Hey, Disney, quick question for ya:
Who at the MPAA do you guys blow in order to get “G” ratings for your movies? Because I’m convinced that’s how you’re getting it done.
[DISCLAIMER: I’m not looking at you, PIXAR. You rock. I think you should quadruple your staff and put out four times as many movies as you do now, because nothing would please me more than to make a PIXAR film the feature for every one of our family movie nights. (Except for that opening scene in “Nemo” where his mother and the other gajillion baby fish get devoured by a demonic barracuda. Nice.)]
Which reminds me: What the fuck is it with you and the dead-mother thing?? “Cinderella”? Dead mother. “Nemo”? Dead mother. “Chicken Little”? Dead mother. “Snow White”? Dead mother. “Bambi”? Dead mother. “Pocohantas”? Dead mother. “Beauty and the Beast”? Dead mother. And, as we all know, nothing cheers up a small child better or gives parents a more comfortable dynamic to explain to their children than a dead mommy, am I right?
But back to your so-called “G”-rated movies. Case study: “102 Dalmations,” our latest family-movie-night feature. Here’s my synopsis:
Seemingly rehabilitated psychotic woman portrayed by psychotic-looking Glenn Close relapses into full-on psychosis and spends 90 minutes trying to give small children the choice between debilitating night terrors or clawing their own eyes out. Her character’s objective: Join forces with psychotic-looking, knife-wielding male co-villain in an effort to capture and skin a bunch of puppies to make a coat. (And, yes, I realize that was basically the plot of the original, but I never saw the original; apparently, someone must have thought showing the childhood version of me a movie about a piss-your-pants frightening shrew of a woman whose objective is killing and skinning puppies to make outerwear was inappropriate! Imagine that!)
Suffice to say, Close’s portrayal of Cruella Di Vil in this film makes her bunny-boiling “Fatal Attraction” character look like Florence Nightingale.
And this is not a fluke. In fact, Disney’s pre-CGI animated films? I’m quite certain those were designed specifically so that parents would have to wake up in the middle of the night to the blood-curdling screams of their children. “The Little Mermaid” with its terror-inducing, morbidly obese octopus woman and her army of horrific-looking stolen souls; “The Lion King” with its son-watches-father-get-murdered plot point; and every single witch and/or evil-stepmother character, the makers of whom aren’t satisfied until every small child in the room has fled back into his or her mother’s womb.
I’m pretty sure it’s time for a new rating system, because when all I have to go on while selecting a movie for my kids is “G,” and “G” turns out to stand for “Gonna Scare Your Kids To Death,” it’s clear that the current system isn’t cutting it.
(Oh, by the way, Glenn Close’s Cruella Di Vil does eventually get her comeuppance in a most family friendly way. Yeah, the puppies manage to lure her into a cake factory, where they successfully trap her in a giant cake mold and send her kicking and screaming into an industrial-size, glowing-red-hot oven. But, hey, that’s alright, because she eventually emerges unharmed … which, you know, definitely makes up for the images of cooking to death that have been running through your child’s head up until that moment. Thanks, Disney!)