follow your gut.
post #8 of 101
I have not taken my younger children to see this nor do I think I will. I am not a huge fan of Dreamworks' children's films. I know they are trying to entertain adults along with the children, but I feel they go too far with some of the adult humor. The violence on top of that is the clencher for me. I will wait until they are older and can better distinguish fantasy and reality.

Now, DSD is almost 10yo, and she has seen this with her mother. Her mother is much less discerning about the things she watches. However, DSD has never shown any real issues with things as far as being sensitive to what is depicted. My main concern with her, right now, is the adult humor because she is starting to get it. I would not have taken her to see it for that reason, too.
post #9 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
There's nothing real about movies like King Fu Panda.
You are right it is a cartoon, a story, or a fantasy. No more real than Diego, Sesame Street, Winnie The Pooh, etc.

We saw the movie and enjoyed it for what it was. DD got a thrill out of Po beating the guy in the end by smacking him with his butt. As for the violence I agree with Blessed. Silly violence in movies is really no big deal IMO. I mean there is an entire sequence where they wrestle with chop sticks over a dumpling.
post #10 of 101
My dad let me watch any movies that I wanted as a child and I still have fears around some of the things I saw. I watched some super violent movies, though, not kid violent movies. I think it's good to shelter them as long as possible, but eventually they're going to be exposed to it. We do watch Star Wars and Indiana Jones. These movies don't worry me as much because they are fantasy. What scares me is realistic sadistic violence and I don't think you really get that in star wars or indiana jones. I would be much more afraid of letting them watch the local news then of star wars.
post #11 of 101
I think it's all about your energy toward it and what kind of info you arm your children with reguarding the subject matters in the movies or TV shows. Now, while I certainly don't think little kiddos should be watching things they just CAN'T understand like, movies made for adults with gore, terror, sexual behavior, etc I don't think all children would fall as any kind of victum to a movie like Kung Fu Panda. Some, may not process it well and others might take it the other direction and use what they saw to treat others, animals, or objects in a bad manner. But, it comes down to the indivual child and the parents reactions and state of mind.

My 2.5 y/o dd has been going to live amatuer and professional boxing matches since she was 6 months old. Something many parents wouldn't agree with but, it certainly does not have any negitive effect on her due to our approach to it, respect about it, and rules reguarding it. Kids pick up on your own feelings. If you are worried about how terrible it is they go into it with terrible feeling as the underlying tone. That effects how they precieve it.

All kids are different and while one kid might do well with something others may easily be able to seperate reality from fiction or be able to see the intent and meaning behind actions.
post #12 of 101
We watch things like Star Wars, Narnia movies, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. and my kids really, really love them. They run around with their foam swords and capes yelling, "For Narnia!" My littlest likes to pretend he's Gandalf the White. Luke and Leia and Darth Vader are popular right now.

They aren't violent kids, they understand the difference between real life and fiction, and good vs. evil is a very important theme to little guys. I LOVED the Narnia and LOTR books when I was in elementary school and I'm so glad I can share the movies with my kids.

I haven't seen Kung Fu Panda yet but I was planning to watch it with my kids.
post #13 of 101
I was the kid that wasn't allowed to see many movies, and it took me a really long time to stop resenting my parents over that. I so clearly remember being 12, and not allowed to watch Dirty Dancing (which was a HUGE hit) because it was PG-13. It was damaging socially, much more than anything I might have seen in the stupid movie.

So I take a very different view on this. I don't want to shelter and protect Alex from mainstream media, which he is going to be exposed to anyway .. he starts public school in August. He's not big into movies, but he's seen Transformers and Narnia and wants to go see Kung Foo Panda, which I will take him to next week.

He is well aware of movies vs. reality and is also a sensitive, kind, very non-violent child. Trust me, watching violence in Kung Foo Panda is not going to make him start beating up his friends on the playground or anything. And he's certainly not desensitized to violence either ... he got upset the other day when dh smashed a bug, yet would not get upset in a movie that he knows is not real.

I think this is a very personal choice, but after growing up so sheltered from movies/media I feel it was harmful to me. And I have choosen to let my son see movies, keep an open dialogue and explain anything that might be confusing, but not keep it from him.
post #14 of 101
I agree with hottmama. Our kids love those very same movoies and they inform much of their informative play. We watch special features too, so they know EXACTLY how all that movie action and violence is done.
post #15 of 101
eh. we liked the movie kung fu panda.

we left in speed racer though - i thought that movie was incredibly inappropriate! i guess it just depends on the individual child or parent's perspective.
post #16 of 101
Chiming in with a big, "Yeah, that!" to hottmama....


alsoSarah
post #17 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by meandmine View Post
Not everyone here may share my view, but wondering if a few do so ...

My dds' (6 and 8) swim team goes to the movies once a month. We never go because I find so few "children's" movies acceptable.

They are older this year and had some interest so this time we went despite the rating and my reservations.

We left within 10 minutes at my older dd's request. 100% violence -- swords, explosives, characters deliberately inflicting pain, depiction of a very scary prison. The humor was directed almost entirely at the adults.

*Why* in heaven's name do people find these kind of films acceptable for their young children? The theater was *packed.*

Don't people realize exposing their young children to this dark, violent stuff begins the numbing process; gives our children a dark vision it would have been hard for them to create themselves?

I think it reveals so much about our culture/society -- that we would make movies like this for our children and then voluntarily take our children to them. My dd, in first grade, has classmates who have seen all the Star Wars and/or Indiana Jones movies.

It seems to me parents are not exercising good judgement in exposing their young children to this stuff. Yet, I seem to be such a anomaly.

What do you think about popular culture for young children like Kung Fu Panda?

M
I think this is a very harsh judgement to pass when you know nothing about the parents of the children who ahave seen this movie. My boys loved this film ( 7 and 14) and I thought it was pretty funny. I can appreciate that your children don't like violent scenes, but not all children are frightened or severely traumatized by these things. If you think your daughters can't handle this type of film, by all means steer clear, but I don't think it's fair that you pretty much accused me of being inappropriate/neglectful/thoughtless towards my own children just because we went to see KFP.
post #18 of 101
i'm laughin. i love mdc. we're debating about kung fu panda.
post #19 of 101
What was wrong with Speed Racer? I haven't seen it but DH took the 5 year old and said it was pretty innoucuous.
post #20 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
i'm laughin. i love mdc. we're debating about kung fu panda.
lol I Just asked my kids about this and they were not sure they knew what it was. It's cartoon movie is all we could come up with. ETA-- My dds are saying it's from Pixar, so they have heard of it. I'll admit that if they ask to go see , I won't care. My kids are not going to become Kung Fu pandas if they see it...or whatever else the worries are.
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