Movies and my child(ren)

This will likely end up being a column about my favorite movies. I talked the other day about schools showing movies–most of the time illegally–inappropriately picked for the student age group. Today I want to talk about making the decision for my own kids.

BJ and I watch a lot of movies. We don’t really watch a lot of tv, but we do like movies. That being said, there are a good many movies that I’d like to watch with my kids the first time they see it. I dunno, kinda sappy maybe, but I’m thinking it’s special to me in some way, I want to share that specialness with my kids. Brittany is reaching that age where we’re allowing her to see more movies, but are still very careful about what she sees.

When Brittany was 11, I argued with BJ that she was old enough to watch Spider-Man. I won the debate and Brittany watched the first Spider-Man movie with me–a movie which, despite some of the parts that aren’t true to the original concept, is still incredibly close in spirit.

She had nightmares that night.

Okay, so BJ won that debate.

So we’ve had to gauge what we think will scare her and what we think won’t. We let her watch Pirates of the Carribean (NOT on my list of must-watch with dad first time) when she was 12. We had some worries about the ugly pirates, but they didn’t bother her at all. Go figure! Green Goblin scares her, skeletal pirates don’t!

What are some of the other movies I want to watch with her? Gone With The Wind! I definitely want to be able to watch that with her to help explain the suffering and military occupation the South went through during and after the war. What, didn’t you know the South was a “militarily occupied” territory–just like Japan or Germany after WW2 or Iraq today–for 12 whole years! From 1865 until the election of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877. Hayes was elected in a back-room political deal in which the South basically said, we’ll support you for President if you’ll get the troops out!

I’d also like to watch Gods & Generals with her–one of the best movies regarding The Southern War for Independence. Other good movies regarding independence and liberty: Braveheart, Patriot.

Also, the superhero movies like Spider-Man: the other Spider-Man movies, the X-men family of movies, etc.

And the Christmas stories, some of which she has already seen: Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. (She’s already seen both of them)

Star Wars was on the list at one time because the very first movie meant so much to me in 1977. It’s lost some of the appeal since then, but I saw that movie in the theater nine (yes, 9) times! I’ve never seen any other movie more than twice.

I’d considered some of the “classics,” but they don’t really hold the same “special” place for me. I’d grant some of them are good, but most hold that endearing place for the generation before me.

Other sort of odds and ends that I can’t really put into a category: Planet of the Apes (yeah, I know–but that first one was very powerful!), The Godfather movies (she must get MUCH older), E.T. (but somehow, she watched this one already!), 2001, Dead Poets Society, Sgt. York, Fighting Sullivans, Friendly Persuasion, and I’m sure there are some I can’t think of until mentioned.

I think about all this because BJ and I just had the opportunity to watch Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring with Brittany. She’s been wanting to see it now for about two years. I told her she had to read the entire series before I’d even think about it. She finished Return of the King last week. I was 15 or 16 before I read The Hobbit!

Pretty cool, huh? 🙂


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Filed under family, General, Kids

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