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The fine line between fright and fun

The movie adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are," has re-opened what I like to think of as the winged-monkey debate, in honor of the creepiest scene in "The Wizard of Oz": At what age is it appropriate to scare the bejeezus out of kids?

Because he conceived the source material and actually wrote the book, I want to give the first word to Maurice Sendak, who minced no words with Newsweek:

What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?
Sendak: I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate.

Compare that to the more nuanced take of the collection of experts that the New York Times assembled to try to answer the same question. The consensus seemed to be that different sorts of fiction tend to freak out preschoolers, who don't really have a good sense of the dividing line between fantasy and reality until well after they start kindergarten. Beyond that, everyone's ability to handle things tends to vary.

I tend to take the word of the MPAA: My preschooler gets only "G" movies and "PG" movies that I feel comfortable with; my elementary schooler can see anything PG and the occasional PG-13 movie. I'm not worried about her being scarred by "Where the Wild Things Are," but I value my own shuteye too much to roll the dice with the little one, regardless of what Sendak thinks.

What about you all? The last time we talked film, a few of you decided that Oz would be a bit much for anyone younger than 8 or so. But where do you draw the line on everything else?

By Brian Reid |  October 20, 2009; 7:43 AM ET  | Category:  Entertainment
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Comments


Oz would be too much for those under 8? Who decided that? I think my kids watched it when they were toddlers and I am sure I saw it for the first time well before 8, we all seem fine.

I suppose I am in line with Sendak's thinking, and I like the fact that he wants to tell parents to go to hell! I feel like that quite frequently too.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | October 20, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree 100%, cheekymonkey. Too bad Maurice Sendak is too old to run for any political office. :)
In the early 60's TWOZ was televised and I was watching it with my three older brothers. I was about 4. The winged monkey scene creeped me out to the extent that I crawled behind the couch to get away from them. However, that incident remains with me as a clear memory of entertainment's power to evoke reaction and stir emotion, just as I was insanely jealous of how beautiful Lesley Ann Warren was when she changed into Cinderella with the help of a fairy godmother.
Here's where I always wonder if some parents had their common sense removed to make room for the extra human in the house.
Read up on a movie or whatever, take into account your child's emotional and intellectural age, and make a decision! Each child is different. What my son watched and loved and understood at age 3-4, my daughter didn't find even remotely interesting until she was much older. It all balanced out in the end, though.
Not every toddler belongs in a movie theater, no matter what is playing. Sadly, many parents don't entertain that thought, either.

Posted by: Sharon_59 | October 20, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I think this depends on your child. My step-son who is 7 mentioned that parts of Up were scary. Having said that... apparently he watched the Spiderman movies before he was 5. He has mentioned how scared he has been by different movies he has seen but I haven't seen any change in the types of movies he is allowed to see in his mother's house.

I tend to err on the side of caution when I am in control of the remote. I see no point in letting him watch scary movies when he confesses to be scared of the dark afterwards.

Posted by: Billie_R | October 20, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Curious about Sendak. I went to talk by him in the late 80's, when he was equally blunt about the book, except sort of the other way. A women said her son was scared by the book, and he replied "well, don't read it to him, then (are you nuts, lady?)."
Perfectly fine to make a scary book or a scary movie, and parents need to know their own children to determine if it's appropriate.
I do like the family filmgoer reviews, since they cover more than the ratings. My oldest responds heavily to the mood of score, for instance.

Posted by: inBoston | October 20, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to add... but what anyone else chooses to do with their child is fine by me. I have my hands full with trying to make good decisions for my children so I don't have much time to worry about whether or not you are doing what is good for your child.

Posted by: Billie_R | October 20, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"The Jungle Book" was too much for my six year old - he ran out crying. I don't expect we'll be watching the Wizard of Oz and Where the Wild Things Are for years.

I love Sendak's attitude about the movie - he picked the director and allowed him to expand the story to be a movie. I'd be a little sad if Mr. Sendak didn't have any "edge" and was just a kindly, old man who would do things like digitally remove the guns from the 20th anniversary version of ET.

Posted by: KS100H | October 20, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I think its up to the parent to determine what is too scary for thier child. My child was too frightened to watch Disney movies on the big screen and took several tries before being able to watch them on DVD until she was about 7. On the other hand some children aren't that frightened at all.

I have taken my child to movies that have a few frightening elements (e.g., Pirates of the Carribean I with the skeleton crew) but when she gets nervous I am fully prepared to leave the movie until she feels ready to return or leave all together. I've paid for quite a few movies where I missed most or all of it. But I'd rather do that have her weeping in her seat terrified.

What's sad, is when some parent in the movie theater has a weeping child who is plainly too frightened of the movie and the parent refuses to leave because they (the parents) don't want to miss anything.

Posted by: AnotherMom | October 20, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think it depends on the kid, but I get really frustrated when parents take their kids to see movies without taking 5 minutes to look into the content first, because they are "kid" movies and should be okay for everyone. Then they get all upset because their child is scared, and they had NO idea that anything scary happened in the movie, which they would have known if they had read a review. I hope people will pay attention and realize that the Wild Things movie isn't meant for preschoolers.

I also don't think kids younger than 5 or so should be allowed in movie theaters, but I know I'm alone on that one. I've had too many movies ruined by noisy kids who were too little to be expected to sit quietly for 2 hours because their parents didn't feel like getting a babysitter. (Plus I think that the whole experience is just too overwhelming for toddlers and preschoolers. I still can't believe the parents in the theater with me to see Jurassic Park with their 3-year old.)

Posted by: floof | October 20, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I saw "Sunshine Cleaning" recently and there is a scene where the mother leaves her son with her sister, and says to the sister "no lobster man stories, he was up all night last time." Of course the movie cuts to a bedtime scene of sister-babysitter and young son with sister telling a lobster man story.

My point being that I think it's not so hard for a parent to make decisions about scarey things for their children because they know them best. It's when a kid who is not a scarey story kid gets sucked into a movie or ride because someone doesn't know them, doesn't care, or pulls a peer-pressure move on them that these things most often happen. A parent who doesn't remove a crying child from a frightening movie is beyond contempt in my book.

As parents we are our children's advocates. I think there is no better way to let your child know that they are a loved individual than to stand-up and advocate for them. What's a joke to one kid is a terror to another.

Posted by: RedBird27 | October 20, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, I was much more scared (scarred?) by the giant python that Jim wrestled on Marlin Perkin's Wild Kingdom than I ever was by the Wizard of Oz, the Outer Limits or the Twilight Zone.

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | October 20, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, love the book.

Scary depends on the individual kid. My daughter seems to deal well with scary movies but most movies she watches are pretty tame.

To all who think kids should not be in the movies, some movie theaters have special kid viewing times. I think Reston has one. It is a kid pick that is generally a shorter movie and it is for kids and families. I think it runs Saturday at 10:00 am. I have only taken my daughter to those shows. Most movies we just wait till it comes out on DVD and watch it at home or get a baby sitter.

Posted by: foamgnome | October 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

My spouse has a much older brother who used to creep him out with Twilight Zone and my parents scared me to death with Wizard of Oz when I was four. Our daughter never turned a hair at any of it.

Posted by: Arggg | October 20, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

When I saw this Saturday with my SIL and nephew there was a whole party of 12-15 kids probably my SIL and I were guessing under the age of 6. All the kids sat near each other and few parents with them sat on the one end-not placed at intervals between kids or in front of them or behind them. The parents were mostly texting and whispering to each other. Meanwhile the kids were whimpering at certain parts and saying trying to understand the movie asking each other questions like, "Why do they want to eat him?", "Is he getting hurt?", "Where is his Mommy?", and," This movie is scary, I wish I wasn't here." Now I know some lovely people on here will point out that I don't have experience raising a young child but I don't see the logic of exposing your child to this especially without being near them to comfort them and help them understand their feelings. Not to mention take them to the bathroom.

Posted by: sunflower571 | October 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?
Sendak: I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate.

I wish i had heard this before i went to see it, then i would have known what kind of person was making a "children's" film. My six year old cried in fear and my eight year old was bored. A double whammy of failure.

Posted by: pwaa | October 20, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Now I know some lovely people on here will point out that I don't have experience raising a young child but I don't see the logic of exposing your child to this especially without being near them to comfort them and help them understand their feelings.
Posted by: sunflower571 | October 20, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Correct. Where was your nephew's father?

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz freaked me out when I was little. I still cringe a bit even now.

Posted by: tomtildrum | October 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

BTW this should have been pg-13.....

Posted by: pwaa | October 20, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Guess I was a strange kid...definitely did not scare easily! I grew up watching the "creature features" on Saturday morning - loved the old Frankenstein, Werewolf, etc. movies. When I saw The Wizard of Oz, I WANTED a flying monkey.
Yes, very weird....

Posted by: Catwhowalked | October 20, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

PWAA, Sendak is proving his point with your comments - you're the parent and you have to make an informed decision about what your children watch. What one kid will think is scary another will not, so asking Sendak what he thinks about parents saying it is too scary is completely pointless, as in "go to hell".

Posted by: cheekymonkey | October 20, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

We have a book of unmodernized fairy tales where, for example, both Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma are actually eaten by the wolf and the wood-cutter cuts them out. We've always edited on the fly, but last night nearly-4 y/o's grandma didn't get my hint and read the unedited version. Didn't seem to bother her, though.

As several on that NYT panel noted, the different visual nature of a movie is significant. We only recently made it all the way through Finding Nemo.

Posted by: engelmann | October 20, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

PWAA, Sendak is proving his point with your comments - you're the parent and you have to make an informed decision about what your children watch. What one kid will think is scary another will not, so asking Sendak what he thinks about parents saying it is too scary is completely pointless, as in "go to hell".

Posted by: cheekymonkey | October 20, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse


Wrong, because this is a CHILDREN'S movie. Not an adult movie that i am taking a child to. I did not see Pan's Labyrinth either after reading that director's contempt for children either. Once again, it should have been pg-13 and all this would have been moot.

Posted by: pwaa | October 20, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

OMG, was Pan's Labyrinth supposed to be a children's film?? I had no idea- I rented it a few months ago. I assumed it was an adult movie, and a dark one at that.

Just checked- that had an "R" rating. Just because the main character of a film is a chlid doesn't make it a child's movie. As I thought, that wasn't meant to be watched by children.

I thought Sendak's comments were rude, especially given that the parents he is insulting are the ones funding his existence. If he wanted to make a reaonable point (ie, use your best judgement, this isn't meant for small children, etc.), that would be fine. But "go to hell" is just a stupid, meaningless comment, and I have less respect for the author now. I mean really, this is supposed to be a creative person, and he couldn't come up with anything more insightful than "go to hell"??

Posted by: floof | October 20, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

From the MPAA: "A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision."


if people want to take there kids to a movie just because it's based on a children's book, they shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't work out for them. If you knew who Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers were, you'd be a little more cautious.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | October 20, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

My mom always used to say that it's not a real Disney movie unless all the kids cry ten minutes before the end.

Every kid is different and I wouldn't make a kid continue watching something if they were truly freaking out, but sad or frightening images in small doses isn't going to warp them. It's part of normal development to experience and explore emotions.

I knew a gal who was so concerned that her "sensitive temperament" toddler would be upset that she would retell stories and lie about the emotions displayed by the characters. The Big Green Monster was making a "silly" face, not a scary face, which is the whole point of the book! It just reinforced the sensitivity to the point you had to walk on eggshells to deal with the kid.

I listened to an older Sendak interview (not the "go to hell" one) and it's clear he is sick of being the whipping boy for people who want to overprotect their kids from anything scary or confusing. If you don't like it, don't read it.

And he said the Wild Things were modeled after his mother's loud, pushy, strange (to him) pack of immigrant relatives that descended upon his family when he was young. And yes, the Night Kitchen bakers have Hitler mustaches for a reason.

Posted by: di89 | October 20, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

As the director, Spike Jonze, has said, it's not a children's movie, it's a move about CHILDHOOD.

From the Newsweek article the "go to hell" quote originated:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/216997/page/2

Spike, did you have fights like that when you were making this film? With the studio, not with Maurice.
Jonze: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Eggers: No, there were no fights! [Laughter] No! Sorry, go ahead.

Jonze: Yeah. The big disagreement is that they thought I was making a children's film and I thought I was making a film about childhood, and so, along the way ...

Eggers: Keep dancing, Spike!

Jonze: I mean, I think it's a film—I want children to see it, and it's not like I made it not for children, and it'll be on the video shelf under CHILDREN'S, but I didn't come at it that way. I came at it from the inside out as opposed to the outside in. In the end, though, the studio let us make the movie we wanted to make.

Sendak: It's really an American problem.

What do you mean?
Sendak: Europeans have done films about children, like The 400 Blows or My Life as a Dog, which is one of the most wonderful movies ever. It's tough to watch his suffering when his mother is dying and he scoots under the bed. That's the kind of way they have of dealing with children and they always have. We are squeamish. We are Disneyfied. We don't want children to suffer. But what do we do about the fact that they do? The trick is to turn that into art. Not scare children, that's never our intention.

Posted by: wadejg | October 20, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

That's the kind of way they have of dealing with children and they always have. We are squeamish. We are Disneyfied. We don't want children to suffer. But what do we do about the fact that they do? The trick is to turn that into art. Not scare children, that's never our intention.


I would stick a fork in my eye before i turn to the european mode of raising children...

Posted by: pwaa | October 20, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

pwaa: do you think that's what the quote said or were you just making a random point?

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | October 20, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I was an easily frightened child, and I still *hate* horror/supsense movies. That's just how some people are wired. DH loves the genre, and would like me to watch more (all) his movies with him.

It probably doesn't help that my sister (who is the complete opposite temperament) would deliberately do things to startle me during the most intense scenes. Somewhere there may still be a 60's era station wagon with a dent in its roof. The bruise on the top of my head healed up decades ago. While the family was watching "Jaws" at a drive-in, she grabbed my leg during the scene where divers are startled when a head rolls out of the hole in a boat's hull.

Younger son is easily frightened, too, and what's helped him was telling him he could look away from the screen. When our family watched the first couple of Harry Potter movies, during the scary parts the little guy would be sitting on my lap with his back to the screen with my arms around him, and he'd watch for glimpses of the guy working in the projection booth.

Maybe it might have been a better idea to leave him home with a sitter, but he'd have been crushed at being left out. We attend many movie premiers with a group of 40 to over 100 people, and it's always a very big deal to include the kids. Part of the fun is the gathering in line socializing while waiting for the theater doors to finally open.

And I like that younger son has found a successful coping mechanism, and wish someone had suggested looking away to me when I was watching "Conqueror Worm" when I was 3-4. (What on earth were my parents thinking - taking their preschoolers and toddlers to that gastly movie?)

Older son is fine with scary, but no vomit scenes, not even humorous. In the second H.P. movie, we all knew when the Ron-vomiting-slugs scene was coming, and our sensitive boy took a bathroom break just before it and came back after it was over, and enjoyed the rest of the movie very much.

These things are very individual, and parents have a responsibility to know their kids temperaments/personalities/tolerances - and find out ahead of time if a movie is going to be too much for a kid.

Posted by: SueMc | October 20, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

My Life As a Dog is a movie *about* a child, and an excellent one, not a movie meant *for* children. I don't think they meant that it was, but that here even movies for older kids and adults get namby-pamby about children.

Posted by: di89 | October 20, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Surprised this one hasn't come up... SIL absolutely hates "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" because of the child-napper scene.

Posted by: StrollerMomma | October 20, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Whoa folks! When will people learn that they need to read up on a movie before deciding whether it is appropriate for their kids. All kids are different, and all movies are different. I am astonished that people actually believe that Wild is just the kids book in animation. The directors and press have all been very clear that this is not the case. The same is true with stories like The Golden Compass. Just because the book has nifty talking animals doesn't mean it is a story (movie) for kids. Do your research, then decide.

Posted by: lanakila | October 20, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

PWAA, So your kids were scared and you think it should have been a PG13 and that't the end of it, huh? Suppose 99.9% of kids aren't scared?

I'm sticking with Sendak - if you can't handle making a decision about a stinkin movie for your kids, well you know the rest......

Posted by: cheekymonkey | October 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

My 8 y.o. daughter was not scared at Where the Wild Things Are, but she was very sad afterward. So much so that I found her in her room crying alone in her bed. I was depressed the rest of the day too. As her parent, I read a number of reviews and took her fully prepared to leave at any moment that she felt frightened.

What I am disappointed with is that this is so heavily marketed to small children - including previews running at every kid movie for the past year and promotional material handed out to my chidren at school. Now that parents are expressing concern, Warner Brothers claims it's not a kid's movie. Um, why did you put previews for it at Bolt? And if it's not a kids movie, would my husband and I seriously get a babysitter for date night to go out and see this? No.

Parents taking kids to the movies are a cash cow for the industry. They know it. Now that they've lured us to the theaters in droves, our kids are seeing that their whimisical, slightly scary book is a super depressing movie about loneliness and disappointment.

Posted by: jillcashen | October 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Do everyone a favor first and tech your kid to keep quiet during a movie. If they can't keep quiet, wait until you can rent the film.

I've lost track of how many movies I've been to that have been ruined by chatty children (or crying babies—at a rated R film) and incompetent parents.

Posted by: thornwalker1 | October 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Typo correction, tech = teach.

Posted by: thornwalker1 | October 20, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

jillcashen is right -

the movie studio has been pushing Where the Wild Things is for over a YEAR at ALL G rated movies - over and over - and I believe the promo says something like "the most beloved children's book of all time" or some other nostaglia tugging at the heartstrings - urging little children to want to see this movie.

I thought we would go - but once I read the Post's review, I decided it sounded sad and depressing - not too scarey for my chidlren but simply too much of a downer. Life can be depressing already - I just don't see why this movie was made at all. As and adult, I have no interest - and if children won't like it - it seems pointless.

Posted by: Amelia5 | October 20, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'm eternally amazed by what movies parents will bring their kids to; and by the parents who go and then complain that they didn't know it would be scary. Seriously? Did you not go look it up on the countless websites where you can get reviews by parents, see clips of various parts of the movies, etc? There's all kinds of crap in "kids" movies, who would trust marketers to tell them whether a movie is good for their particular kid?

We've taken our almost-5 year old son to two movies in the theater; both times I talked him through what happens in the movie, what parts might be scary, and let him watch clips online before he decided whether to go. Generally I won't offer the opportunity unless I'm pretty sure he can handle it; I think the theater experience is so overwhelming that with movies that seem questionable I'd rather wait and try it on DVD where the sound/screen isn't so big and we can more easily skip or stop or whatever if he wants to. I leave the skipping/stopping up to him though, at this point, he's pretty good at deciding whether he likes something or not. He wanted to try watching The Incredibles after hearing about it from a friend at school, so we did - he asked me to stop after a few scenes of fighting and said he wanted to try again in a few years.

What's interesting to me is that our son seems bothered more by emotional conflict than by action. When he saw TWOZ on TV at my inlaws, the winged monkeys were a little scary but ok, but he left the room when Dorothy fought with Auntie Em. In the Incredibles, he didn't like the scenes of the family fighting or Mr. Incredible fighting with is boss. What can I say, he's a sensitive little guy.

Posted by: LizaBean | October 20, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Never heard of the book/movie until last week. Thought it might be something to do with "Wild Things" starring Kevin Bacon...

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 20, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought we would go - but once I read the Post's review, I decided it sounded sad and depressing - not too scarey for my chidlren but simply too much of a downer. Life can be depressing already - I just don't see why this movie was made at all. As and adult, I have no interest - and if children won't like it - it seems pointless.

Posted by: Amelia5

Good for you for checking reviews out before taking your kid.

And the movie was made for the reason 99.999999% of movies are made, the almighty $$$. Also because many will go see it because they like Spike Jonze & Sendak. Or because they read it as a kid. Or because they've heard that visually it's stunning & worth the $10.

But ultimately, it was made to make money & it will.

The director, writer & screenwriter probably have little say in how a movie is marketed. That's the marketing dept. job.

I noticed that Cirque de Freak is also marketed to the younger crowd but there's also trailers out there that go for the horror crowd. It's the studio tying up all the angles, trying to get as many butts in the seats. It's their job & the reason they exist, to make money.

Posted by: wadejg | October 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Warner Bros. shouldn't show previews of WTWTA at Bolt. Right. Maybe they should've shown the preview before Saw V? but wait, then all of the horror junkies would be mad that it's not a horror movie.

I believe WB is in the business of making money, not making sure your kid isn't sad after a sad movie.

and btw, so what if my kid is sad after seeing a sad movie??? sometimes movies make you sad.

were you upset that the kid was happy after seeing Bolt? sometimes movies make you happy.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | October 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"I've lost track of how many movies I've been to that have been ruined by chatty children..."

Stiff competition, but I'll give thornwalker today's whiner award - a slice of American cheese.

The thing about a movie, or the thing that makes a "good" movie qualify as "good" is the emotional payload it delivers, whether it be horror, suspense, drama, sex, violence, comedy, whatever it is, these are the attributes on which a movie is rated. When it is rated PG, it is up to the parent to do the research and determine if the sed movie is appropriate for their child. Not just make assumptions based on other PG movies they have seen in the past and expect the fright level to be similar.

The tough part of being a parent and knowing what your child will react to in a movie is that a parent doesn't really kno what their child will react to until they bring their child to a movie and, well, see how he/she reacts. Even then, as a kid matures, it's a moving target. Kinda a catch-22, live and learn, but if you don't live it, you won't be able to learn it.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | October 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Correct. Where was your nephew's father?

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse


Jexebel3,

You are not the only one on here qualified to give your opinion. His father had to work.

Posted by: sunflower571 | October 20, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"I've lost track of how many movies I've been to that have been ruined by chatty children..."

Stiff competition, but I'll give thornwalker today's whiner award - a slice of American cheese.

---

Awesome, time to fire up the griddle and break out the tomato soup.

Posted by: thornwalker1 | October 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Correct. Where was your nephew's father?

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse


Jexebel3,

You are not the only one on here qualified to give your opinion. His father had to work.

Posted by: sunflower571 | October 20, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse


LOL! You've totally missed the point. Again.

Posted by: jezebel3 | October 20, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jillcashen | October 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


well done, exactly! They market the crap out of it to kids and then say to hell with the parents.

Posted by: pwaa | October 20, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I'm eternally amazed by what movies parents will bring their kids to; and by the parents who go and then complain that they didn't know it would be scary. Seriously? Did you not go look it up on the countless websites where you can get reviews by parents, see clips of various parts of the movies, etc? There's all kinds of crap in "kids" movies, who would trust marketers to tell them whether a movie is good for their particular kid?"

Thank you Lizabean. I think Maurice Sendak would agree, thus the "go to hell" comment.

PWAA, Newsflash.......Hear it here for the first time.......movie makers market inappropriate stuff to kids all the time.....as do toy makers, and food producers.... and so on.... and so on....it's shocking but true.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | October 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

jezebel3

Obviously we don't think alike. Which is fine with me!

Posted by: sunflower571 | October 20, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

whacky: i don't agree with you, completely. Thornwalker was talking about taking kids to *R* rated movies. They shouldn't be there.
That being said: if thornwalker is going to a KID'S movie, DURING THE DAY, then, well, he/she should expect that there will be kids there, and well, that they may make some noise.
You have to pick your battles.
Of course, it's more often it's the 'adults' who are talking or texting or whatever during a movie - and that's one reason we rarely go anymore.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | October 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I have no sympathy for parents (pwaa) who take children to a movie without reading reviews first.

Would you give your children food without checking the ingredients first?

Posted by: RobertinAustin | October 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I have no sympathy for parents (pwaa) who take children to a movie without reading reviews first.

Would you give your children food without checking the ingredients first?

Posted by: RobertinAustin | October 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse


I did read the reviews (that were out there) we went the first day for the second showing. The point is that the movie is not designed for smaller kids and should have been given a pg 13, this and shrek were rated the same, do you think they are the same? NO! They are not.

Posted by: pwaa | October 20, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

If it was being marketed to children, then why aren't we seeing the McDonald's toys, the stuffed animals, the board games, and the like? Heck, I figured there'd at least be a Max halloween costume that I could buy for my son, but there's not. That right there tells me that this was not being marketed towards kids.

However, I did take my 3 year old to the 11:00 am showing because he loves the book and has been watching the teaser preview since it came out months ago. He enjoyed it. He got scared (not overly) when Max was in rough water and then breathed a sigh of relief when he was on shore. He got to howl along with the Wild Things just like he does at home when we read the book. Even at 3, he understood how it followed the book. When Max got on his boat to leave the island, he leaned over to me and said "Max going home now." And got excited when he heard the monster say his favorite line, "We'll eat you up we love you so."

And as an additional note, I loved the movie. Apparently, I am one of the few who found the monster's banter back and forth hilarious. I cried at a couple of parts, like I do in any heart-felt movie, but I would not say that I went home feeling depressed. It portrayed the same exact feelings that the book portrays.

Posted by: kt16 | October 20, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Apparently PWAA, you are the only one that wants the PG 13 rating for this movie.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | October 20, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

atlmom1234: That being said: if thornwalker is going to a KID'S movie, DURING THE DAY, then, well, he/she should expect that there will be kids there, and well, that they may make some noise.
You have to pick your battles.

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Oh, I try. I purposefully went to see Wall-E as late as was possible on a school night, around 10 or so in the evening. As late as it was, there were still school-aged children there. Terrible parents.

Posted by: thornwalker1 | October 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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