I will pretty much do anything to distract my toddler from watching Cars. Don't get me wrong, Cars is a fine Pixar movie if you're into that sort of thing. It's just that Robert would watch it twice a day every day if he could. He doesn't get moderation. I've watched it so many times that while having a rational conversation with a rational adult the other day I compared Barack Obama to Lightning McQueen.
TCM is running a series called Essentials Jr. The movies are supposed to be good ones for introducing classic film to youngsters. I've tried a few of these out on my kid. He skews a little young, I think at 2 and half. Still he really liked The Man Who Knew Too Much. He fell asleep during Roman Holiday, though. He liked the scooter part. "Motorcycle fall over," was his review. He also really liked the haircut scene. All week he's been asking when he's going to get a hair cut like the lady in the "other movie." (Any movie that isn't Cars, I geuss is "other movie.") And his falling asleep may be no reflection on the film. It was his nap time anyway.
We watched Meet Me in St. Louis. His response was "I want Superwhy. I want Cars. I want Neighborhood. (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood)." With Turner's selection striking out big time, I decided to take the DVDs into my own hands. I tried Notorious. He liked the part where Cary and Ingrid ride in the car. He also liked the airplane that took them to Brazil and the horseback riding when they got there. Transportation is a big theme with him. He fell asleep around the time that Sebastian proposed to Alicia. It's too bad he missed the champagne because he always says "daddy's wine! " when he sees a champagne bottle.
Thinking about transportation again, we watched The Lady Vanishes with our neighbor who is ten. Both boys stayed awake through the whole movie. Robert liked the train, of course. He got lots of chances to say, "train, like Thomas." He also really liked the folk music in the movie. Every time Michael Redgrave played his clarinet Robert was up and dancing. It's funny that he didn't like Meet Me in St. Louis. I can dig that, though. Judy Garland isn't for everyone.
I trotted out the technicolor spectacular Vera Cruz which despite being kind of too violent for Robert, is amazingly good because it has horses in almost every sequence. It really makes you appreciate the amount of work that went into filming those epic westerns, when you have someone saying "horses!" every ten seconds. He did fall asleep, but truth be told, so did I. Vera Cruz is noisy and spectacular, but it's kind of mind-numbingly repetitive. Too many horses can be a bad thing, I guess.
By far the most successful effort was Ghostbusters. Both Robert and the neighbor boy loved it. Robert loved it when they shot the toilet paper (that is pretty funny actually) and he really got into the Ghostbuster mobile which he calls "scary ghost fire truck." As soon as the movie was over he wanted to see it again, and again. And again. Finally, I've got a replacement for Cars. As much as I love Ghostbusters, though, I will press on, attempting to find more classic movie selections for Essentials Toddler.
Bridget Jones's Dairy (2001)
7 years ago