US Magazine critic Thelma Adams has a blog post about one of the most common questions I get asked: where are the parents in movies about kids? She quotes my comments:
Nell Minow, the Movie Mom, told me “This is the second-most frequent question I get asked by parents (first is: I am so careful with my kids, but what do I do when they go over to someone else’s house?)”
The answer, Minow continued, referencing Tom and Huck, Pippi Longstocking, and David Copperfield, et. al., is that “if the parents are there, the child can’t have an adventure. They’d be saying, ‘You can’t go on the yellow brick road today — you have homework, and you need a sweater!’ The satisfying fantasy of the story is that the child is able to do what the child in the audience would like to feel he can do — to master the scary adult world.”
She still doesn’t like it though, and wonders how many more parts there would be for mature actresses if the movies allowed more of their young characters to have moms. And privately, we agreed that even though we loved “Finding Nemo,” the beginning is wrenching.