Non-sexist movies for preschoolers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to find something for DD (3 years old) where the protagonist isn't impossibly pretty, marrying a prince, etc.

 

We love studio Ghibli films (Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, etc) but we've exhausted everything aimed at DD's age group.

 

Any suggestions? shy.gif


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#2 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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Is your DD closer to four or closer to three?  A few months before our DD turned four, she started to show interest in non-animated films.  She loves the original "Lassie" and "National Velvet" (both with Elizabeth Taylor).  These types of films have good story lines as well as involved young chidren working through some sort of diversity and connecting to animals.  She likes good animated films, but I was surprised that she had the capacity to sit through a feature length film, especially non-animated.  At 4.5, one of her favorite films right now is "The Black Stallion."  Anything that involves animal and child as the central heros is great in my book.

 

One animated film that we love and that DD watched over and over again was "Kiki's Delivery Service."  It was a Japanese film (dubbed in English) and it was such a delightful story.  Kiki was actually a witch in training (some people may not like the witch idea) but the story line was fantastic. 

 

Edited to say:  Whoops, you mentioned Kiki's Delivery Service!  Anyhoo, I second the film and hopefully others will want to watch it too.


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#3 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Drat, I clicked on this thread to suggest Ponyo.

 

My dd likes the Pixar stuff made for older kids, but they might be too scary for a kid who has developed a good imagination.

http://l.yimg.com/eb/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/walt_disney/monsters__inc_/waternoose.jpg if that guy doesn't freak her out, and you skip the very first scene, Monsters Inc. could be okay

 

Cars and Wall-E don't have anything as obviously frightening in them so I can't give you any obvious heads-ups on those.

 

 

Oooo! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panda!_Go%2C_Panda! (available in English with Russian subtitles (weird!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmIVtDbXWHo)

 

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#4 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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One thing I'm seeing recommended on "movies for kids" sites is Babe. NO.  The opening part of that movie scared me when I saw it when I was 23.

 

Now, the book it's based off of is awesome. Which is why I tried watching the movie.

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#5 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, and please keep them coming! Don't worry about the repeats - it shows that you guys get what I'm looking for. winky.gif
 

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One thing I'm seeing recommended on "movies for kids" sites is Babe. NO.  The opening part of that movie scared me when I saw it when I was 23.

 

Now, the book it's based off of is awesome. Which is why I tried watching the movie.


No kidding!! We downloaded it a few months back and had to turn it off just a few minutes in. Definitely not for the little ones!

 

 


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#6 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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We are huge Studio Ghibli fans here, too!

 

Both of my kiddos enjoyed the Heffalump Movie (Winnie the Pooh) pretty early on. It's sweet with an anti-prejudice message.

 

Oh, Aristocats -- except the Mama cat does end up with Tomcat in the end, so I don't know how you would feel about that. Also The Little Bear Movie.

-e


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#7 of 23 Old 04-13-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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ooh, babe made me think of charlotte's web!

milo & otis

where the wild things are (although this is too upsetting/scary/sad for many kids, and probably boring for some three-year-olds, but my boys love it)

the fantastic mr fox

robin hood (the disney movie with the animals)

the sword in the stone

pingu (shorts we watch on youtube, they're like 5 minutes)

the nightmare before christmas

mary poppins

james and the giant peach (fairly scary in some points though, might want to pre-watch)

madeline

homeward bound

the incredibles

little bear (episodes of the tv show on dvd/vhs)

my kids also love any older vhs tapes i find at the thrift store that are animated versions of story books, which are super mellow.

oh yeah!  how to train your dragon.  that is my freaking favorite kids movie ever.

i'm also really excited for when my boys are old enough to be interested in whale rider, because i loved it so much, but i think it's probably more for 8-12 (my boys are 4 & 5.5). 

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#8 of 23 Old 04-14-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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We like:

 

maggie & the ferocious beast

olivia

 

harriet the spy (the one with rosie o'donnel - might be a little iffy age-wise, but dd loved it at 3)

 

chicken run 

shaun the sheep shows 

 

old pink panther cartoons

 

the muppet show

 

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#9 of 23 Old 04-14-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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I agree with all of the above (Double Dutch - your list was great and can't believe I didn't remember those!).  The muppet show and the muppet movies were great too!

 

I didn't see this mentioned above, but there is a series out of the UK called "Charlie & Lola" (they are a series of books too).  You can get them on DVD.  I second the Little Bear series as well as all the other wonderful kid programming that comes out of Canada (many of which you can get on DVD).


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#10 of 23 Old 04-14-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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We've started getting Scholastic Books videos from the library.  Dd is 4 and she loves them.  They are slightly animated versions of children's books using the original illustrations and the original text.  They are great.

 

My dd also loves a movie called "The Ballet Shoes" (I think) about three orphan girls who are adopted and attend a performance arts school.  I think it's pretty good on gender roles.

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#11 of 23 Old 04-15-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Ds is 3.5, very sensitive to "drama" in media so we've had a hard time finding anything he likes.  We don't watch much TV, but occasionally want to do a "family movie night." So far we haven't really found anything that works.  He'll watch Totoro (see it several times now) but needs help getting through some of the spots (like when mei wakes up on totoro's stomach) even though he knows what's going to happen. Kiki is too scary (because of the flying on brooms and almost running into people/things).  Ponyo was WAY too scary (the waves had eyes!).  He LOVES Little Bear, books and movies/show, (although not the one where little bear "ruins" ducks puddle, that one is too sad/freaky???) He loves Pingu (but mostly the older ones not the newer ones that move a little too fast).  Muppets in Space (we got through when he had pneumonia, but he had to fast forward all the parts when Jeffery Tambor is on the screen!)  The Muppet Show was too manic and the humor too fast/above his head so he didn't like that.  (he's never seen Sesame Street, maybe if he had seen Sesame Street he'd recognize the style a bit?)  He likes Planet Earth and Life documentaries.  He likes Microcosmos (which he calls "the bug movie" and has no narration at all).  Dr. Seuss movies have been a big hit, the old animated ones, The Cat in the Hat (which is not like the book at all), Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, The Sneetches, the Zax, etc.  

 

Oh, add Pippi Longstocking to the list of movies that as ds would say, "are freaking me out!"  But other little kids I know like it!  Mary Poppins (too scary for ds but lots of his friends like it).

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#12 of 23 Old 04-17-2011, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I've compiled a list and we're going to see what we can find. smile.gif


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#13 of 23 Old 04-19-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Hammy the Hamster: http://www.amazon.com/Hammy-Hamster-Finds-Riverbank-Boothouse/dp/B0000CD5JD

 

Was shown on Animal Planet and has real small critters like a hamster, mouse, guinea pig and turtle in a sweet little land called the Riverbank.

 

The stories teach of friendship, teamwork and adventure. My son is 7 and loves them!

 

Rhianna

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#14 of 23 Old 04-21-2011, 03:38 PM
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Mary Poppins! Old fashioned but come on mom's a suffragette smile.gif

We actually like the tinkerbell movies. Everyone is gorgeous but tinkerbell has an important job as an engineer and they have good messages. The first one is the weakest IMO.

The new rapunzel movie was very PC wrt gender roles too, although of course the witch is trying to stay young/beautiful and is the only one with dark curly hair!

Nonfiction is good too-- like the they might be giants DVDs and bugs (bugs do get eaten) etc

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#15 of 23 Old 04-29-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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You have got to see "fly away home"  my dd's FAVORITE of all time... and as a bonus, I loved it too.  It's an empowering female story with only one scary part in the very beginning that is easily skipped.  My dd won't watch anything remotely stressful and is often in tears whenever there is a movie opportunity at a friends house because she has had very little exposure to that kind of stress, we made it about 8 minutes into "toy story" for example.

 

And "emmet otter's jug band christmas"  so good, so classic... another good morality story as well with singing muppets to boot!

 

one more that hasn't been mentioned "caillou"- an almost revoltingly functional family :)  but I like this one (the only cartoon I can stomach) because it IS so mundane and it just holds my daughter... caillou takes the recycling and she is glued.  I use this in emergencies if I NEED to finish something desperately, because it is the only one she will watch by herself (she doesn't need me there to talk about it, because it is just about normal living) and I prefer to engage with the movie, but I am a single mom, and caillou is a pretty good sitter :)

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#16 of 23 Old 04-29-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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The new rapunzel movie was very PC wrt gender roles too, although of course the witch is trying to stay young/beautiful and is the only one with dark curly hair!

 

 

That actually didn't bother me at all, probably because having all her long, gorgeous blonde hair chopped off is part of her happy ending (I've got nothing against long, blonde hair - just wish more people in the media recognized that it's not a necessity for beauty).
 

 


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#17 of 23 Old 04-30-2011, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That actually didn't bother me at all, probably because having all her long, gorgeous blonde hair chopped off is part of her happy ending (I've got nothing against long, blonde hair - just wish more people in the media recognized that it's not a necessity for beauty).
 


True, but totally went over my 3 year old's head. Now she's talking sadly about how her hair (kind of a reddish dark blonde colour) has gone brown because we cut it, and how she wants it to be blonde again, and long like Rapunzel's. She'd never thought twice about hair before she saw it. I've spent the last couple of days showing her pics of Kate Middleton to show her that princesses can have brown hair.

 

Shame, because it's a great movie in a lot of ways.


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Quote:
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You have got to see "fly away home"  my dd's FAVORITE of all time... and as a bonus, I loved it too.  It's an empowering female story with only one scary part in the very beginning that is easily skipped.


I agree that this is a pretty good one, but my dd was scared at other times as well.  The park ranger guy who is trying to thwart them is scary, and she had a hard time with several scenes with him in it.  It is mild enough, though, that it can be talked through or fast-forwarded if you are watching alongside your child.

 

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#19 of 23 Old 04-30-2011, 04:09 PM
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Ooh fly away home! I am going to preview that,could be perfect for dd, thanks!

And I liked the end with R's brown hair too (bc then it looked like Mandy Moore) but the mother gothel I hope comes off as erm gothic or something bc it could be seen as more eastern European than the others. Maybe I'm overly worried bc dd is half Jewish (and blonde and blue eyed lol) but gothel played like totally Jewish to me. I did love how whenever she expressed love or concern for R, she always was looking at/touching her hair. Every time! I think it's a well made movie.
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#20 of 23 Old 05-01-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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True, but totally went over my 3 year old's head. Now she's talking sadly about how her hair (kind of a reddish dark blonde colour) has gone brown because we cut it, and how she wants it to be blonde again, and long like Rapunzel's. She'd never thought twice about hair before she saw it. I've spent the last couple of days showing her pics of Kate Middleton to show her that princesses can have brown hair.

 

Shame, because it's a great movie in a lot of ways.


It might be hard with a three year old, but you could point out that Rapunzel's life became much less complicated - and dangerous, scary, etc. - when her long, blonde hair got cut off. She didn't have to spend all that time fussing with it, and nobody was going to try to steal her away again, etc.

 

I really don't like the whole "blonde is beautiful" thing. DD1 (almost 8) seems to be mostly over it, but she spent a couple of years lamenting that she wasn't as pretty as her two best friends, because they're both blonde, and sh'es a brunette. It's really foreign to me, because I also have brown hair, and I also hated it - but I wanted mine to be black. Blonde never appealed to me, even as a kid. (Mind you, I don't think blonde was marketed to kids as much back then, either.)

 


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#21 of 23 Old 05-03-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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subbing!! I need ideas too. We have been without tv/movies for most of my kids childhood so far, and trying to find things that are appropriate seems impossible! It's so weird to me the things people think are appropriate for kids!

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#22 of 23 Old 05-03-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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I just saw Fantastic Mr Fox in another post and thought I'd say that if you have concerns about violence or overall "message" it is probably not good for your family. That being said I love it and wish my daughter liked it more, its just such a great film (both storywise and cinematography)but I really feel that parents over think the appropriateness of movies issue sometimes I know that my daughter often just becomes bored and wanders off television is a whole different story but i think after about 20-30 min she just doesn't care unless its an event like going to the theater, which she LOVES.

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#23 of 23 Old 08-02-2014, 07:33 PM
 
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are you serious? Wall-E is terribly scarey for a young audience! There's an apocalyptic world and everyone becomes too fat to move based upon sloth and greed. The heros aren't even human they are robots showing human emotion. Kids can't make sense of this and will accommodate it as if it is "normal."

This movie I couldn't watch to the end I was so scared.
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