There was also an awful 8.5 minute claymation called Turtle World which showed monkeys building a civilization on the back of a turtle that swam through the sky and as they cut down trees the turtle became sadder, then the monkeys pried up one of the scutes of its shell and 'mined' down into its body while it cried, and eventually the turtle dies and so does everyone riding on it. DISTURBING. If you too want to be disturbed, you can watch it here. There was also another animation shown at Christmas time which depicted happy pine trees being cut down and taken away from their friends to wither in lounge rooms before finally being thrown out to die in the gutters. I wish I was embellishing that story but I truly am not. Merry Christmas.
All I can say is thank god that my mother kept Bambi and Black Beauty away from me or else I may have spent the rest of my life rocking in a corner.
Point of annoyance: Movie is set in Australia, almost all of the side characters have Australian accents, so why do the main characters have American accents? Weird and jarring.
Monsters Inc (Disney Pixar)
What it's about:
Set in the world of monsters, in a city called Monstropolis, best friends Sully and Mike work at Monsters Inc, the city's power company. In the monster world, power is generated by collecting children's screams. Sully and Mike work on the scare floor, where only the elite work. Sully is the company's best scarer, and Mike is his assistant. To collect screams, wardrobe doors are used to enter into the world of humans. The scarer scares the child in the room and then leaves, while the assistant collects the child's scream in a canister. All is well until one day, Sully and Mike find themselves in possession of Boo, an escaped toddler. A child escaping into the monster world is unprecedented, and children are believed to be extremely dangerous. Together Sully and Mike must return Boo to her world without being caught. Along the way they discover an evil plot that goes all the way to the top of the company, to kidnap children and use a machine to suck their screams out of them in an effort to combat falling productivity.
Monsters Inc is an industry that runs on the exploitation of children. Children are treated cruelly, scared, and traumatized, but no one questions this because it is socially normal. Children and their screams are commodities, and there is a belief that screams are necessary in order for society to function. Societal myths support the exploitation of children; children are believed to be toxic, dangerous, and stupid, they are not thought of as having feelings like the monsters, they are lesser beings. It is not until Sully and Mike make a meaningful connection to a child that they realise that the social myths are wrong. However, they still believe in scaring, just doing it in an 'ethical' way, i.e. going into children's bedrooms to scare them rather than kidnapping them and using "The Machine" to suck screams out of them. This is a similar stance to that taken by those who buy 'free range' meat and eggs rather than factory farmed. A turning point comes in a moving scene where Sully accidentally scares Boo and is faced with the reality of how terrifying he is to children, and how much they are suffering because of him. Sully realises that what he is doing is wrong, there is no excuse for it and scaring has to stop. Sully ends up revolutionizing the industry so that both monsters and children benefit, changing the whole of society and showing that there is a better way. Throughout, Sully is guided by love and kindness and in the end, everyone is happier when the system is changed to one based on kindness.
What else your child will gain:
An introduction to Steve Buscemi, Billy Crystal, and John Goodman, which can only be a good thing. Also, if you're a fan of Disney Pixar movies (as I am) you'll know to look out for Easter eggs (hidden references to other Disney Pixar movies). Monsters Inc probably has the most Easter eggs of any Disney Pixar movie.
Hiccup is a Viking boy on the verge of manhood. Hiccup's home island, Berk, is periodically raided by dragons, who steal the Vikings' food. The Vikings respond by fighting the dragons and killing them (don't worry, you don't see any dragons being killed). Small, scrawny, accident-prone, and not dragon-fighting material, Hiccup is a disappointment to his tough, chieftain father. Hiccup's strongest desire is to kill a dragon to prove himself to his father, his community, and of course his love interest. There are many kinds of dragons, each different in its attack methods and the skill it takes to kill. The most dangerous of all dragons is one which is never seen, the Night Fury. No Viking would even attempt to engage a Night Fury in combat, so of course this dragon is Hiccup's target. Miraculously, Hiccup manages to catch a Night Fury, but he doesn't have the heart to kill it, and instead lets it free. However, the catlike dragon has been injured during capture, and is unable to fly. Hiccup ensures that the dragon, whom he names Toothless, is kept secret from the rest of the island's inhabitants, and constructs a prosthetic for the missing part of Toothless' tail, the part which is preventing him from flying. However, the pair discover that the prosthetic will not work on its own, Toothless will only be able to fly again if he is ridden by a human, so that the human can turn the prosthetic like a rudder for Toothless. Slowly Hiccup and Toothless gain one another's trust and friendship, and work in partnership. Meanwhile, Hiccup is enrolled in dragon-fighting school, where he uses his new found understanding of dragons and their behaviour to avoid having to fight any. However, this plan backfires when Hiccup comes top of the class and is giving the 'honour' of killing a captured dragon. Needless to say, Hiccup refuses, Toothless is discovered and captured, and everything gets very bad. Hiccup's father uses Toothless to lead him to the dragons' nest, where he hopes to kill them all. Of course this doesn't happen though, Hiccup and Toothless are reunited, minds are changed, dragons are saved, and the society is reformed into one where humans and dragons live in harmony. Hooray!
What it's about:
Happy watching! :)