Tuesday Toddler Tales

At 4 1/2 years old we finally started letting Emily watch Disney films (think the Classics you grew up with); she loved both "Bambi" and "Aladdin" is obsessed, begging to watch them on a daily basis! She liked "Pinnochio", mainly the scene's with Monstro the Whale but wasn't impressed with "Tinkerbell". Once "Dumbo", "Beauty and The Beast", "101 Dalmations" and "Cinderella" are returned we'll rent those.

Disney is a bit "dark" with very mature subject matter (poisoning, death, animal abuse) and often times includes some explicit language (Jiminey Cricket says "jackass" in "Pinnochio") so, we have been very selective with what we have allowed her to watch and we always watch movies with her.  We were quite impressed with her grasp of the circle of life and her very matter-of-fact explanation of why the hunters shot the quail and Bambi's mother in "Bambi" and she was quite appauled when Pinnochio lied, which made his nose grow.

What are your kid's favorite Disney movies or do you have your own reasons for not showing them movies, Disney or otherwise?


  1. Have you let her watch the Pixar movies though? I found things like the use of "idiot" and "shut up" in Toy Story much more problematic when they showed up repeatedly in Owen's speech. He never zeroed in on the stuff in Pinocchio the same. I think he was too busy being disgusted at the smoking (good kid!).

    Owen loves Aladdin and Bambi too (though Bambi made him hesitate to eat meat a couple of times...). He also surprisingly adores Sleeping Beauty, because Malificent turns into a dragon. He loves the wizard's duel in Sword and the Stone, too. And they're not classics (yet), but The Princess and the Frog was a huge hit (the music and the Shadow Man) and we saw Tangled in theatres. He's been teased by some boys that he watches 'girl movies' and he will argue with them about it. I like that he's happy to watch whatever he'd like, even when questioned about the gender stereotypes.

    I've been constantly surprised by how Owen accepts death and dark themes. I think it's good for him to understand death and evil in a non-threatening way. We just read Roald Dahl's Matilda together and talked about how not all kids have parents who love them or care for them properly. I think I regularly underestimate his empathy and understanding, and no longer worry about censoring movies for these themes.

    I still limit movies for language and gun violence, so (for example) I haven't let Owen watch The Incredibles yet, and I'm holding off of Shrek for a bit more because he already loves bathroom humour, so why encourage it?

    Sorry. Eek. This is long. I think about this a lot :)

  2. I agree the Disney movies can be a little dark and scary. That's cute how Emily is really understanding the movies, and I think you waited until the perfect time for her to really appreciate them!

    I know other kids Celia's age already watch movies, but we probably won't do any until she's closer to Emily's age. I just don't see any benefit in a toddler or very young preschooler sitting in front of the tv for 2 hours! Plus, there's so much heavy Disney-related marketing towards young kids that I'd rather she wasn't exposed to it. As it is, the only tv shows Celia knows about are Sesame Street, Caillou, and the news.

  3. KateB - LOVE when you stop by my blog! :)

    Yes, she has seen EVERY Pixar film but only in the last two years because of the language (stupid, idiot). She was actually exposed to quite a bit of bad language at Preschool in the last year so, it's been a frequent topic of conversation in our household. She understands that those words are "teasing" words and hurt people's feelings and knows not to ever use those words towards anyone. It's been oddly great to be forced to explain all this very mature content to her; it's helped her deal with the potty-mouths at school. :)

    And I agree with you about Shrek and other films full of "potty humor"!

  4. Good morning, Sarah!
    I hear ya about all the over-exposure of Characters and it starts at such a young age, it's really hard to get around it most of the time. Emily has only recently taken up an interest in Disneyland and The Princesses but only because of all the little girls at Preschool whom are obsessed with it. And because Disney owns Pixar, it's just part of our life but I'm holding out on buying character-themed lunch boxes, t-shirts, and action figures as long as possible! :)

  5. Thanks! I always read your blog; I just need to comment more.

    I found villians are great for discouraging bad language too. Ursula in The Little Mermaid calls people fools and imbeciles, and when we read Matilda, the mean father calls his daughter stupid, an idiot and tons of other inappropriate things. It started great conversations with Owen about what people say hurtful things like that and what kind of person he'd like to be.

    I guess we've been lucky that the only preschool language Owen's come home with is "poopy head" (though that's still really irritating). I'm glad I'm not the only one skipping Shrek. Owen is the only one of his friends who hasn't seen it.

    I do think it's great opening up the mature content conversations. We had a lot of death talks from Disney movies before we had to go to Owen's first funeral. It's a much nicer context to discuss the tough stuff.


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