Cartoon killing vs Killing in nature - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-30-2003, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been thinking about this ever since I saw Finding Nemo.

For those of you who don't know, in the first few minutes of the movie Nemo's mother and 399 sibs are killed by another animal (I think a croc?)

The cartoon violence seemed so much more intense than say a documentary of crocodiles which would show them eating fish. I think this is because the cartoon charcters are anthropomorphised (?)- given human characteristics.

SO- here are my questions - Would you let your child see killing in nature (as in a nature documentary- Bears catching salmon, Lions catching gazelle)?

Would you let your child see cartoon killing?

Why or why not?

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#2 of 7 Old 06-30-2003, 05:20 PM
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I feel more disinclined to have children see cartoon or virtual violence for the reasons you described. The characters are humans in fish or whatever bodies with American cultural values too. The "staging" of the violence, with music, adds to the effect. I would not hide death nor would I bring it to children preferring they have some time to form their personalities in the glow of a more gentle world vision.
And children love animals and sense their beauty and nobility. As little artists I do not think they are insensitive to the fact that cameramen are watching things being killed without intervening. I think there should be nature shows for children where the scientists and logicians step back and there's more heroism by humans, especially when young animals are threatened. Later after children have seen man's heroic side, then can come the the facts and the harshness of nature.

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#3 of 7 Old 07-01-2003, 10:46 AM
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Well..I don't know about Nemo..I mean you didn't see the killing.. You saw the barracuda (?) and then you saw everything gone except Nemo's egg. As for other cartoons..I grew up with Wiley Coyote and Tom and Jerry. I knew cartoons were cartoons. My 2 don't watch cartoons very much, but they too recognize 'cartoon" violence when they see it. (They are 5 and 8)

Nature films are pretty intense, but I wouldn't call them "violent". Nature is Nature after all. I remember they bothered me as a kid because I couldn't figure out how the photographer could just stand there and not DO something! My kids are Animal Planet nuts on cable, and they don't seem to be phased by wild animals doing their thing. However, I won't let them watch Animal Precinct which features humans being cruel to animals..etc.
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#4 of 7 Old 07-01-2003, 12:49 PM
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I didn't find the Nemo scene that bad. I did comment to DH that "Disney just LOVES killing off the mom"

Anyway, I knew the difference and I think violence is a very common thing in both animals and humans. Even now, Goo will get violent when she is upset (hit things and flail). I think it is better to teach how to control one's violent urges rather than to shelter our children from violence.
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#5 of 7 Old 07-01-2003, 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by Foobar
"Disney just LOVES killing off the mom"
That is just SO true. What is it with these cartoons? I remember bawling my eyes out when I saw Bambi as a child - Bambi's mother dies in a fire. Doesn't Dumbo's mother die, too? I know that in "Nestor the Long Eared Donkey" (old Xmas cartoon), his mother dies keeping him warm in a blizzard. It was awful!!

I do clearly remember being very very young, maybe 3, and seeing a cartoon on TV where a man shoots a bird out of a tree. I started crying and my mother said "if you can't handle what's on TV then don't watch it" (gee mom, thanks for the loving support!).

I was also a big fan of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" and watched it every weekend at my grandma's house. I, too, used to want the cameraman to intervene, and I did find it very hard to see animals being killed. No matter how my Dad tried to explain it, it was just hard.

I don't really know how I'll handle it with DD, but I am certainly not going to pooh-pooh her feelings!! (grrrr!)

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#6 of 7 Old 07-02-2003, 01:47 AM
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Dumbo's mother wasn't killed--she was locked up for a violent outburst (she was defending Dumbo when he was being teased). She gets out of the cage at the end of the movie, if I remember correctly, and Dumbo is reunited with her.

I think most kids by the time they're three or four know the difference between cartoon violence and the real thing, as in animal documentaries. If my child was bothered by the violence involved in a predator taking down its meal, and asked why the cameraman didn't intervene, I'd point out that to save the prey would result in the predator going hungry, maybe even starving and that they're not the sort of animal that can eat plants instead. An older child would probably also get an explanation of balance between predators and prey species and the circle of life inherent in the "food chain" and why it's better for humans to not intervene and upset the balance. Stressing that the predator is killing because it has to eat and not because it's being cruel is important, imo, and it's important to explain that the cameraman isn't being cruel by not intervening, but rather the opposite.

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#7 of 7 Old 07-02-2003, 11:40 AM
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Stressing that the predator is killing because it has to eat and not because it's being cruel is important,
This is true in Nemo too. The other fish was hungry. All of the prey fish knew this and tried to hide. He wasn't being mean, he was hungry.
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