Is Alice in Wonderland appropriate for a second grader?

I think every family has a different belief of what is appropriate or inappropriate for their children to watch (or read). One of the best things to do is vet it yourself. Sometimes that’s difficult to do, but websites like commonsensemedia.org are great resources. They itemize items like violence, sexual content, use of alcohol consumption and to what degree. Parents or teachers can then make an informed choice. They review books, video games, and other media sources.

Last night I went to see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I have been a Tim Burton fan since Edward Scissorhands and thought this adaptation was great. It also had some great positive messages: believe in yourself, don’t believe anything is impossible, have faith in the ones you trust, only the weak use fear to rule. It also doesn’t play to the usual female hero stereotypes and had a great female protagonist. Still, with amazing 3-D effects, in 6 story IMAX, and an intense soundtrack, this movie might just be a little too dark for the average 8 year old. That would be my judgement, but it doesn’t mean that someone else has a different sense of what ‘appropriate’ looks like.  For example, the caterpillar is smoking from a hookah. That wouldn’t bother me at all as I feel I could easily have that conversation with someone who’s 8. Another person might find that character trait too offensive. Because of that, short of previewing the movie, video game, or book itself, websites like commonsensemedia.org are a great tool to make an informed decision.  For me, it’s never about censorship, it’s about being informed. Oh, and if you’re a purist to Carroll’s work, don’t see this movie. It’s an adaptation. Great for older kids to discuss, compare, and contrast.

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2 thoughts on “Is Alice in Wonderland appropriate for a second grader?

  1. It seems like a dialogue between Mcgrann and Neely–am I missing posts? I wonder if we should angle for a broader conversation? what is the right tool? another data point–I have received exactly zero responses to my Sunshine article. Maybe I should propose school in July?

  2. I know some who are reading and enjoying it. I think for many of us, the internet is like TV and not viewed as an interactive medium. That’s ok.

    Perhaps our website could have facebook, twitter, and blog widgets on its home page.

    As I mentioned to you earlier, blogging is so 2006. However, it’s become simpler and the tools are much easier to use. Also, at least for now, I’m enjoying it and learning a lot. Creating, interacting, and putting yourself out there on the web is something that’s not necessarily comfortable for people in my age group. We are a little more careful about saying something we may regret later. Of course I won’t be able to teach kids how to do this if I don’t get in the game myself. Even if a teacher is skilled with the many methods of teaching, he or she has to KNOW what they are teaching too. A comment here or there is really appreciated, but maybe I need to participate in the comment sections too.

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