I have always been fairly selective about what movies my kids are allowed to watch, whether it be in our home or at a friend’s. If there was ever a question about a movie, the answer would always be “no” until my husband and I had rented it and watched it, which in turn, left our kids understandingly frustrated.
But no more. We discovered that Focus on the Family has a website called “Plugged In Online” that does movies, dvds, television and music reviews from a Christian standpoint. They are honest assessments highlighting positive elements, spiritual content, sexual content, violent content, crude or profane language, drug or alcohol content, and other negative elements. Each review is concluded with the reviewers final thoughts kind of summarizing what has been said and giving you points to ponder before making your decision. Here’s an excerpt from the review for the new Veggie Tales movie, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything:
So, setting aside any expectation of a between-the-eyes Sunday school lesson, what kind of kids’ movie is Pirates? Maybe I should answer that question with a recitation of places it doesn’t go that so many other animated flicks do:
It refuses to reference the “f-word” as a joke line the way Open Season does. It sticks to clean veggie humor, not crass “nut” humor like Over the Hedge. It stays far, far away from the New Agey worldviews expressed in Brother Bear. It doesn’t feature Regis Philbin and Larry King as the voices of drag-queen “sisters” like the Shrek movies do. It avoids what we called Happy Feet’s “oddly unpleasant interjections of spiritualism and Footloose-style loosen-up-you-old-fuddy-duddy ‘moralizing.'” And it doesn’t indulge in mean-spirited name-calling (“booger breath,” “moron,” “idiot,” etc.) the way pretty much every movie from Meet the Robinsons to Garfield does.
This has been a tremendously helpful tool for our family, as we’ve even been able to use our phone look up a movie while standing in line at the movie theatre when our first choice was sold out! If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to do so. We even discovered that some of the movies we were most afraid of were pretty mild compared to what we had envisioned (i.e. – Evan Almighty — which we would never have watched had it not been for Unplugged Online). So go forth and watch movies with confidence! (and check out Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips)
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