A Review from The Puffin Diaries of DVD that got her and her son talking……
My life is a little about coping strategies at the moment, so along with the breaded food that features heavily, so does the television and more accurately DVDs. I find watching a film offers wonderful escapism for both my children and after a difficult day at school it’s often all they are up to. I favour a film over children’s television as it offers extended escapism, without having to switch between channels and we are also more likely to find common viewing in a feature length. On a selfish level, as I often have to be present, I am there to be lent on, to stroke heads and rub shoulders and feet, under the strictest of instructions to put down my laptop and phone, I therefore enjoy a film over and above endless weird “Adventure Time”.
So we had need for a wind down DVD with youngest just the other day and we selected a fairly new addition to our vast collect, Wreck it Ralph. I’ve seen it a couple of times before but during this particular spell, when my youngest is struggling with his self esteem, I quickly realised the relevance of the story unfolding before us.
For those not in the know, Wreck it Ralph is a character form a video game, a game where he is the villain, constantly wrecks a building (knocks it down) and the tenants of the building repair it. In this film the characters from this video game and others, come to life once the video arcade is closed. On the 30th anniversary of the game we see Wreck it Ralph feeling alienated from the other characters of his game as they throw a party he’s not invited to.
It suddenly struck me as we sat there, that what was happening before us was actually a bit like my sons dilemma at school. He has been feeling very insecure and uncertain of himself, convinced that no one in school likes him, not the staff or other pupils. So I suggested as much “do you maybe feel a little like Ralph, like no one likes you? He stopped and thought and then said “it’s not very nice to feel left out”.
What followed was as near as we’ve ever got to a discussion about emotions and his vulnerability in school. He talked about how Ralph would be feeling, not himself but I felt confident he was relating himself to the character.
Throughout the film there were opportunities to make other little suggestions and comments. Ralph attends a self help group for gaming villains, where they all talk about being left out and cast in a bad light. “See how he talks with other about how he feels and how it helps him”.
And of course in the end he is the hero and so others then see that he is a good character, bit predicable, but at a vulnerable time in a child’s life, an important message to send.
This film is definitely one of my current favourites, I like the message it sends out and is one suitable for all the family.
Do you have a favourite children’s film that has offered up a good opportunity to discuss things going on for your children. Or is there any you would advise families to avoid? Let us know, we are always looking for new reviews.