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Crumbling with Compassion over Pixelized People

My kid is such a tough little colt, all buck and fire, that when she sobs fat tears over a cartoon movie, I am shocked.

This weekend, we tuned into a movie about an orphan who invents a time machine. It was rated G, so I figured it would be OK.

Not really.

She didn't like the scary guy. She was stuck on the fact the child had no mom and dad, and at the end, though everything turned out pixelized-perfect, she melted into my lap and cried and cried.

"Why did his mom leave him? Why?''

It broke our hearts.

Ay. Damn. I need to learn to pre-screen. I've known this since Maria was 3.5 and screamed bloody hell for me to shut off that red-haired mermaid movie because the father was yelling.

"He is so mean! He is so mean!'' she kept saying as I sprinted toward the "off'' button.

She refused to watch it again until about a week ago when friends were visiting. She made it through but was, at the end, beside herself because the mermaid was separated from her dad.

Again, it broke our hearts.

Rare is the movie we watch that doesn't leave her in tears, which of course, leaves me feeling awful. The worst offenders seem to be those created by the famous mouse production company -- whether they are classics or new ones. There's always an evil character, kindly animals on the brink, and destruction of some kind.

I'm not dissing the movies, just saying that watching with Maria is most often a tense and tearful affair.

And even days after the final credits end, she will bring the movies up, a la "Mama, I don't think anyone should be an orphan.''

The positive -- and there's always a positive -- is this: It is sweet to see our daughter's compassion on such genuine display, a side of her I admit I can miss when she's all buck and snort and head-knocking colt.

Do movies make your children crumble with compassion too?


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