Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Everywhere I've turned lately, I have heard wonderful things about Disney's new movie, The Princess and the Frog. It has the first African-American princess and is set in New Orleans, which as a Louisiana resident, was a huge selling point.
Since my almost three-year-old had never before gone to the movies, I thought this would be a fun introduction to the world of the big screen.
Boy was I ever wrong.
As usual, we left for the 10 am showing with no extra time to spare...not a great idea in Christmas traffic. Also as usual, Wyatt gave me another backseat lesson on how to drive. Today's lesson concerned what to do with traffic signals.
At one intersection, I was slowing to obey the reduced speed limit when Wyatt suddenly yelled like a cheerleader encouraging a wide receiver, "Green light! Go! Go! Go!" Then, the light ahead turned red. "Stop mommy! Red light means stop!"
(There aren't enough exclamation points for this child's decibel level in enclosed spaces.)
Despite my pathetic driving skills, we made it, got our tickets, and marched to the very top row as the previews were showing.
Wyatt didn't like the fact that the theater was in the dark, something I hadn't even thought to prepare him for. But as long as he was in my lap or my arm was around him, he was fine.
His mommy, on the other hand, was not fine with the movie's content.
The movie was rated G (I made certain of that beforehand) which means "nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture".
But this Christian mother of a young child was offended.
What the movie reviews don't dwell on is the Satanic evil promoted throughout--the magic of voodoo--and I consider that offensive. Sure, I expected voodoo to be mentioned since it's associated with New Orleans, but I had no idea voodoo would be one of THE central themes of the story.
For example, the main evil character, referred to as the Shadowman, is a evil voodoo magician who turns the Prince into a frog by twice getting the Prince's blood into a voodoo talisman. He makes deals with the black voodoo spirits (his "friends on the other side") and then sends these terrifying-looking black shadowy spirits to hunt down the Prince and the future princess, Tiana. If I were a kid, those shadows would have given me nightmares. And even the fairy godmother-type character, Mama Odie, is connected with voodoo as a white/good priestess.
Oh how dumb, dumb, dumb I feel for not reading more about this movie before we went. I'm careful about what I allow him to watch on TV. PBS and our DVD collection are the only things he's allowed to watch without first going through the mommy/TiVo commercial censor.
Thankfully, it all seems to have gone totally over Wyatt's head. As we walked from the darkness into the bright sun , all he cared about was lunch, and he hasn't mentioned the movie since.
His innocence shone through when I asked if he'd like to have a roast beef sandwich at Arby's. He misheard me and the entire ride there kept saying "I have a Darby sandwich at Darby's" (Darby is Winnie the Pooh's friend).
It's so hard to keep that innocence. I don't want to let it go any sooner than I have to.
at 8:06 PM