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Not for Kids.

By Amanda Awanjo
Staff Reporter

Where the Wild Things Are movie

2009 film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. Photo via Google Images.

I recently went with a group of friends between the ages of 18 and 21 to see the children’s book turned children’s film, Where the Wild Things Are. While us older kids gaped and drooled over the masterpiece unfolding before our very eyes, surrounding us, small fingers poked and prodded their mothers in search for explanations to the layered complexity of the characters and their actions. The age of children’s movies and G rated family fun are all but extinct.

Today’s children’s films are made, as much for the children as they are for their adult parents. Themes of sexuality, gender roles, divorce, racism, and even unruly disapproving in-laws permeate a genre that once only focused on overcoming school bullies and cooties. Are these harsh realities colored and ballooned into cuteness to rob children of their innocence or is Art imitating Reality? In today’s society the lines between the socially acceptable and unacceptable have been blurred. Children are finding that they have fewer safe havens, with Disney channel stars caught with their pants down and bra straps showing, pregnant teen starlets from Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network shows getting more and more adult, today’s children are enjoying less time under the umbrella of childhood innocence.

Where the Wild Things Are children's book

Original artwork from the children's book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Photo via Google Images.

The already small window for innocence is being overcome by the confusion that comes with knowing too much too fast. Eight-year-olds quote lyrics from songs that I was not bold enough to say out until I had entered high school. The world as presented to children via television and movie as being about being older, being like Hannah Montana, and knowing everything. Children are molding themselves after the visions they see on the flat screen and while we older people realize these images hold no real place in our lives our smaller counterparts do not. As children you only know what is presented in front of you, children at first understand the images and sounds in front of them. Is it fair to them, to take away those already too short years where the good guy always wins, weak always find the strength, and in the end all of the characters, from ogres to dolls, are fulfilled? In a world where most children are forced to handle the real tragedies that come to corrupt those innocent years, is it necessary or even proper to change the escapism of cartoon and movies to a jolt of the uncaring real world?

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About wesleyanword

The Wesleyan Word is the official student newspaper of Wesleyan College. Operated and produced by students, The Word is printed twice per month during the fall and spring semesters. Online editions are released every Wednesday throughout the school year. Wesleyan College is a 4-year private residential college for women in Macon, Georgia. Established in 1836, Wesleyan College is the first college in the world to charter degrees to women.

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