Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Little Monsters: A Children's Movie??!!

Like many households, we have Netflix on Demand.  And on Saturday night, we turned in on in hopes of finding an old movie we could enjoy as a family.

Netflix categorizes movies by genre, so naturally we searched in the Children & Family section until we came across a movie that interested us.

The movie was entitled Little Monsters.  I'd never seen it before, but the first thing that caught my eye was the picture of the movie cover.

I see a playful looking, non-scary "monster" and wait, who is that beside him?  Fred Savage!  Oh wait, and that's Howie Mandel playing the "monster."  So far so good,  but I keep looking...

Next, I notice the Netflix Star Rating.  Netflix rated this movie 4 out of 5.  This means that Netflix strongly suggests this movie for us based off our previous ratings of movies we've watched.  So, maybe we will like it.  And I mean... it's FRED SAVAGE!  

I also notice that it's PG.  Okay, my son is almost 6 years old and we've watched PG movies together before.  And I mean... it's FRED SAVAGE!  

But, I'll read the movie description just to make sure this seems appropriate.  Here is movie description provided to me by Netflix verbatim:

“Join Brian as he faces his worst fear – the ghoulies that live under this bed – and finds they’re not so bad after all.  In particular, he hits it off with Maurice, a friendly but ditzy monster that takes Brian under his wing.”  

Well, that sounds like a pleasant movie description.  I'm thinking okay... the boy finds the monster under his bed.  He's going to be scared of him at first but then discover that he's just like him.  They'll become friends and help one another out, etc.  And I mean... it's FRED SAVAGE!

So, we turn on the movie.  Little did I know what I was about to allow my child to watch!!  And me being as naive as I am kept thinking, surely this is going to get better.... wrong.

Here are some of the things in the movie that made my jaw drop.  

Fred Savage's Character:
  • Says sh*t and damn.
  • His father says damn.
  • During one scene, he is watching TV and the announcer is interviewing a woman wearing a skimpy bikini top and removes his sunglasses in order to get a better look at her chest.

However, the monster, Maurice, played by Howie Mandel, was a million times worse:
  • He said "G*d damn."
  • He said b*tch."  
  • He said "Holy Sh*t."
  • In attempting to persuade the boy to become a monster, he told him that he could do whatever he wanted--that he'd have no more rules--and could even watch the Playboy Channel anytime he wanted.
  • He told Fred Savage's character that if he wanted he could just scream at any moment and his father would come into the room with a shotgun and kill all of them.
  • He grabbed his groin area.
  • He taught Fred Savage's character how to be mean.  For example, Fred Savage placed a roller skate hidden under a rob at the top of the stairs.
  • He poured out one child's apple juice that was in the fridge and urinated in it!!  Then he said, "Ronnie's gonna be pissed."  [In another scene, after the child drank the urine and spit it out he said, "Who put piss in my apple juice?]
  • Once Howie Mandel's character pulls down Fred Savage's pants so that his boxers are exposed and another monster says, "Haye, nice ass!"
  • Other monsters smoke cigarettes.  

Here are some recent movies that I have watched with my child that have also snagged the PG rating.  I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that these movies received the same rating as Little Monsters.

So how can this be.... ?  Is it because Little Monsters was made in 1989 when television (and children generally) were less censored?  But don't we always hear today that children are exposed to way more than we were as kids?  Or, is the rating system fatally flawed?  What do you think?

And just so I don't leave you empty handed, here is a site I've visited in the past when I felt a movie's appropriateness was questionable.  It's called Commonsense Media.  I like that you can search the site by movie or by age group on this site.  However, because all parenting styles (and all children) are different, be sure to read a dozen or so reviews before making your decision.  I've found that if I do that, I can get a good feel of whether or not the movie would work in our household.  

If you took the time to read this post, please comment below.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue.  And as always, thank you for stopping by!  

I was not compensated in anyway or asked to do this post.  These opinions are strictly my own.

1 comment:

  1. Another leftist liberal bitching about something... this is why the youth in the US is dying and is going to get worse...