Picture it. You're sitting in a theater with your 5-year-old child, when she leans over to tell you the preview for the upcoming Kung Fu Panda 2 movie is "Freakin' Awesome." You gasp at the words coming out of your little precious' mouth. Only to look up and realize they are mountain-sized on the screen in front of you.
Yes, on a trailer rated for "appropriate audiences," in the theater to watch a movie that's rated PG (Hop -- what can I say, it was Easter weekend?), your child has just learned a new word. Freakin'. Or as the screen said, "Gets Freakin' Awesome." And when I say across the screen, imagine something this big staring out at you from the huge cinema screen:
Freakin'. A kinder, gentler version of the F-bomb, it is still a word that will earn a kindergartner a reprimand in a school building. It's still not "a word we say, young lady." And while I was feeling like a school ma'arm for my shock, my husband gasped and so did the 14-year-old babysitter (along for the family night as a friend, not a sitter), who glanced at the 5-year-old with a look that said "Uhhhhh oh."
It's not the worst word you'll hear in a kids' movie by far, but somehow seeing it written out on a screen was worse than the spoken words, which seem to slip by our kids quickly. And it was out of place more for being in a trailer than an actual film, a film for which parents have scouted the ratings and read reviews, for which we usually have a sense (often from other parents or blogs) about the "problem areas" that we'll have to attend to.
But this seems to be the direction of movie trailers. Bigger. Scarier. More and more inappropriate. Last summer it was a particularly scary preview for a movie rated for much older kids that appeared at the beginning of the PG-rated Sorcerer's Apprentice that left me cringing. I'd scouted the movie itself. I was prepared for scenes that might scare the 5-year-old and decided it was worth it anyway because she has a thing for the broom scene in Fantasia. I didn't know I'd have to scout out the trailers too.
We'll likely watch Kung Fu Panda 2 when it comes out, if only because the first one was a hit in our house -- with both adult and kid -- but the more inappropriate trailers I see, the more I want to skip the theaters and stick to Netflix.
How about you? Have you seen trailers getting more shocking when you take the kids to the theater?
Image via YouTube