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Creating Movie Marathon Kid-Friendly Zones

Being the parent of two young kids, I have not had to think too hard about the content of the movies and shows my kids watch (“Is it Sesame street? Or Barney? Or a classic Disney film? Ok then.”). But trying to create movie marathon kid-friendly zones is different. Each parent is going to have kids of varying ages and those parents will all have varying ideas of what is and is not acceptable for their youngins’. What is a movie marathon host to do?

Enter the non-profit group Common Sense Media.They have thousands of reviews for movies, TV shows, music, video games, apps, web sites and books. Their reviews include a quick rundown on content that may possibly be problematic for your kid, and they also provide a handy “content grid” that rates particular aspects of the title including educational value, violence, messages and role models, and more.

My kids love Wreck-It Ralph (and so do I!). I took a look at their review of Wreck-It Ralph, and it seemed pretty spot-on. Some video-game style violence, some potty humor, but generally a very positive message of discovering who you really are. Sounds like they and I think alike!

With that in mind, I vetted my upcoming 2013 movie marathon kid zones with Common Sense media. One big helpful item – they pointed out that Jiro Dreams of Sushi is subtitled, and will be of very little interest to young kids. Oops! My kid-friendly zone got a little shorter!

And here are the rest:

  • Swiss Family Robinson – Pros: Good adventure and family teamwork. Cons: Some possibly scary fight and animal scenes.
  • The Iron Giant – Pros: Great adventure and messages. Cons: A little bit of violence, some smoking.
  • Brave – Pros: Good messages about parent / child communication. Cons: Scary bear attack, rough fighting among the kid brothers
  • My Neighbor Totoro – Pros: Beautiful movie, imaginative story. Cons: The kids sure have a lot of freedom to wander around on their own.

I think I’ll keep using this site to check out what media my kids are about to consume. I hope you find the site useful too!

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