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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Books I can't read and Movies I don't like to watch

Are you playing along with Mama Kat

This week one of the writing prompts asked us to review some books we just plain hate to read to our kids.

This one immediately came to mind.

If you aren't familiar let me sum it up for you. The sweet little boy on the cover grows up a little bit more on every page. The mother gets closer to death on every page.

She sings this song:

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
as long as I'm living
my baby you'll be

Until one day she can't sing anymore 'cause of the whole impending death thing and the boy holds her and rocks and sings this version:

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
as long as I'm living
my mommy you'll be

I mean seriously don't you just want to curl up and cry just from the summary. I didn't even mention the part about when he goes home after her probable death and sings the song to newborn infant.


I'm supposed to read this to my kid??

Then there is the movie Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Yep. The classic. The beloved children's movie from the 1970's. When is the last time you actually listened to this movie? Actually sat down and watched it. The original message about accepting others no matter their difference kind of gets a little lost.

Lost in the sexism and (dare I say) racism that abounds.

This Christmas I watched it (I mean really watch it) with my 10 1/2 year and 8 year old daughters. My son was there but I don't think he was watching it.

Oldest said "How come girls can't try out for the reindeer team, mom?"

That is a good question, isn't it?

Oldest also questioned why Santa was portrayed so mean. After all it is Santa who first rejects poor little Rudolph strictly on the basis of his red nose.

Middle G said, "Why do all the girl elves have long yellow hair and why do they all have on pink dresses? Don't any of them like blue or purple?"

Dresses at the North Pole. Does that sound like a good idea? Not a dark skinned elf in the bunch. Not even a brunette.

All the boy elves (except for Hermie) are bald, white men, wearing blue pants.

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, they introduce the doe-eyed female reindeers, who aren't allowed to play any reindeer games. They are there to watch and cheer on the big bad bucks.

Mrs. Santa and Mrs. Donner do not have first names. Apparently their characters weren't strong enough to warrant names.

Mrs. Santa spends the entire show trying to feed Santa.

Mrs. Donner and Clarice risk their lives to save Rudolph, Hermie and Donner but after Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable fall off the cliff Burl Ives says, "They were all very sad about their friend, but they knew the best thing was to get the women back to Christmas Town".

OMG by that time this movie was pissing me off.

The ending is happy and Rudolph is accepted but I'm sure glad I'm not rasing daughters in 1964.

Personally, I thinks it may be time for an updated version.

Maybe Middle G will write one.

8 random thoughts:

Gina said...

This is hilarious because we watched it for the first time in a long time with our 2 and 1/2 year old this year. My husband said the same thing..."Man, Santa's kind of a douchebag, huh?" :) Great post.

Kekibird said...

Love your synopses of the Rudolph movie. Was totally nodding my head along while I read it.

And my son has that book too. I hide it cuz I'll ball through it. Cute idea but a bit too touching if I can't get through it before bedtime without snot rolling down my lip!

Thanks for the visit! Happy Thursday!

Mama the Chef said...

Let me just say, I am SO glad I don't have that book.

And about Rudolph, I watched it this year too, and all the while wondering...SERIOUSLY? I mean Santa is such a jerk! And how about Donner giving his kid a complex!? What kind of crap is that!? And it's supposed to be a classic...sheesh!

Becca said...

Ha! I haven't really sat down and watched that movie in a long time! You are definitely right though, its time for a new version!

I love that book! It is super sweet and my voice never fails to crack every time I read it but I still adore it. I could remember my mom reading it to me so when I found out I was pregnant, it was one of the first books we bought.

septembermom said...

You are so funny. That is one book that I didn't get my kids. Not for any particular reason. Your Rudolph observations are right on. I was kind of ticked at Santa's attitude too :)

Jenners said...

I just read this book for the first time and did not really care for it... tres disturbing in many many ways. And I didn't like the illustrations either.

Connie said...

I came here from Jenners's blog...and I agree with her about I'll Love You Forever. Creeptastic!

Jeane said...

Ha ha ha. I came from Jenner's blog, too. My husband and I showed the Rudolph movie to our five-year-old last year, and we were shocked at how different it was from what we remembered as kids. It was kind of strange, kind of creepy, definitely racist and such. Luckily most of the stuff went over her head- she just thought it was cute and didn't ask too many questions!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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