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Jo Mama

F**king Nemo?

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Written on September 6, 2006 3:41 PM

So far, I’ve tried to avoid the lure of kids movies for Benny. Not, you must understand, because I’m some kind of purist parent who thinks TV rots children’s brains. Far from it, Benny is hooked on a whole host of Sesame Street DVDs and endless taped Bob the Builders shows. No, my reason for putting an embargo on the likes of “Finding Nemo” or “Monsters Inc.” is for much more selfish reasons.

My partner and I love to watch movies, but not generally of the talking fish or cute monsters variety. Since Benny was very young he’s been happy to sit on the sofa or dooble on the floor with his toys as we have watched all kinds of films – from documentaries, to indies and cheesy chick flicks, to cool HBO TV series. As he’s got older and started to get more aware of what’s going on on the screen, we’ve had to cut out any movies or shows that look like they’re going to have guns or fighting or frightening images (e.g. smiling George Bush). But, on the whole, Benny seems pretty content with our shared movie watching and now associates “movies” with the kind of things we all like to watch. In fact, after we rented the first two seasons of the L-word last winter, Benny, when asked what his favorite show is, shouts with glee, “LLLL-word!!”

Not only that, when we go to Tower records to rent movies, Benny generally bypasses the kids section and traverses the rest of the store shouting “watched ‘dat,” “watched ‘dat” as he points to all kinds of dvds and movie posters. Brad and I watch him and chuckle to each other about the film buff he will become.

That was until the other day, however, when we passed a poster for the movie, “The Squid and The Whale.” Strapped in his stroller, Benny whooped with joy and pointed at the tattered out-of-date ad. We expected to hear his familiar “Watched ‘dat” as we rented the movie just a few months ago. Instead, much to our surprise, Benny shouted, “F**k you.”

At first, I thought he’d picked up this endearing new phrase from the playground. But then we remembered that throughout the entire movie, Jeff Bridges can be heard “f**k you-ing” at every turn.

Perhaps this should make me fall back on the safety of kid-flicks and the curse-free worlds they depict. However, I can’t help thinking that, compared to the “I love you, son,” “I love you, dad” or “I love you, best male buddy” narratives that seem to plague so many Pixar/Disney movies, a few “f**k you’s” now and again isn’t so bad!

comment by Slinkster on September 6, 2006 3:46 PM:

Nemo says to his father "I hate you".... somehow I think I'd rather hear the f word...

comment by Knits4Fun on September 7, 2006 10:32 AM:

:D Sometimes I think if I have to watch anymore Noggin (preschool cable channel) I'm going to scream. Surprisingly, it has grown on me though.

comment by superrandu on September 7, 2006 11:51 PM:

adopt me.

comment by Dracovixen on September 10, 2006 11:10 PM:

I think Finding Nemo is actually a semi-Buddhist parable, with Marlin as the seeker and Dory as the Bodhisattva figure. Which is one of the reasons why I love it so much. But, I don't have kids, I just love watching Pixar movies. Just keep swimming!