Monday, November 29, 2010

Top 10 Kid’s Movies With Hidden Conservative Messages

Posted By Stacy Webber On November 29, 2010 @ 8:00 am

Here we are at the beginning of the Holiday “season.” All parents know that these breaks bring with them pleas from children for some extra time in front of what my priest refers to as “the magic lantern” and my husband calls “the devil box.” There is truth in each of these labels, but most Moms call it ”an hour and a half of peace and quiet to get a few things done.”
Yes, I am speaking of the television. While it can be argued that watching TV is an inferior way to spend time, it does play a role in the lives of most — OK,  pretty much all — families. I would argue that not all TV viewing is the same. Movies, because of the absence of commercials, are far superior to anything that you can find channel surfing. Commercial free-PBS is not much better. While it does not show many product commercials, it is often worse than network or cable television due to the obnoxious amount of politically correct messages and indoctrination into the leftist agenda by puppets and cartoon characters. Movies, if they are any good, have the ability to hold a child’s uninterrupted attention and convey a message in tact.
So, what children watch does make a difference. For example, does anyone want their daughters learning teen morality from Hannah Montana or her evil twin Miley Cyrus? Since we will sit our kids in front of the TV at some point, I  have compiled a list of the top ten kid’s movies with hidden conservative messages.

10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
It is a strange little movie and a bit of a cheat on my part. I don’t actually recommend this movie for kids even though it was made as a kids movie. I watched it with my children a few years ago and ended up fast forwarding the bizarre  “Chu-chi face” song and dance number. The story was written by Ian Fleming, better known for the James Bond series – which explained a lot for me.
There are several political messages, from the value of capitalism to war,  tucked inside this story that make it an interesting watch. I was fascinated by the contrast between what appears to be the King and Queen of Vulgaria or “Old Europe,” and the main character who bears all of the marks of an American entrepreneur. Even more notable is the film’s treatment of children. The King and Queen have outlawed children and have a Pied Piper-like child hunter go through town and lure them into capture.
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” makes a strong case for the importance of children and family, for it is the King and Queen’s hatred of children that serves as their undoing. This idea is even more compelling when one considers that the decline of Europe is directly linked to it’s declining birth rate.
Next: When you wish upon a star…

9. Pinocchio
There is an obvious moral message to the  film but also some hidden social commentaries that I definitely missed when I watched it as a child. There is an overt religious theme woven into the movie. Biblical references are a central part of the film’s story line from the Blue Fairy who resembles the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as intercessor to Pinocchio’s time spent in the belly of the whale. Not to mention the resemblance of the wishing star to that which announced the birth of Christ.
Make sure that you pay close attention to the scene where the Lost Boys tear apart a Catholic Church; it is a detail that sends a powerful message. There is a clear warning about breakdown of the family and religion in society. Disney was prophetic in his portrayal of children who are left to raise themselves.
An interesting tie in to the religious tone of ”Pinocchio” was made by director Stephen Spielberg in his film “AI.” Spielberg uses Pinocchio imagery to slam religion. He shows the  boy robot waiting in front of a statue of the Blue Fairy for 2000 years, the length of Christianity, in the futile hope of being made a real boy. In Spielberg’s movie, it is aliens who ultimately heal the boy and the world. “Pinocchio” is a surprising exploration into the journey of the human soul.
Next: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…

8.  Mary Poppins
“Mary Poppins”  is a classic film that is well known for its pro-family message. The hidden conservative theme is the film’s stance on feminism. The character of Mrs. Banks is dedicated to her fight for women’s suffrage, which was the feminist cause of the day during the time in which the film is set.
The film takes a subtle jab at women who would put any cause over the care of their children. It is her engagement in this social struggle that causes the children to need a nanny in the first place.
The Banks parents are engrossed in their pursuits of careerism and political causes to the point that they ignore their children. The message of the film goes even deeper when you consider that it is set in the early 1900s and was made in the 1960s.
Victorians placed little value on children as seen in the motto of the time “Children are to be seen and not heard.”  Charles Dickens revealed the exploitation and mistreatment of Victorian era children in his many novels that addressed the subject.
This Victorian version of self-centered adulthood is a great parallel to the sixties-generation who were so busy acting like spoiled children that they often put the well-being of their own offspring on the back burner. Divorce and latch key kids are the legacy of the baby-boom generation.
Mary Poppins message to both of the parents in the film: children come first.
If you disagree with me- “Go fly a kite.”
Next: C.S. Lewis’ masterpiece…

7. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The series done by the BBC is a wonderful blend of fantasy laced with a non-didactic religious message. These films tell a religious story in a fairy tale setting. While it is no surprise that this story was written as a religious metaphor, the much lower in budget, BBC series explores C.S. Lewis’ concept to a depth that was completely hidden in the new films produced by Disney.
The Disney films, while stunning to look at, focus on the action and do not explore the characters and plot in the same detail. The BBC’s version of the novels in the movie series has much more dialogue and includes more detail from the books. They are also slower and quieter.
The new films often cross the line into sensory overload. I noticed that when I left the theater after seeing the first Disney version, my kids became sword fighting maniacs. Which might have been good if I was raising ninjas.
The downside to the BBC movies is the low budget costumes and special effects. My kids thought that it was hysterical that the beavers were wearing those yellow, rubber kitchen gloves. I was a bit distracted by the Godzilla-like inability of Aslan to meet the movements of his mouth with the words he was speaking. Once the story is developed however, you don’t even notice what’s missing.
Next: The horrors of communism in a bestselling young adult novel brought to the big screen…

6. I Am David
“I am David” was a bestselling book for young adults before it was made into a film. This movie itself  is a hidden message in that it is a total surprise that it was ever made. This story raises the bar on what kids movies should be.
The viewers are treated to a story about a real boy working his way through real challenges. It pushes kids to think about how they might act under similar circumstances. There is no condescension or predictability in this film. Children are not portrayed as helpless observers constantly watched over by adults, but as individuals that are able to tackle difficult problems and questions.
The story is based on the journey that the main character makes from an Eastern European gulag to safety in Western Europe. The film shows the horrors of Communism and the triumph of faith, hope and charity.
David, who is spiritually dead to the point that he does not know how to smile, is brought back to life by every connection that he makes with his fellow human beings. This film is a testament to the importance of human relationships and what happens when we dehumanize people.
You may want to watch this film before you show it to your kids due to the disturbing events that take place in the gulag.
Next: A film that doesn’t set the bar low for boys…

5. Master and Commander
“Master and Commander” is an epic film. It tells the story of Sea Captain Jack O’Brian and and his crew. The story is set in the year 1805 aboard a British frigate during the Napoleonic Wars. Captain O’Brian is hunting down a french privateer named Acheron. They travel around the horn of Africa and to the Galapagos Islands in their relentless pursuit of this mission. The crew is manned by men and boys of all ages.
The hidden message in this film is a powerful one for boys.
The character of young Blakeney shows us how far we have lowered the bar on when a child becomes an  adult. The “children” in this story conquer odds and have adventures that would never be permitted in our nanny state society.  The “boys’ in this movie fight along side the men and face the same hardships. They are not mothered or parented but are put to physical and emotional tests in every way. It is through these adventures that we watch these boys transform into men.
“Master and Commander” reveals the value of work, challenge and hardship in the transformation from boy to man. This film is a stark contrast to our current society where twenty-six year olds are still placed on their parent’s insurance and thirty year olds move back home to save money.
Peter Pan wannabes and helicopter parents will find the challenges the boys in this story face a real shock.
Next: One of Pixar’s greatest successes…

4. The Incredibles
“The Incredibles” tells the story of a family with super-hero abilities. Their lives become transformed when Mr. Incredible saves a man from his suicide attempt and finds himself on the losing side of a lawsuit. As a result, Superheroes are forced to stop using their powers and go into hiding in a kind of witness protection program.
Sadly, the seeming absurdity of the situation is not all that far-fetched. This film is a gem not only for its message about the value of the traditional family, but its warning about the dangers of political correctness. The movie reveals the hidden consequences that come with the demand that all things be fair.
“The Incredibles” is a parable that explores the downside to the PC movement and the dangers of communism. It shows what happens to people’s greatness when they are beat down by bureaucracy in the name of fairness. This film debunks the  myth that it is possible to create a society where things are fair. It goes even deeper to reveal the harm that is done to society when people are not allowed to pursue what makes them incredible. Like our own, the Incredibles’ world is threatened by evil when good men, women and children do nothing.
The scene with Mr. Incredible and his bureaucrat boss at the insurance company is justification enough for watching this movie.
Next: A sci-fi Disney film shows the value of innovation…

3. Meet the Robinsons
“Meet the Robinsons” is another film that reveals the power and importance of being different. The movie tells the story of a child who does not seem to fit in anywhere. He is an eccentric inventor whose big ideas usually cause more trouble than good. His persistence pays off in the end and he discovers that his inventions ultimately do change society, and his own life, for the better.
The movie also contains a message about the value of life.  Lewis is a child who has spent his life in an orphanage. Having given up on finding a family to adopt him, Lewis dedicates himself to inventing. The hidden conservative message in this film comes in the flashback scenes where Lewis’ mother leaves him on the doorstep of the orphanage. His mother is shown as a kind woman who gave up her son because she loved him and could not care for him properly.
Lewis goes on not only to find a family of his own, but to transform society with his inventions. This is a message unique to the pro-life movement that considers the contributions and possibilities lost by every child that is aborted.
Next: Pixar’s unique variation of the ant and the grasshopper…

2. A Bugs Life

“A Bugs Life” is a film for our times. The story is an analogy about the struggle between the people and government. The main bugs in this story are a colony of ants. They face destruction by a band of lazy grasshoppers who demand a payment of food for their “protection.” The ants are forced to pay an increasingly high tax of food to the grasshoppers and worry about their ability to sustain themselves.
Sound familiar anyone?
Another inventor character, Flick, sets off to find help from bugs he thinks are tougher than ants. It was the misuse of one of his inventions that threw the ants into peril. The optimistic Flick sets off for the city to find help from bugs he thinks are tougher than ants. The climax of the movie comes when the ants realize that they outnumber the grasshoppers and confront them in order to take their power back.
Someone should force the Obama administration to watch this movie.
Finally: Everlasting gobstopper…

1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” the original, is my all time favorite movie. The story stresses the importance of character. The children, including Charlie, are all afflicted with some vice. The difference between Charlie and the others comes in Charlie’s decision to accept the consequences of his actions. He acknowledges his wrongdoing while in the factory, and relinquishes a potential goldmine, from the sale of his everlasting gobstopper to a rival spy, back to Wonka.
The hidden message in this film is one of redemption. It is hidden because it is conveyed through the imagery of the films final scene. Charlie has made it to the end of his journey. Despite his moral struggles, he finds redemption through his desire to correct his mistake. He is given a reward that is beyond his wildest expectations- he is given the keys to the factory while the Wonkavator crashes through the ceiling up into the sky. The allusion to Heaven and salvation is unmistakable. Perhaps the best reason to rate ”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as my number one film is the ability of this oompa-loompa song about Mike Teevee to perfectly end this post:
What do you get from a glut of TV?
A pain in the neck and an IQ of three
Why don’t you try simply reading a book?
Or can you just not bear to look?
You’ll get no… you’ll get no… you’ll get no commercials.

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