The other night, my husband and I watched Ebert & Roeper to catch up on all the movies we hadn’t seen yet, will miss in the theaters, look out for when it hits HBO or Showtime and TIVO it for a more convenient viewing time – such is the life of parents of 4-year-old twins. It’s a completely different thing though, when it comes to kids’ movies. Yea, we have become part of that target market. The one that’s been filtering through all the G-rated films, looking to see which ones would appeal to our girls and be approved by us for viewing. And when Ebert & Roeper (a different partner now, I think) both said that “Kung Fu Panda” was one movie to add to our DVD collection, that sealed it.
We are lucky to have a nearby theater that never seems to get overcrowded and carries many artsy fartsy films as well as some “blockbusters.” A most excellent theater when you have children. On a hot Sunday afternoon, with no specific plans in place, we decided to take L and K to a movie (their first since they were 5 months old during the special Diaper Days at the Pruneyard theater). It was a “local” kinda day. We just hit the Farmer’s Market a few blocks away and relief from the sun was in order. As is my husband’s modus operandi, we arrived at what we thought should be just after the trailers finished. Uh, no. But no worries, we didn’t miss much. There were a few unplanned extra minutes spent getting refreshments as our girls’ couldn’t quite decide what they wanted to snack on. It’s not often Mommy and Pappa point to a window full of candy and ask, “What would you like?” Those rare occasions call for some thought, apparently, on our girls’ part.
I was a bit surprised that my husband wanted to see this one based on Ebert & Roeper’s review. I mean, I’m the one who grew up on Bruce Lee movies and everything in between, martial arts-wise. He is sensitive to too much fighting in movies advertised for children. But what the heck, I wanted to see it, too. And you know, after what Ebert & Roper said….
The roles reversed yet again. Just when I thought we knew our daughters…. K sat next to me and L sat next to my husband. L tends to run away from the room when the bad guys appear like in Finding Nemo or Toy Story. K sits glued to the TV, saying she’s not scared. I thought for sure that T would spend much of the movie comforting L. Not so. Her eyes were wide and bright. She may have blinked a few times through the fight scenes but other than that, she was thoroughly enjoying the show. K, on the other hand, turned her head into my side several times. Finally, I gave her our sweaters so she could hide her face more quickly. I’m going to have to see the movie again as I’m sure I missed a few good lines during the head-hiding distractions. [heavy sigh]
While I thought the movie was rather hilarious, it was a bit more fighting than I had expected…even for me. Sure, my girls have seen Toy Story, Nemo and other made-for-children movies that included some scary scenes but it seemed that the fight scenes in “Kung Fu Panda” were a lot longer…or I’ve become more sensitive…which is entirely possible. It turns out that it’s PG-rated. Whoops! We’re supposed to be in the G-rated crowd. Ugh. Guess I should pay attention to the movie details. Oh well. There don’t seem to be any negative effects from watching the show. They were already pretending they were Super L and Super K fighting bad guys well before they saw the movie. Whew! I didn’t mean to start their martial arts movie-going until they were at least, oh, 7 (?) years old. Until then, we’ll stick to the G-rated variety.