Some grumpy rambling to follow. Over the holidays I took my six-year old to the cinema to see Paddington, familiar to us from the cute, mellow – and honestly, a bit boring – story books. Although we did enjoy the film, I’d like to complain a bit.
While the film had some hilarious scenes that had both me and my son on the edge of our seats, I surely was not expecting Nicole Kidman chasing the poor bear with a stun gun. It left me wondering whether the kids of today really are so tuned to disneyfied bad guy plots with fast paced action that every film now needs that as a frame? Seriously, is there really no wow factor in a talking bear?
In the UK there was a major hullabaloo over the PG8 rating given to the film but the addition of the murderous Cruella-like character seems to justify it. In Malaysia the ratings seem to be universal, P13 or P18 – and obviously Paddington fell into the middle category. Anyhow – first rant over – we loved the combination of Paddington and the real actors, and beautiful images of London. Watch the trailer and guess what my son thought was the funniest scene in history of film:
Rant continues: The other thing that makes my blood pressure soar is the trailers before kids’ films. Either I’ve just been unlucky or it is a regular thing, but every time I’ve been to see a kids’ film I’ve had them burrowing to their seats beceause of scary stuff in the trailers – mostly mindless violence and bad language. This time it was just purely ridiculous. One of the trailers that preceded cute Paddington was one that would have caused me horror-film-quality nightmares had I not been busy covering the eyes and ears of my son. As did most other parents around me. I was too shocked to take note of the name of the film but it surely was not rated P13.
I know many parents completely disregard the ratings but there are images that young kids just shouldn’t see. Like an alien burrowing out through a woman’s stomach. Or kids being locked up in a dark cellar with creepy noises. In my simple mind the ads should be aimed at the audience in the hall even from a basic marketing point of view. More importantly, the ads and trailers should be rated the same as the film itself.
A few weeks after I finally got around to writing a feedback email to Golden Screen Cinemas. They were very prompt with their response and quick to offer me two free tickets as compensation. I was told that changes will be made to match the trailers with the audience of the film – more like the response I was looking for! I’ll be using my compensation tickets to check whether it has actually happened. If you take the kids to see a film, please do the same!
Rant over, enjoy your cinema experience and do see Paddington if you haven’t yet, it is adorable.