Monday, April 13, 2009

A Tip for Tuesday

My boys are so different in many ways. One difference is obvious when we see a movie. Though Jack is 15 months older than Logan there have been several movies that have scared the bejeesus out of him but did not phase his younger brother. Monsters vs. Aliens was one of those movies. (See my pseudo-review here.) Jack covered his eyes several times before finally asking to leave partway through the movie.

Kids in Mind is a website I've used for a couple of years, which makes it even more embarrassing that I didn't consult it before taking the boys to see Monsters vs. Aliens last week.

They have three categories that they rate: Sex & Nudity, Violence & Gore and Profanity. But in my opinion, even more valuable than their ratings are the extremely detailed descriptions they write about the movie for each of these three categories.

The descriptions offer no judgment...just the facts so that parents can make their own judgments based on their family's values and their kids' sensitivities. Because it' all relative.

The Sex & Nudity descriptions for kids' movies crack me up. For example, this was written about Nim's Island:
On a beach, several female dancers are in bikini tops and long grass skirts, male dancers are in knee-length shorts and are bare-chested.

Further, they go on to mention that a women wears a two-piece bathing suit. This would be handy to know for those families that still wear old-fashioned bathing outfits to their private watering hole because they are not comfortable with bare midriffs. Those families should definitely avoid the risque Nim's Island. (See, this is me judging...not Kids in Mind.)

More telling for me are the Violence & Gore descriptions. We are a toy-weapon-free house so if I had actually read the description for Monsters vs. Aliens the term "open-fire" would have tipped me off that we might have a problem. Then there is this:
The image of an alien is projected into the sky and tells many people standing on the ground below that "We are here to destroy you," and "Take over your planet," and it threatens death and slavery.

I know my kids. And I would have known that Jack would be scared if I had actually bothered to look this movie up.

Sorry, Jack! Sweet dreams?


  1. Aww...he will NOT be scarred for life! I'm the same way, Alex loved the movie, but he is almost 7 and he knows it is not real...and we do not have guns, knives, or those kinds of toys either...he knows it's just pretend {and sometimes not appropriate, like Spongebob!}

    But I did not know about the website, that sounds like a great reference! Especially now that they're getting a little older and asking 'questions'! Great tip!

    {thanks for the blog comment...I was tweeking different backgrounds tonight...why am I not in bed?! I just can't leave things alone and felt the need to be doing nothing of use!}

  2. In fairness to Carey, I really wanted to see this movie and it was my unstoppable pursuance that clouded the families judgment. Sorry Carey. Sorry boys.

  3. Hi Carey!
    Wow, I'll have to check out that website! I heard there was family that thought Kung Fu Panda was too violent! So, go figure! Different strokes for different folks!!

  4. I am going to check that out...thanks.

  5. Sounds like a great site. Will have to check it out for my little ones. Happy SITS day!

  6. oopsie!
    I'm gonna check this website out. I've never heard of it before now.

  7. Thanks for passing on that link. I am bookmarking it and I will have to check it out soon. It is amazing how surprising kid movies can be sometimes. We bought Pinocchio recently and were very surprised when they kept saying jack**** in the donkey scenes. We were stunned looking at our little kids wondering if they would repeat and it and thinking about how many times we watched it as a kid.

  8. that's great theres a website you can go to and get EVERY little detail of a movie.

    Don't worry he will get over it.

    I scared my friends little girl 2 summers ago with Monster House (I think thats the name, when the house comes alive)

    We saw it on DVD and thought it wasn't that bad.
    Then we saw it as part of the free movies series in the summer and on the big screen it was FREAKY!!
    Her daughter was freaking out!

    She won't let me live that one down :)

  9. Wow! I've never seen Nim's Island but I'm not sure I can handle that much skin! Hehe!

    Stopping by from SITS!

  10. Thanks for sharing this site, poor Jack!
    and poor mom, I know you feel bad...We just nver know do we?

  11. I relied on a website like that for my movie choices too! It wasn't that one but very similar.

  12. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to check out the site! All this while, I've relied on but mostly I preview the movie before the kids are allowed to watch it.

  13. Great site!!!

    Baby chicklet SOBS at any movie that has a sad scene. I'm talking fetal position sobbing. We've stopped going to movies. :(

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