Movies for young people have always intrigued me because of the layers included into the movie to make it interesting to older people. I remember first realizing this when I was a teenager and babysitting. There were things about Sesame Street that were hilarious to me as an older kid, that the little kids I was watching were happily oblivious to as they watched silly monsters dancing.
The most successful children’s movies are written for multiple audiences, with multiple levels of understanding built into the script. There is no way we could tolerate an hour and a half of something completely ridiculous and geared only to the sensibilities of our kids. In order to make a movie work for the grown-ups, all sorts of hidden meanings, and secret society understandings are included. Sure, there’s big funny things bouncing around in the forefront. That’s for the kiddos. Then there are the metaphors and symbolism floating in the atmosphere that keep our attention.
I would love to start a dialogue with other Moms where we share the movies we watched with our kids over the weekend. We don’t have to give away any plot points, but it would be a fun discussion to share the parts of the movie that spoke to you as an adult, and what makes this a successful movie for multiple audiences.
My dream is to carry this on week after week on Sundays. I understand that it takes a while to get momentum built on a new idea, so I will continue sharing my family friendly movies and hope we can build a community of other moms who see the poetry or philosophy behind the silly dancing bears and want to have a grown-up conversation about the ridiculous kids’ movie you just watched. Hurrah!