Monday, October 18, 2010

Mommy Movie Review: Pinocchio

Today's movie review will be covering Pinocchio here and Charlotte's Web over at Kristi's blog.

As you remember from this post, Pinocchio is one of Addie's favorite movies(its pronunciation has changed to Nocchi.).  I hadn't seen it since I was a little girl and didn't realize how many valuable lessons there were in this one movie. **Please remember that we have the TVG box hooked up to our television so one particular word listed later in this post is hidden from us.**  (Look here, here, or here for links to TVG sites)

I believe in sitting with or being in the room with your child (and being mentally present) while they watch TV or a movie.  It keeps you aware of what they are being exposed to and gives you the power to change the video if something comes up or to teach a valuable lesson as they come up.

The first lesson that stands out to us in this movie is obedience (a very commonly used word around here).  Pinocchio was told by his father to go to school.  Instead, he disobeyed (regardless of it being intentional or not) and went with two complete strangers (the next lesson) to the theater.  As Pinocchio is trotting away with the fox and cat, I tell Addie, "See, he did not obey. Oh no!"  To which she usually repeats, "Oh no!"  (Because we have done this so much, she says it now without my prompting). After he sings his little song about not having strings and is then thrown into the birdcage, I tell Addie, "See what happened because he didn't obey?  The bad man won't let him see his daddy."  It is important to point out to our children the consequences that arise with the choices that we make.

Another lesson that can be shown is that our children are never to go off with someone they don't know.  The fox and cat were complete strangers to Pinocchio, yet he went off with them and as a result was kidnapped by Stromboli.  Children need to learn early on not to go with strangers.

The lesson of "Laying down your life for a friend" is very clear.  Pinocchio dies (got hurt- Addie is too young to understand the concept of dying) while saving his father's life.  It should also be pointed out that they never would have been in that situation if it wasn't for Pinocchio's disobedience in the first place.

Smoking, drinking and playing pool are shown in the movie, but they are viewed very negatively.  I also like the fact that destructive behavior and disobedience is shown to be bad behavior.  When the "bad man" says that he is looking for boys to take to Pleasure Island, he says that he is looking for "Bad boys. You know, the disobedient ones".    When Lampwick strikes a match by swiping it across the Mona Lisa, Addie usually shouts, "Bad boy!"  Modern movies have blurred the lines of good and bad behavior so much that it is hard to use them to show our children specific behaviors.  Many times, bad behavior is shown to have a good end.  A very confusing message to send to our children.

Pinocchio is most known for his growing nose, so I was surprised that it only happens one time throughout the entire movie.  But one time is sufficient enough, and the lesson taught stays with with you. "A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face."  Children are shown that "little white lies" are wrong. A lie is a lie. 

One word is used several times to describe what a bad boy is equivalent to.  Because of our TVG, the word "jack as*" is muted out and a replacement phrase is put up on the screen.  When I fill in the blanks for Addie, I usually replace that word with "donkey".  It is important to keep the word donkey in their because of the consequences the boys face after enjoying their willful, wrong, and destructive behavior- they turn into donkeys.  A great lesson to be learned- your actions reveal what you really are.

There is a part in the movie (when the fox, cat, and the "bad man" are in a tavern talking about their plan to take bad boys to Pleasure Island) where the bad man makes a scary face. It takes half a second, but it is enough to be a bit scary. (I usually fast forward that because I know Addie was scared the first time we saw it.)

There is a Blue Fairy who makes three appearances (actually two, her voice is all you hear at the end).  I am not one for fairies or other magical things, but because she does not use any spells of any kind (in my opinion) she doesn't bother me.  She reminds me more of Tinkerbell from Peter Pan (I don't know what she has been like in any other movie she's been in recently),

Rating: This Mommy rates Pinocchio as a 9, because it is one that I do need to sit or be aware while it's on, and I cannot just turn it on and walk away (for myself).

As for my rating on Charlotte's Web, I give it a 9 as well.  The animals are a huge plus to small children, and the story pretty much stays in track with the classic it is taken from.  Because of the issues of dying or the pig being killed, small children may not understand that aspect of the movie (hence the 9).  But Julia Roberts does an amazing job as the voice of Charlotte and had Faye and me in tears at the end when Charlotte dies (goes away for small children).  Wilbur the pig is the sweetest little pig you have ever seen, and the rest of the cast of characters from the barn are quite endearing.

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