When I was growing up in the late 1970 and 1980s there was a bonanza of action/adventure movies that kids could go to with their parents. Think about it: “Superman,” “Indiana Jones,” “ET,” “Ghostbusters,” “Goonies,” “Gremlins,” “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “Jaws” and all of their sequels.
At 10 and 8 our kids are ready to see some movies that aren’t cartoons or merely cartoons mixed with live action a la “Chipmunks” or “The Smurfs”. (Boy I hope they don’t want to see that one.) However, the studios don’t seem to be making them anymore. It is rare to find an action movie that isn’t too intense or violent. But why is that? Why did they used to be produced but not anymore? What has changed in the industry or in the consumer?
“Thor” – Michael was dying to take Walsh to see this movie but after reading parent reviews online I felt like it wasn’t going to be appropriate. I would love to hear from parents who have seen it. Could you take an 8-year-old who likes comics and superheroes but is not exposed too much violence to it?
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ” — My kids aren’t particularly interested in this movie or the three before. I saw the first three and didn’t’ think they were appropriate for my kids at the ages they were when they came out. What did parents think of this one? What age kids did you take?
“Green Lantern” and “Captain America”– While I am super excited to see both of them, I suspect they will also be too intense and too violent for my older kids similar to “Thor.”
“Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2” – While Walsh has finished reading the series, I think it’s pretty intense and don’t think I would take him to see it on the big screen. I might change my mind after I see it but I think the end battle is going to be pretty fierce.
“The Three Musketters” – It doesn’t actually look good but this like the superhero movies is a type of movie that could be dialed back just a little bit and be appropriate for kids.
“X-Men First Class” – Thinking too violent and looks like some sexiness going on with Mystique.
“Super 8” – Directed by J.J. Abrams (of ‘Lost’) and produced by Steven Spielberg, “Super 8” looks like a classic summer action/adventure movie. I am so excited to see it but again I think it will be too intense for my kids. This I another one that I think if they dialed back just a little bit, parents could bring their kids to enjoy it with them.
So what are left with for summer movie viewing? Cartoons and movies about animals – “The Smurfs,” “The Muppets: Fuzzy Pack,” “The Zookeeper,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” and “Cars 2.” While I am sure they will be cute and enjoyable (except for “The Smurfs”), there is no “Indiana Jones” or “Ghostbuster” in this group!
“The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn” will probably come the closest to providing action and adventure and be kid-appropriate but it isn’t scheduled for release until December! (Bummer!) It is directed by Steven Spielberg. It is a cartoon like “The Polar Express.”
So we are left watching a whole bunch of older movies off of Netflix and borrowing from the library. (Dear Netflix, please also acquire the real “Ghostbusters” for streaming instead of just No. 2) The kids like the “Harry Potter” movies and the first “Percy Jackson” movie. (The second Percy Jackson is scheduled for 2012.) We did borrow Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (version with Nicolas Cage) from the library. Michael found it unwatchable but the kids liked it and it wasn’t too violent or bad.
Would it not be worthwhile for movie studios to cut back a little on the intensity and violence of some summer movies and pick up all the kids in the U.S. seeing it over and over again? Would it be worth their time to shoot less violent sections and to run in theaters a kid-friendly version?
Or is everyone else taking their kids to see “Thor” and I’m the only person that thinks those movies are too intense for kids?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. Follow me on Twitter and read what I am reading each day. Great stories on family health, family fun, parenting, fashion, stars, and more. Click on the right-hand column to check out links to stories that will interest you. )