I'm always hesitant to give my two thumbs up on a movie I have not seen. When I saw Dumbo as a kid, it was harmless. But as you know, Hollywood is corrupting anything that used to be clean and fun for children these days. However, I wanted to give you my thoughts on this Disney movie coming out Friday in theaters nationwide. After reading up on this movie, I am going to refrain from holding my thumbs up nor down on this film. Read up on the only major review I could find on this flick from Common Sense media here.
Dumbo inspired by Walt Disney's 1941 animated film is a fantasty adventure story of an elephant who is teased because of his huge ears. When Dumbo's owner realizes he can fly, the man realizes the circus might be saved. What once was a horrendous attribute (ears) is now something that could be a life-saver. So that is a good message of the overall theme of the movie.
However, what caught my eye is that Common Sense Media's title for this movie preview used the words "Live-Action remake of Disney classic could be dark." CSM usually is more lax on movie reviews than I am, so to see them use caution words in their reveiw title makes me want to warn parents that there might be scenes you will have to discuss later with your children. Common Sense Media states, "With imaginative director Tim Burton at the helm, you can expect this remake to have impressive visuals, as well as a potentially dark/creepy tone that might be too scary for younger or sensitive kids." Hence my hesitancy on rasing my thumbs on this flick.
We can see Disney's theme of adding dark New Age messages like in the movie "A Wrinkle in Time" and talk of Frozen 2 including Elsa being gay in it's release coming out this November. Therefore, it wouldn't surprise me if this Dumbo movie included messages that we wouldn't want our children to hear let alone believe.
With that being said, I have this two-sided view when it comes to the reoccuring question. "Should we allow our kids to see this movie?" Part of me wants to protect my kids from everything that might harm or destroy their relationship with God and truth of scripture (and there are definitely many entertainment opotions I would never let them see because of this) And then I have this other side of me saying, "This is the world we are growing up in. If my kids see a scene in a movie that contradicts the word of God, it will be great talking point to have after we leave the theater." So what do we do as parents? When do we draw the line?
The hard part is that sometimes we don't know we are going to see a scene in a movie or TV show that is teaching the wrong message until after we see it. This movie is rated PG, which means that "parental guidance" is urged by the Motion Picture Association of America. I also know that the rating system is so far off from it's higher standards a decade ago. What once was R is now considered PG. Obviously moive trailers have tricked families into thinking a movie is family-friendly and then we get to the theater and we are shocked on what content is flashing in front of our face.
CALL TO ACTION
Here's my suggestion with the movie Dumbo. Common Sense Media claims it's "safe" for children 6 and above. If you decide to see it and there are scenes that don't line up with your Christain world-view, then talk to your kids after the movie is over about the deception that was portrayed and why it's not how we should believe. It will draw us closer to our kids and they will understand HOW to combat the lies later in life and see discrepency in our culture compared to God's word.
If the scenes are too shocking or too much for your family (the Holy Spirit will make you aware of what is "too much") then get up out of your seats and get your cash back. Explain to the manager what you saw, why it was deceptive and they will understand and reimburse. This has happened to us. Also, warn other parents on social media and word of mouth on why you left the theater. Let's be bold and speak truth in love so that others are spared from being deceived.
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