Barefoot in High Heels

I thought this was a kids’ flick . . .

Posted on: January 23, 2009

We don’t watch many movies here at our house.  PBS Kids is pretty safe, and the PBS Sprout On Demand channel is a big hit with my girls.   But Miss M at 3 years old is very sensitive and takes in EVERYthing she sees and hears.  She is frightened by a car commercial when the music gets loud and the car is racing down the highway. 

So most “kids’ movies” aren’t really appropriate for her.  Or for too many 3-year-olds I know, yet most of them are watching.  Almost all the Disney movies all have some scary parts in them, whether it’s a villain or a parental figure dying.  Not something I need to have them see.  Or, to be more accurate, I don’t really want to be up all night with a preschooler who’s having nightmares!

Mary Poppins has been our first — and only — movie so far.  And while it was a bit boring and old-fashioned for me , Miss M enjoyed it, which was the intent.  We’ve sung the songs a few times, and she’s asked to watch it again (side note — gotta love the $1/week rentals at the local library!).

But then I traumatized my daughters with Disney’s Fantasia.  


I figured ” How simple can you get?  An orchestra (and my girls LOVE music) — and a Mickey Mouse cartoon.”      Perfect.   Except for it wasn’t.  At.  All.

The first part of the movie starts out with silhouettes of the musicians tuning the instruments, and then the conductor walking out to the stage.  Even at this part, I should have known.  Miss M  kept asking trepidatiously, “What’s going on??  Who is that man?  Who’s talking?”   And then the first notes of the music scared Little Miss A, who started crying and running toward me (I think I had the volume a little high).

So it got pretty boring, and I figured we’d just fast forward to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice part.  A cute cartoon, right?   Wrong. Very wrong!

It started innocuously enough, with Mickey dancing with the broom.  But then . . . and my memory is getting foggy here, as this was a couple months ago . . . Mickey wants to rest or something, and locks up the broom (?).  Regardless, the broom escapes (according to Wikipedia, Mickey cannot control the magic he has tried to use), and we watched in horror as Mickey tries to kill the broom.   Yep, that’s right.  Miss M was watching, completely wide-eyed and silent, as we see in the shadows that Mickey takes an axe to hack the broom to pieces, all in a very menacing and violent way. 

Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you and me, but to my girls, it was almost as if I had turned on Children of the Corn and told them it was a fun movie!  Miss M is whimpering “I don’t like this movie,” while she can’t look away and keeps asking “What is he doing to the broom?” with grave concern.

We turned it off quickly.  So much for a family movie time!  I will always think of Fantasia now as the horror movie for my kids!

So I need help.  What movies can my 3-year-old watch??  Nothing scary, must be G-rated, the shorter the better, and if it has music, that helps, too!

Please leave me some tips in the comment section.  We’re getting a little tired of Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina 30-minute segments On Demand!


4 Responses to "I thought this was a kids’ flick . . ."

You had me cracking up with this! Partially because I could picture how it all went down in my head and the other part was because I have SO been there! Sometimes I wonder what these movie people are thinking.

It is so hard to find a decent kids movie that doesn’t have anything too intense. We just got the Tinkerbell Movie for Jilly and, I’ve got to say, it’s pretty low-key as far as Disney movies go (nothing too evil or scary). It’s actually pretty heartwarming. My friend has the Aristocats for her daughter (who tends to get freaked out easily). I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know.

The next one on our “to rent” list for the kids is Babe. Everything I’ve read about it seems really good. My kids also enjoyed the Air Buddies and Snow Buddies movies (the ones with the Golden Retriever puppies). I didn’t see all of it with them, so you might want to preview first so you can fast forward in parts if needed.

If you find any other great ones, let me know! 🙂

Ugh. I have the same issue. My boys can sit thru any Star Wars video and not be affected. (They must be desensitized.) But turn on “Finding Nemo” and they freak out when the big fish eats Nemo’s mom and when the diver catches Nemo. And we skip a lot in the middle of Lion King – Mufasa’s death and anything involving the hyenas. I think Aladin would be too much for your girls. (Jafar is scary!) Sometimes we just skip around to all the songs. Toy Story has a very scary part with the kid next door who reassembles his toys in freaky ways.

Cinderella is OK. The harshest part is when the step-sisters rip her dress, but it’s over quickly. The Little Mermaid is mostly OK, but when Ariel goes to the Sea Witch they get nervous. And the end when the Sea Witch gets all huge and attacks everyone is scary, but you just skip over it to the wedding. (Although I don’t like Ariel’s attitude.) I think Cars was OK. I can’t remember anything particularly scary about that except one scene near teh beginning where McQueen was driving around in the dark and he was lost. But there’s no singing in that one. Oh, and he says “I’m in hillbilly hell!”

We are big fans of the Planet Heroes here and you can get free DVDs from the Fisher Price website. Curious George and Veggie Tales get watched a lot. I bet A & M would like the Veggie songs and there are bunches of those videos. Oh, and my library has ANIMANIACS to check out!!

Oh, and I can vouch for Aristocats. It’s decent. The “violent” parts are more slap-stick like Tom & Jerry. We love Tom & Jerry, too.

You might skip Cars since it has lots of loud racing, and there is this one scene where they go “tractor tipping” (ie, cow tipping), and the combine chases them. The combine is pretty scary.

My boys have no sensitivity, LOL. However, I know there are certain movies that are less innocuous than others. Have you tried Veggie Tale movies? We have the singing one, ummm…Silly Songs, and it’s cool. What about Dora movies? My boys love Schoolhouse Rock! Mickey Saves Santa (which is a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse movie), Blues Clues (J loved BC when he was younger), or how about Leapfrog Letter Factory? I credit Letter Factory with teaching the kids all their phonics.

You should let me send you our DVDs that we don’t watch anymore because the boys have outgrown them.

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