my stance is either just stay away from movies till you feel they are ready to handle them - say 4 or 5. do shorter shows. and theater OMG unless its a v. tame movie like curious george OR if you really know what freaks your child out. at that age i was still figuring out what freaked dd out.
i dont remember details from mary poppins but take the movie Milo and Otis. pretty tame huh? but scenes from it - i think the stream scene freaked dd out.
so there are elements that makes every movie scary. but you have to find out what freaks your child out. what might be tame for one might not be for someone else.
the old woman in my neighbor totoro freaks another child out. she looks scary.
another thing about movie theaters. sometimes its nothing to do with teh movies. its everything to do about the noise level in the theater which actually hurts a lot of kids.
Computer animation is definitely an art form and takes hours and Hours to do. And even longer to do well! If by 'crap' etc you mean that you think it's not art because it doesn't require the skills of an artist (just speculating here) then that is a false assumption :)
You can find terrible movies/shows from any era I think. Just be choosy and do what works for you family :)
While I totally agree that the merchandising is crazy, my preschooler loves Spiderman and Batman. He's watched all of them. My older two are into them too, but less into the merchandise unless it's something usable that they would have gotten anyway like a tshirt, water bottle, pencil bag, etc. Not just cheap toys or something.
I even want something with Avengers on it, is that bad? ;-)
Shelley, mom to dd 5/19/01, ds 9/06/02, and ds 4/01/07. Lost babe 4/09