Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How times have changed...

Just a funny story to share...

A couple weeks ago we started seeing ads for the re-release of "Pinochio" on DVD - we don't buy our daughter every movie that comes out, but when the old ones come out it's kind of neat to share with her movies that have been around long before we were her age! I remember I had seen Pinochio when I was a kid, but didn't really like it - I remember bits and pieces, but could never remember how the images of donkeys and the whale fit in to the actual story line.

So after a few commercials, and our asking Grace "Would you like to see Pinochio when it comes out?", she showed some interest in it. Yesterday was the DVD release day, so since we happened to be going to BJ's last night we picked up a copy, and when we got home we popped it in to watch it.

As the story unfolded, parts started coming back to me, and I had this nagging feeling, like maybe we should pop in a different movie. Things affect you differently when you're a parent, and part of the story involves young boys (and one wooden puppet) being tricked into going to an island, where eventually they will be held prisoner, and sold off. I know it is just fantasy, I know it was a different time back then, but these days cartoons that involve "kidnapping", particularly by means of luring an innocent away, hold a darker meaning to me. I also realized there was a reason I never really liked this one - even as a kid - as there are some dark undertones to it. I can see where some little ones may be spooked by it.

But that's not what bothered me about Pinochio. Two things bother me:

First, several characters, including Pinochio and other boys, smoke cigars. A lot. A simple viewing of a movie isn't going to be THAT much of an influence on my daughter, but it just bothered me that up until last night, my daughter probably had never heard of cigars or cigarettes, although she knows Frosty the Snowman has a corncob pipe to go along with his button nose and two eyes made out of coal. The difference, however, is that Frosty didn't inhale! My precious little one doesn't know anyone who smokes - I don't even know if she's ever seen a cigarette being smoked! My how times have changed...smoking in a Disney film. What next? The F-bomb?

Not quite, daughter has learned a new word, in a new context. Yes, it's VERY mild compared to words both my husband and I have uttered in her presence, but somehow I thought I'd be safe from this in an old Disney film! In this movie, a couple characters use the word "jackass". Yes, they are referring to donkeys or burros, which is totally legit, because as the story goes, when those "bad boys" are tricked into going to Pleasure Island, where there are no rules and the can do whatever they want (ie: be "bad"). So, they smash things up, cause a ruckus, fight, smoke, drink, shoot pool, and before they know it, the gates have been locked and they are now prisoners. What worse, what they don't know is that bad boys turn into jackasses, meaning donkeys, to be sold off by their captors to the salt mines.

The first time the word is used, it's somewhat slurred...even my daughter, with her superhuman hearing, didn't pick it up. But then later, Pinnochio's conscience, Jiminy Cricket, goes on a bit of a tirade....(not quite word for word, but something like...) "Well, if you want to be a jackass, you go ahead and be a jackass! I don't want to be around you if you're gonna be a jackass, so you go ahead and be a jackass if you want to be a jackass!"

Yeah, it's pretty mild, I know. But it kind of bothers me that by Friday my daughter will inevitably call me a jackass. I don't know why it bothers me, because frankly I think they're kind of cute!

Oh man....I need a haircut!


5thsister said...

Oh's a never ending battle. Just wait until she's older and comes to you asking what does "F..." mean? When my son was in public school that word was written on a school bus seat. Older kids kept trying to get him to say the word. He sounded it out and then got in trouble for cursing on the bus. He was in Kindergarten and had absolutely no idea what he was saying. I was livid. I went to every neighbor and finally got the lowdown. The girl, yes girl, that started it all never did apologize but I did go to the principal of the school to have my son's record expunged. It was the day that a little bit of my son's innocence was taken away.

Raoulysgirl said...

Oh...good Lord! This is exactly what started my tirade against kiddie movies! I do it in fun now...but it's always with a nagging little voice in the back of my mind saying "and I let my kids watch this?" I'm at a point where I don't know which is worse...jackasses, cigar smoking, dropping boulders on each other, and shooting (the last two are Warner Bros. best)...or burping, farting, nose picking, and saying "stupid" every other word like they see on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. It's crazy!

Mama Goose said...

It's maddening isn't it? Some of the "classic" books I read with the boys are pretty bad too. But I can, at least for a while longer, skip over Curious George smoking a pipe... sigh.

Lissaloo said...

This is one of the Disney Movies I did remember from when I was a kid, it always scared me, & my kids have never seen it, and it won't be watched in my house. There are several cartoons that I feel that way about, and not all Disney- Tom & Jerry, Looney Toons, to name a few, My siblings and even my Mother (not to mention the In-Laws, all think I'm being silly. But I don't see any reason to put such things into my kiddos heads. There is already so much in the world that they are going to see/hear and be exposed to, I just want to add as little as possible to that. VeggieTales, we LOVE VeggieTales, you almost can't' go wrong there :)

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Pinocchio always creeped me out as a kid, and now I know why! Kids may not understand everything, but they can sense when something isn't right. I don't want to be overprotective or paranoid, but you really do have to watch what your kids are watching, especially on "kid" channels like Disney and Nickelodeon.

L.B. said...

Yes, the old-school Disney movies weren't all light and fluffy. But it was a different time back then and what was no big deal then may have turned into one now.

I'm excited about Pinocchio but I too was creeped out by it. Still, I'll probably get it even though I can probably tell you with almost 100 percent certainty that my girls will not enjoy the movie. Now. Maybe in a few years.

And "jackass" won't be a new word to them. When daddy drives, there are lots of "jackasses" driving around him. I guess it's better than having a lot of "effers" or "m-er effers" on the road.

Chicago Mom said...

I used to make fun of my sister-in-law for pre-watching movies (watching them before she let her kids watch them, screening for content). I would say, "It's a cartoon for goodness sakes!", but now I know why she did that. I won't be buying it and I don't think my 5 year old daughter would enjoy Pinochio anyway.
Love your blog!

5thsister said...

Hey Christine...I have an award for you! Come by to pick it up!

Sweetie said...

Yup, that is where mine learned "Jackass" too, and where I picked it up again myself!! (not around the kids!)Ugh! It is funny how when youare a parent, your ears are hyperaware of things being said around your children.
And I read some of your blog entries, you are a funny girl!!Hope you write again soon!
You are welcome to check out my blog and follow me if you want. I am at: