Thursday, October 31, 2013

Family Friendly Movies/TV Shows You Can Watch with Your Kids

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I will be honest, when it comes to kids TV/movies, I am pretty picky.
  • I want it to be safe to watch (no language, limited violence)
  • I also don't like programs that show women as victims that need a man to save them (this rules out A LOT of Disney).  According to a study done a few years ago female characters in G movies rated movies “wear virtually the same amount of sexually revealing clothing as female characters in R rated movies”, less than in PG or PG-13 rated movies .
  • I like it to be high quality
  • Moral value is nice
  • Needs to be age appropriate (and my interpretation if this is different than media's interpretation).  I do not believe that 5 year olds (or even 9 year olds) should be watching TV/movies that focus on teenagers and their lifestyles.
So, this doesn't leave us with a lot.  To be honest, I often end up giving in a little, especially in the quality aspect.  I figure if it is safe.. but the quality is lower it might be OK. And you might say, "who cares, lots of Disney movies are cute and I grew up with them".  You are right, I grew up with them, too.  But they more I think about them, them more I am saddened by the movies and books that truly put down women and make them little more than objects, witches or evil step mothers.

There have been a few better Disney movies in the last years.  They are not perfect (but what is?), but they at least show the males and females working as a team (like Tangled) and the woman doing some of her own saving.  Or Mulan, where the female is a hero and independent.  But these movies have issues, too.

I wish there was better kids entertainment out there.  But there is not, often because violence, weak woman role models and "tween" entertainment sells.  It just does.

I know I live under a rock but I have been shocked to let the girls watch something from Netflix that seems safe but actually has bad words in it or something too sexy- when it is a show for kids!

Oh.. for Mister Rogers.. a safer time!

But there are a few shows we have liked over the years and I would love to share them with you. (note, I am sure none of these movies/shows are perfect.. but what is in this world?).
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood- Oh my goodness, I can not tell you how much I like this show.  It is one for the the younger set, generally.  But to be honest, a lot of the principles in some of the shows are ones that children are not going to get until at least kindergarten.  If your kids are at all open to "younger" programing I would most definitely watch this as a family. You will find yourself singing the cute songs.
  • Wall-e- A well done movie with a good message (female robot does need saving from male robot).  Parents and kids should like this one.
  • Toy Story- Again, male focused.  But  another with a good message about non romantic love and friendship.
  • Brave- This is a cute movie about a girl who has her own mind and aims to save herself.
  • Lilo & Stitch- I like this series.  The heroes are girl-centric and there is a lot of team work between the male and female characters.  And the girls wear more clothing.
  • The Wizard of Oz- Of course most of the characters are male, but they still work as a team, Dorthy is strong and in the end they show she had her own strength, nothing anyone could give her.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- some scary parts, but good strong females who do things to save the day (love the books too). Boys and girls should love these movies.
What are your favorite SUPER family friendly movies?  Have any recommendations on movies or shows that show males and females working together to save the day?  Ones that the children respect their parents and the parents respect the kids?

I would love to hear your thoughts, leave them in the comments.

3 comments:

  1. i LOVE this article! thank you!!!!! i too am always striving for good quality shows for my kids (3 and 2) and it is VERY hard these days. We watch a lot of VeggieTales, and disney junior and some nick junior. I find movies really hard. I like a lot of the Disney movies, and feel for my son (older child) it is ok for him to see the dominant male shows, b/c I hope that he grows up to be a gentleman always willing to help a woman in trouble. Honestly I feel that boys aren't taught that enough these days. I recently tried to let them watch "we bought a zoo" and was incredibly disappointed. several curse words and just an all around horrible message to kids, I didnt leave it on long enough to watch the middle or end, so maybe the message gets better as it goes on? I wasnt going to last thru the language and drinking issues tho.

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    1. Thanks for the thoughts!!

      Yeah.. I agree that boys need to learn "chivalry". It's such a balance! And I think a lot of it is about keeping the communication open, talking about what you see in movies and shows with your kids.

      We were watching a show or reading a book one time (can't remember) and the male lead was very rude to the girl and did not treat her well. She still loved him. It was a good opportunity to talk to my girls about the fact that in real life you can rarely change people. And if a boy is mean to you that is probably not going to change. But if he treats you with respect, he will probably keep treating you respectfully.

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  2. Sometimes animal themes are good - Dolphin Tale is a favorite around here.

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