Recently, CinemaBlend published an opinion piece about the message children may take away from the latest Pixar film entitled Parents Beware: Cars 2 May Be Bad For Your Kids. Post author Josh Tyler questions the unintentional lesson to be learned from tow truck Mater’s poor behavior and the subsequent lack of responsibility. Says Tyler:
Over the course of his spy adventure, Mater does a lot of dumb things. Cars, especially dumb cars like Mater, make mistakes. That’s ok. Where the movie goes wrong is in its failure to characterize his screwups as mistakes, and in its subsequent determination to frame them as a laudable expression of his loud and proud personality. That could be good, told differently. Telling your kids that it’s ok to be yourself is a great message, it only becomes a problem when being yourself also hurts other people. Mater hurts a lot of other people.
I’ve yet to see the movie, but as both an author and a father I’m very concerned about the message I convey in my writing and those in the media my daughter listens to and watches. My wife and I preview new shows she wants to watch and steer her away from those we find questionable. In the same way, I have trusted friends who read my writing before publication and point out any questionable areas that I might have not completely thought through.
Tyler makes that point very well, exhorting parents to completely understand the message and how it will be received before choosing whether your children will see this or any movie. Wise words, unfortunately from reading some of the comments to his post, he appears to be taking a beating. It looks like more people are taking his post as an anti-Cars 2 rant instead of smart parenting.
What do you think? Are parents responsible for what their children see?