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"Disney's Earth"- tough on kids?

msm-s's picture

A friend just offered us tickets to a preview of "Disney's Earth". She won them but isn't taking her kids , 8 and 10, because it sounds like too much for them (baby elephant dies, daddy seal dies, etc). I've googled and found similar concerns by movie critics.

Have y'all heard anything about this, and do you have any feelings about whether it would be worth the effort? BTW, DS can really flip flop about being upset by this sort of thing, and then being really adult about accepting the cycle of nature and how food chains work.

All opinions and observations welcome.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #52256, reply #27 of 67)

Oh my goodness, I can't handle someone being kind to me when I'm sad or down--I just go off into a new level of crying at their tenderness.  Not so great in the workplace, LOL.


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Jillsifer's picture

(post #52256, reply #4 of 67)

I'm not familiar with this particular movie, but I think in general that kids should be taught to handle sad or distressing things, rather than being protected from them.

Disney has a lot to answer for, historically speaking. There are several generations walking around who were brought up on Disney's anthropomorphized presentation of animals; maybe it's time that same studio (okay, group of studios) offered something a bit more in tune with the real world?

I dunno . . . different approaches work differently for different families. As Gillen was growing up, we worked with both views of animals--talking bears searching for a little smackeral of something AND more realistic views that included suffering and death. (I ran over a chipmunk going over Tioga Pass into Yosemite once when he was about six or seven, and it led to a difficult but really useful talk about the cycle of life and death.) Yes, he cried and felt bad about animals' suffering, but he also got some breathtaking glimpses of what it was like "out there" in the wild.

Personally, I wouldn't want my son to NOT see all the beauty and wonder of animal life simply because he'd also have to deal with that life's end.




Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Li's picture

(post #52256, reply #28 of 67)

I'm glad you brought this up. I am supposed to see this with my 3 1/2-year-old boys this week. We have very recently had to talk about death with them, as my father passed away on Good Friday, and they were very close to their Papa. They understand what happened, but mostly they seemed sad because I was sad--it upset them to see me cry. They've seen death in movies before (offscreen, in The Lion King and Ice Age, for example), and don't seem to get upset about it.

Any advice on taking them to this movie?

Only connect.

Only connect.

msm-s's picture

(post #52256, reply #29 of 67)

I am so sorry to hear about your loss.
I believe the key is your involvement, being willing to discuss not only the obvious, but also any tangents they might go on. You never know what connections their minds make with other things.
Madmom said something ITA with- that movies like this are a child's introduction to the concept of loss, and in a way, sort of prepares us for real-life events to come.

However, having seen this, I don't think I'd take a child that young, although I do think it is a worthwhile movie for children in general. You should be the judge though; can you go see it without the kids first?

On another note- anybody who sees this movie should stay through the credits! Some wonderful clips of how the photographers got their shots. Like sitting in a freakin' chair suspended from a hot air balloon, (which crashes into a treetop).

Edited 4/21/2009 10:16 am ET by msm-s

Biscuit's picture

(post #52256, reply #30 of 67)

On another note- anybody who sees this movie should stay through the credits! Some wonderful clips of how the photographers got their shots. Like sitting in a freakin' chair suspended from a hot air balloon, (which crashes into a treetop).

Have you ever seen the Planet Earth series this was taken from???  You should rent it, or see if you local library has it.   They have loads of pieces on how various things were shot.  My favorite part of the whole series - and there were many - was the film of the snow leopard.  It's the first time EVER anyone has ever filmed one hunting.  Oh, and the part of the african hunting dogs - amazing! 

Anyway - if you liked it, you really should get Planet Earth.  You'll love it.

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

Li's picture

(post #52256, reply #55 of 67)

Update: We saw the movie yesterday. Granted, we didn't stay to the bitter end (someone was cranky about spilled popcorn), but there was absolutely NOTHING to upset a kid. OK, so a wolf chases down a young caribou. A young elephant gets lost. An adult elephant starts to get taken down by a pack of lions. A cheetah chases and catches a gazelle. There is NO blood. The scene switches before any glimpse of death or suffering.

We saw a special screening that my friend arranged for her moms group, so there were LOTS of young kids in theater, and I don't think any one of them got upset.

Only connect.

Only connect.

chiffonade's picture

(post #52256, reply #65 of 67)

Thank you so much for this heads up.  I will skip Earth for that reason.  And this isn't my first run in with the subject of real life in the wild.

I was on a plane (hardly able to escape) and a nature film was playing.  Eventually, hyenas began to eat their young and other such atrocities.  I know this stuff happens.  I don't need to see it.

"Sandra Lee is the Culinary Anti-Christ and I am the Anti-Sandra Lee.  The precious moments you may take to measure a level cup of flour are NOT wasted time!"


*You're a REAL person, eat REAL food."