Kids movies – there is no better example of why “we’ll just go along and see whatever is on” (as opposed to reading eleventy million reviews before you commit to seeing any particular movie) is an extremely bad choice. I know because I sat through Free Birds and it’s 91 minutes I’ll never get back. And my husband knows because, eight years after the event, he still talks about Bee Movie as if personal trauma was involved.
Actually, Bee Movie has become somewhat of a benchmark in our house. After seeing any kids’ movie, we ask the question, “Was it as bad as Bee Movie?” Our movie rating scale slides upwards from Bee-Movie-bad to OK-I-got-through-it. Clearly we approach these things with a glass half empty attitude…
My kids are fairly good at picking which movies I’ll agree to and they look forward to the one hundred previews shown before a main feature. Have you noticed how the previews are for movies released from anywhere within the next month to the next five years? I guess there’s nothing like building anticipation (or the opportunity to nag) in the under-10 crowd.
Anyway, it’s during the shorts that my kids throw me sidelong glances, gauging my reaction. At the end of each preview I give them a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, Gladiator-stlye. But honestly, my true decision rests on two things – firstly, what do other parents think? As a community service, we need to share this information – if you’ve seen a Bee Movie or Free Birds equivalent, share it, so that other parents don’t have to endure the same.
My second stop is always Common Sense Media – it gives a thorough rundown of every movie, alerting you to ‘language’, violence, overt consumerism and other bits and pieces that stray into the zone for a more mature audience. It also has great ‘Best of’ lists that cover age groups and particular topics.
I don’t want to seem all bah-humbug about kids’ movies – Tim Burton’s take on Alice was superb and last year we saw Paper Planes, which was brilliant. And even though it might be pitched at younger audiences, Finding Dory, will get the thumbs-up in our house.
So what’s the worst and best kids’ movie that you’ve sat through? Please share.