Watching Movies with Your Kids

It was a hard frost last night, and it’s still pretty nippy out this morning, so I’m on my computer for the moment instead of outside scraping the garage. And that means I have a bit of time to blog, so I’m going to take it while it’s here. One topic that I’d been wanting to write about for a while is on how to decide what movies to watch with your kids (or to watch at all, for that matter).

When I worked in Orem Public Library, we had a lot of people come in wanting movies. OPL has over 25,000 of the things, so it’s a good place to go for some cheap entertainment. And a lot of those people would ask for recommendations. If you know me at all, you know I love giving movie recommendations–it was a great job in that aspect.

The only trick was that, since this was Utah County, I could never be completely certain what sort of a movie a particular person would find offensive. I got to be quite good at offering disclaimers. But even then, some people would be offended by something I totally didn’t even think of as offensive. So I’ve decided that when you’re particular about the content of movies that you choose to watch, it’s best to be as exhaustive as possible. In other words, if you want to know how much “bad content” is in a movie, you don’t ask someone regularly watches ever gore-infused horror movie that comes down the pike. You ask someone who’s a stickler for details. And that person’s role needs to be presenting the unbiased facts of the movie. It had this in it. And this. And this.

That sort of thing.

That’s where kids-in-mind comes in for me. In a nutshell, this is a site that has people watch every new movie that comes out. They keep track of anything that might be even remotely offensive in the film, then rate it on a three part scale (violence, sex, and language). But they also provide descriptions of all the potentially offensive pieces of the movie, instead of just the rating. This is ever so much more useful than the arbitrary (and often crooked) MPAA ratings that get assigned to movies. (Don’t get be started on those.)

Now, I’m not saying I go to this site before I watch any film. My own take on movies is different than many of my friends. But I do go here sometimes before I decide to take TRC with me to watch something. It’s a bad feeling when you take your kid to a film you thought was going to be sweetness and light, and the poor guy ends up being terrified the whole time. (Ratatouille. Who knew a three year old would be that scared?) You know yourself and your family, and while there are probably some of you out there who don’t need this site at all (or have any desire to ever use it), I’m also sure there are some of you who really have been looking for something like this.

Look no more.

Anyway–that’s all I have time for today. It’s above freezing out now, and I’ve got to go scrape something. Sound off in the comments–have you used kids-in-mind before? Something else? Think it’s an awful travesty to do reduce a movie to sheer statistics like that? Speak up! And happy weekend, everybody.

2 thoughts on “Watching Movies with Your Kids”

  1. Ratatouille is the only movie I have ever taken a child to see. And after the screaming terrified yells of “MOUSE DADDY IS GONE!! MOUSE IS ALONE!” I thought, forget it.

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