For the past few months, my husband and I have been struggling with something.
You see....we are having a hard time picking out family-friendly movies. Before we got married, and before I knew better, I assumed that pretty much any cartoon movie was a safe assurance it was family-friendly. I mean, children are(usually) the intended audience for a cartoon, are they not?
But, a few months ago, a few verses in the Bible jumped out at me, and I started to evaluate what I, myself was watching and listening to. I had started to connect a few dots, and the more I did, the more I realized how much shows, movies, and music was setting the tone for my attitude towards myself, my husband, and my children....and how quick I was to go into a sour/displeasing mood as a result of watching and listening to certain things.
Eventually, I felt convicted so much about what I was watching/listening to, that I taped the verses to the top of my TV screen. That may sound weird or silly, but it's amazing how much you won't watch if you have the Word of God staring at you each time you turn on the 'tube.
Last month, my husband stated verbally he was feeling convicted of what he was watching, as well. I didn't become a TV nazi, he came to this on his own, seperately. Then we started talking about our traditional Saturday Family Movie Nights....and how with each week, it was becoming more and more of a struggle to find something that everyone could watch without partial nudity, sexual suggestions, or cursing. So, we turned off the TV/movie watching for a bit, and turned Saturdays into Family Game Nights.
I started looking at Redbox once a week to see what new movies we might be able to watch. Before searching, there were over 30 movies listed on their app for me to possibly watch, many of them cartoons. I did a search for G-rated movies that were under the categories "Comedy" "Children" or "Family".
Do you know how many appeared on average, fitting that criteria?
A whopping three. That's right...THREE.
Out of those three...one we had already seen, one looked like it was a low-production/poorly made children's movie that received a "dove" approval, and the last was usually something we had either already seen or gave the appearance of having the suggested audience of babies and toddlers.
I tried increasing the rating to "PG".
And every single new cartoon poped up, along with some...questionable movies.
After reviewing a few of the reasons why a cartoon( a CARTOON!) would be rated PG, I started to see a pattern...
even cartoons today can't make a decent living unless they involve partial nudity, suggesting sex in some way(even if mildly by today's standards)crude humor, a mention of butts or backsides, and some popular but questionable singer doing their soundtrack.
What is going on? Now, we can't even watch 99% of cartoons without seeing a butt, partial nudity, or sexual inuendos!
We are coming to a rock and a hard place....
I have an 11-year old daughter who THINKS she's ready for teenage-related stuff in all areas...except the movies that are coming out today "geared" towards teenagers.
I have a 9-year old son who wants to watch super-hero related movies/shows, but is disgusted with how much nudity, cursing, and sexual references come with them.
I have an 8 year-old daughter who wants nothing more than to watch what the others are watching, but will get nightmares or can't get out of her head all the garbage that is associated with older-child intended movies.
I have a husband who hates musicals, and all girly-related movies, as does my son(which, by the way, is the only other option we have aside from the three mentioned above when looking into G-rated movies).
So...what are we to do? As more Saturdays come and go, we are both becoming frustrated and disgusted with the movie options set before us. Even movies we've seen as children we are starting to realize aren't safe/G rated(seriously, why the hello kitty did anyone let a child see movies like "Indiana Jones", "Batman Forever" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"?!?).
I'm not trying to hold my family to my standards. I'm really not. There have been several occassions where I have allowed movies that I personally felt convicted NOT to watch, but they thought they were ready to watch...only for THEM to ask to turn it off because they realized it wasn't what they thought/had things in it they didn't want to see,etc.
And, with even Christian targeted movies having at least a PG rating and production companies only rolling out one every 6-12 months, we're finding fewer and fewer options that we'd all be willing to watch.
We WANT to watch movies together. We absolutely love having Saturday as our "rest" day and ending it with a yummy dessert and popcorn, all huddled/snuggling on the couches/under blankets, and watching something we're all excited to see. Plus, with my husband working and gone all week due to being a truck driver, it's the only time a week that we all can sit around the TV and watch something we all agree on. And it's always fun to quote a funny line or use the movie as a conversation starter/inside joke between all of us.
So, again I ask...what are we to do? Are we to merely limit ourselves to watching movies every 6-12 months, hoping something family-friendly will sprout up somewhere in between? Are we to just stick largely with game nights? Are we the only ones encountering this struggle? If so, what do you do?
We want something that will bring us together, to end the week as well as our "day of rest", but we don't want our children to be scarred or tramatized every other Saturday as a result.
I just want to know where have all the family-friendly movies gone...and when they're coming back.
Until Next Time,