Monday, August 13, 2012

Mama Bear

Warning! Spoilers ahead. If you haven't seen Brave and don't want to know happens, come back and read this when you've seen the movie.

The one thing good about having been stuck in purgatory in June was that we managed to catch Pixar's new movie Brave. We were keen to take JED to see it because it was about a princess who shot bows and arrows and didn't really think very much of pretty dresses, getting married or combing her hair for that matter. While I did spend most of the movie wishing I had a hair brush to take Merida's hair to task, I did approve of the themes in the movie. My only reservation was that I thought it would be a bit too intense for JED. Packrat said they had seen other shows more intense so I trusted his judgement and left it at that. We came back raving about the movie, prepping the children to see it by showing them trailers of it. We got them hyped enough about the movie that they couldn't stop talking about it.

But that was as far as it got. They never finished the movie.

I was right. It was far too intense for them. Evan hates witches with a vengeance. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and even Enchanted. Hates them and is terrified of them. The 5 minute bit with the witch drove him to near hysteria as he fought to get as much distance between himself and the screen. Jordan too freaked out. She freaked out because her mother turned into a bear. And couldn't bear watching the bear even though it was drawn to resemble the queen in behaviour and personality. Muffin was just beside himself because it was dark, loud and the bear was huge!

We left at the half way point because all three were so distraught there was no coaxing them back into the cinema.

I was disappointed. It had been a waste of money and I really was looking forward to watching the movie with them and talking about it after.

What I did end up with was, I suspect, a mild case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from all the children, especially Jordan.

Despite all the bravado, Jordan has been the worst affected. She dreams of bears, she talks about them and she becomes very withdrawn every afternoon. When probed, she will claim that she doesn't want to dream about bears, that she doesn't want to become a bear and more importantly, she doesn't want Mommy to turn into a bear.

I asked around and so far it seems like it is only our JED that did not survive the movie. Everyone I know with children their age enjoyed it immensely. Why are my children different? Have we brought up especially sensitive children; Children who can draw associations and ask if Mommy turned into a bear, would Papa have to kill her? It is made worse by the fact that both Packrat and myself have very active imaginations and we suspect that our children have our combined imaginative powers which could lead to tall yarns being spun and those spinning rapidly out of control in their heads!

So, we have had to deal with the fallout; the nightmares, the long obsessive conversations, the morose silence and the waterworks. Hopefully when the show releases on DVD, we can sit with them in the comfort and safety of our own home and point out to them that the Mommy becomes Mommy again and Papa doesn't kill the Mama bear.

The abject lesson that I want to point out from the movie is that Mommy knows best and bad things happen when children get angry with Mommy and try to get even! But I guess that's a message I will have to wait to point out. When the PTSD passes.

 Technorati Tags: ,


  1. My son, 4 cried during the bear duelling scene. I'm confused if it's because of the ferocity of the fight or my imposed denial on his Sprite buffet. In any case, he came back home and declared "mama, if you turn into a bear, I will not love you". My 5 year old daughter was also scared throughout the movie too. Compared to the others they have seen, Madagascar, Happy Feet sequel, this is pretty "fierce".

  2. I remember feeling slightly anxious when taking Layla to watch Coraline at... 4?

    She actually liked it a lot and we later bought the DVD; perhaps the pep talk we had prior to the movie ("All of it is NOT real") helped. Then again my kiddo grew up with a collection of McFarlane toys, including Chuckie and Tiffany, and found them cute! (I had to hide them away before playdates arrived.)

    I remember Layla being more affected by Up, where there was a death in the intro. Maybe Up was more realistic--at least in the beginning.