Episode 6: Pinocchio

n8v2ugyc3DPYiU68d0XqNKWNQIvEvan Mather joins us once again to discuss Pinocchio, the 1940 Disney Classic that was recently named by Time Out New York as the best animated movie ever made.  Since we hadn’t seen Pinocchio in a long time, we rewatched it to see if we agree with the experts who compiled the list.  We also discuss some of our favorite animated movies.

What do you think should have made the list that didn’t?  What was unjustly ranked too high or too low?  What would you put at number one?


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  1. Great episode, guys!

    I agree with…think it was Ryan…that The Incredibles is the best Pixar movie. But I voted for Spirited Away on the poll because I have more lasting memories of it than I do from The Incredibles, images that have stuck with me that come back to me from time to time. I think it took advantage of its medium, of being an animated film (as do all the Miyazaki movies). The Incredibles is more of a straight story, and while it is beautiful and artfully made and I wouldn’t change it at all, it could have been a live action movie and achieved all of its goals (DEBATE).

    On Pinocchio: Like you guys I haven’t seen it for over a decade, and recall it being scary and yet somehow re-watchable as a child. But as a parent of young children, slowly inheriting and gathering a huge collection of movies, Pinocchio is one that Jamie and I have never gone out of our way to buy. I’m positive it would scare our kids, maybe not because it’s objectively scarier than any others – if I took the time to think about it there are probably movies with objectively more gruesome or monstrous images that they watch all the time – but because that’s my main recollection of the emotional consequence of it. Now that I say that I guess I’ve avoiding getting Pinocchio because it scared me, rather than because it would scare my kids, but there you have it.

    In addition to that, I’ve learned a lot from watching what movies my kids watch over and over and which they never ask for again, and they seem more tuned in to that sort of thing than I am now. If they have an emotional fear response to a scene in a movie they instinctively avoid that movie later, and it’s often a response that I don’t anticipate. For instance, they avoid Sleeping Beauty like the plague now (all the Maleficent scenes freaked them out), haven’t watched Beauty and the Beast after the first time (lot of suspenseful/creepy stuff in there), etc. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want to see Pinocchio more than once for the same reasons. But I could be wrong, I guess I’ll find out if I ever show it to them.

  2. As a new father, I also have a new perspective while watching movies from my childhood where I’m simultaneously wondering what my boys will think of the movie when they reach the right age.

    Its a good question to ask- how much should we let our opinions and memories of a given movie factor into whether or not we allow our own children to have the same access to it we had? Pinocchio was a scary movie for me as a kid, but I wouldn’t say it was damaging. Is there a healthy dose of “scary” for young kids?

  3. First off, Dan, Thanks for agreeing with me about The Incredibles. I don’t think you’re wrong to say that The Incredibles could have been live action, but I don’t think it would have been as fun or effective. It certainly wouldn’t have appealed to kids the same way (assuming it appeals to kids. what do i know?). Dan would you say Spirited Away is your favorite, or just your favorite of the five choices?

    I don’t have kids, but I’m going to weigh in anyway. I don’t regret being scared by kids movies as a kid. When I was an older kid, I saw parts of a horror movie on tv that keep me awake for nights. I regret being scared by that movie. Unless the fears and subsequent damage is so ingrained that I don’t notice it, I don’t recall my fear going beyond saying, “I don’t want to see that again.” I don’t have an unnatural fear of and/or attraction to tentacles because The Little Mermaid scared me. The important thing was that my parents didn’t belittle me or make me feel ashamed for being scared. That, I think, is the important part of any child-rearing. If a movie scares your kid, don’t force them to keep watching it, don’t make them feel bad for being scared, and don’t show them something in order to scare them.

    I do think the fear I got from Pinocchio was healthy for two reasons: 1) I wanted to see it again and again, so clearly I wasn’t scared beyond repair. 2)What it made me scared of was stuff that it’s good for kids to have a fear/respect/distrust of, that is, strangers trying to lead me astray, smoking, drinking, and destructive behavior. I think it’s kind of dumb that they felt the need to put an anti-smoking PSA in front of the DVD release, since the whole movie is an anti-smoking PSA.

    To Nate’s point, I don’t necessarily think that you should not show kids movies because they scared you, but it might be a good idea to rewatch it before you show it to them (actually, probably watch any movie before you show it to your kids), and then make a decision based on your kid and what has scared them in the past. I’ve been trying to watch kids movies with an eye to what I’d like to show my theoretical kids. What things do you look for or avoid?

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