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Movie Mom

Are Today’s Kids’ Movies More Challenging?

posted by Nell Minow

I’m quoted in this story about films for children that have material that may be too complicated or adult for their level of maturity.

“I think the real issue is the quicker cuts and more explosive effects,” Minow told NBCNews.com. “Everything is more sped-up and colorful and loud — in part a reflection of the increased competition for decreased attention spans. So it feels like a lot more is coming at us.”

There is nothing wrong in making movies for kids appealing to adults.  Sesame Street has been very open about its commitment to including jokes for parents to encourage family viewing and conversation instead of parking the children in front of the television.  And I agree with Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media, also quoted:

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Bozdech urges parents to do their homework before taking their children to a certain film, and also applauds the Miyazaki films and other gems that can be found on DVD or online. Her site offers movie reviews and information, and a special section dubbed “Watch Out!” warns about certain family films that have unexpected cursing, sexy, scary or traumatizing scenes.

But she also notes that parents shouldn’t overprotect their children from films that may present challenging issues, as long as they keep the lines of communication open.

“Some of the thrill of going to the movies as a kid is seeing something that opens your eyes a little bit or helps you get a perspective beyond your own,” she said. “Movies and TV shows can help kids deal with fears and concerns that they’re bound to have at some point; if you talk about them together and help defuse them before they happen in real life, kids will start to develop a solid foundation for coping with life’s inevitable ups and downs.”

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