Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Elana Gartner’s piece about “adjusting” the fairy tales she tells her son and daughter reminded me of how my poor children are forced to bear the brunt of my Master’s in Media Analysis every time they watch a movie or television show.

Most recently, my 13-year-old son and I discussed how in Les Miserables, the noble revolutionaries who only care about the plight of the poor set up their barricade and destroy the poor people’s (whom they care so much about) neighborhood. Then, while said poor people are literally on their knees cleaning up the mess, the only revolutionary left goes back to his rich grandfather’s house and proceeds to celebrate his lavish wedding without a moment of irony or even self-awareness.

My 9- and 6-year-old, on the other hand, get lectures about The Incredibles and how, while the super power-laden family laments being forced to hide their own powers because “normal people” are threatened by them, when the designated villain invents devices that mimic those powers, “The Incredibles” are deeply offended and rush out to stop him, since you can’t become a superhero through hard work or brilliance–you can only be born one. Anyone else is unworthy. (Wee bit Übermenschy, no?)

But, the big issue that comes up over and over again in children’s animation especially is the perennial edict to stick with your own kind. Even as the movie in question presumes it’s telling the exact opposite story.

Read the complete piece at: http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/what-kids-cartoons-teach-about-intermarriage/

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