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Author Topic: For parents: How old to watch Lord of the Rings?  (Read 3316 times)
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« on: December 16, 2004, 01:25:02 AM »

I'm having a marathon session with my wife and niece on New Year's Eve.  We're watching the extended editions of all the Lord of the Rings movies.

My question involves my sons.  They are 8 1/2, 7 and 5.  All want to watch the movies too.  The 5 year-old is out - no chance.  He'll be in our bed for weeks with nightmares.

But I'm not sure about the others.  What age have you let your children watch these movies?
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2004, 01:59:39 AM »

My cousin's kids, aged 3 and 5, love the films.
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gameoverman
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2004, 02:12:02 AM »

Not a parent, but as a former child I'd say Wizard of Oz or especially Bambi is more inappropriate for a five year old than LOTR.  If you have a five year old with the attention span to sit and watch even one of the trilogy's extended versions, dammit that kid DESERVES to watch it!
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2004, 02:57:19 AM »

I'm pretty sure at those ages, I wouldn't have been allowed to watch by my parents.  But they're rather old fashioned.
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2004, 03:33:00 AM »

My daughter and I have seen all three at the movie theater.  She is 11 now so I guess she started at 8.  My son is one year younger and did not care for them much.  In he defense he has autism and sitting through a 3 hour movie is sort of torture - but he wanted to check it out so I said more power to him at the time.  Tonight when I showed him the running time on the new extended Return of the King he ran away smile

After seeing the movies, my daughter has moved on from (she is nearly 12) Harry Potter type books to more mainstream fantasy like Weis/Hickman's old Dragonlance books.  She is currently reading the first Robert Jordan WoT book.  I am nothing but impressed by how the movies pushed her to want to read larger and slightly deeper books.

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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2004, 04:38:47 AM »

I'd have a hard time showing them to anyone under 10.  Besides the violence and dark imagery, which would be too much for most young'uns, I doubt most kids have the attention span to sit through any single one of them.  *I* don't have the attention span to do that smile  I'm going to have to force myself to watch the entire ROTK SE sometime over Christmas vacation smile
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Shkspr
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2004, 06:26:59 AM »

I dunno...you should probably wait at least until you give them "the talk" about the birds and the bees...  :wink:
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2004, 12:53:41 PM »

I think it really depends on the kid.  My friend's 4 year old son absolutely loves them, but my 8 year old niece was terrified.
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2004, 01:31:29 PM »

My 4 year old loves 'em.
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2004, 01:50:06 PM »

To be honest the movies are no darker or more violent that the majority of cartoons now on cartoon channel or nick.  My son had no problems watching them starting around 9 other than attention span.  I think it's going to be dependent on each child though...there are going to be some 6-7 years old with no problems while some 12 year olds will run screaming and have nightmares.
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2004, 02:09:13 PM »

Quote from: "ericb"
To be honest the movies are no darker or more violent that the majority of cartoons now on cartoon channel or nick


lol... such as?

No seriously, I'm curious - I watch a lot of both CN and Nick cartoons, and haven't seen anything even remotely approaching LOTR in those terms.  I'm having difficulty remembering the last time Spongebob or Tommy Pickles cut swaths through hundreds of Uruk-hai smile  Unless you're talking about the 2AM anime-fests, and I doubt many young kids are up that late (At least they *shouldn't* be)
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2004, 02:28:38 PM »

My sons love Samurai Jack.  I've watched some episodes and, while not a "dark" as LotR, it can get pretty intense during some of the battle scenes.
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2004, 03:08:43 PM »

Quote from: "warning"
My sons love Samurai Jack.  I've watched some episodes and, while not a "dark" as LotR, it can get pretty intense during some of the battle scenes.


Yeah, but cartoon biker robots really don't seem to induce nightmares like a "real" 40ft tall flaming demon does. slywink
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2004, 03:54:29 PM »

Interestingly my 11 and 12 year olds have not seen the movies, not because the imagery is beyond them, but because they want the experience of reading the books.

As to what is too intense for kids, Each kid is different. The 11 year old can watch pretty much anything. On the other hand if it isn't animated my 12 year old is like the aliens in Galxy Quest and needs to be reminded pretty often "It's not real. It's just pretend." She cought the part of "The Other's" at a friends house and didn't sleep for a week.
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2004, 04:18:32 PM »

Quote from: "dfs"
Interestingly my 11 and 12 year olds have not seen the movies, not because the imagery is beyond them, but because they want the experience of reading the books.

That's an interesting point.  I'd thought for awhile that I'd hold off letting them see the movies and try to interest them in the books first.  Thing is, they're several years away from being able to read the books and, of course, all their friends have seen them.  Hence the oldest two badgering me to watch them.
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2004, 05:17:26 PM »

I have three daughters ages 8, 6, and 6.  The films didn't bother my oldest at all, nor the older twin at first.  My youngest (by 1 minute...) was fine with them until she saw the part in RoTK where Gollum bites off Frodo's finger.  That just freaked her out to no end.  She wouldn't even sleep in her own bed that night, I had to put her out on the couch so she could be near me.  This of course meant the older twin had to sleep out on the couch as well, right next to her sister.

This was awhile ago, they were actually 5 when it happened.  The movies don't bother them now, but they've only been on once or twice since then.  I think it's all up to your own judgement and how you think your kids will handle them.  I believe it's very important to stress that they are not real, and that they are just for entertainment.  I have a very different method of parenting:  I don't judge what my daughters can and cannot do by their age, but by their maturity level.

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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2004, 06:29:44 PM »

Quote
After seeing the movies, my daughter has moved on from (she is nearly 12) Harry Potter type books to more mainstream fantasy like Weis/Hickman's old Dragonlance books. She is currently reading the first Robert Jordan WoT book. I am nothing but impressed by how the movies pushed her to want to read larger and slightly deeper books.


Not trying to come off as criticzing here, but moving from Harry Potter to Dragonlance seems like a step backwards to me. The Harry Potter series strikes me as much more literary than Dragonlance and/or Jordan.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2004, 06:48:08 PM »

My oldest daughter turns 9 on the 26th.  Ever since the movies came out she's been pestering me to watch them, since she's caught glimpses of the movies while I've been watching them.  My pat response has always been "When you're older."

I asked her what she wanted for her birthday this year, and she said "More than anything I'd like to watch Lord of the Rings with you, cause I'll be older after my birthday."  Hard to argue with logic like that...
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2004, 06:59:49 PM »

It really does vary based on maturity level.  I would have had no issues with the movies when I was young.  My friends and I would sneak watching R-rated horror movies all of the time behind our parents' backs until I was 10 or so when me and most of my friends were allowed to watch a fair amount of R-rated movies with our parents' permission.  On the other hand I had friends of mine who had issues with movie violence well into their late teens.  

I would be much more worried about young children getting bored with the movies rather than any violent content.
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2004, 07:51:33 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote
After seeing the movies, my daughter has moved on from (she is nearly 12) Harry Potter type books to more mainstream fantasy like Weis/Hickman's old Dragonlance books. She is currently reading the first Robert Jordan WoT book. I am nothing but impressed by how the movies pushed her to want to read larger and slightly deeper books.


Not trying to come off as criticzing here, but moving from Harry Potter to Dragonlance seems like a step backwards to me. The Harry Potter series strikes me as much more literary than Dragonlance and/or Jordan.


Wait a sec - Harry Potter is deeper than Wheel of Time?  I admit I managed to make it through only half of the first book - but are they that deep and involving?  For my take I found Harry Potter to be extremely simplistic - comparable to someone like Eddings (sorry Eddings fans!!!).  Maybe I am missing out here?  

Anyway, I am surprised that my 11 year old is enjoying Jordan.  Then again she is only on the first book so the plot is not terribly deep.  If she makes it to book 5 or 6 and starts theorizing on who killed who then I will be REALLY impressed heh smile

-Crusis
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2004, 08:00:31 PM »

My kids are 9 and 5.  Last year they sat through well behaved, and enjoyed RoTK twice in the theater.

We talked to them about the movie before we made the decision to take them and they did great (made me proud).
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2004, 08:01:15 PM »

I just watched the battle of Fellowship at the end of the EE last night and that's violence I wouldn't want my kids seeing unless they were 10 and up. But that's just me. smile The EE of all three puts a lot of the meat back into the fights, and Boromir/Gimli/Aragorn kicking tons of ass is just one example. The uncut Helms Deep battle is brutal as all hell, and I'm sure the EE of Pellenor Fields doesn't soften things either. Just something to consider.
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2004, 11:31:57 PM »

My 4-year-old twins are too young to watch it, no matter how much they might want to.  They got to watch a small part of Spiderman 2 (him swinging through the city, they love the Spiderman 2 video game) and they loved it.

My 2-month-old can watch whatever he wants.  No problems there.  Just keep the sound turned low.
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« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2004, 12:34:02 AM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"


My 2-month-old can watch whatever he wants.  No problems there.  Just keep the sound turned low.


The irony there is you may actually be doing much more damage to your two month old.  There are a lot of studies that have been conducted on the deleterious affects of television watching in children under the age of 2.  I can't imagine showing my young daughter such violent content.  Caveat Emptor.  My 10 month old has not watched one second of TV, let alone something such as Lord of the Rings, and she won't be any time soon.
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« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2004, 12:46:45 AM »

Quote from: "Crusis"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote
After seeing the movies, my daughter has moved on from (she is nearly 12) Harry Potter type books to more mainstream fantasy like Weis/Hickman's old Dragonlance books. She is currently reading the first Robert Jordan WoT book. I am nothing but impressed by how the movies pushed her to want to read larger and slightly deeper books.


Not trying to come off as criticzing here, but moving from Harry Potter to Dragonlance seems like a step backwards to me. The Harry Potter series strikes me as much more literary than Dragonlance and/or Jordan.


Wait a sec - Harry Potter is deeper than Wheel of Time?  I admit I managed to make it through only half of the first book - but are they that deep and involving?  For my take I found Harry Potter to be extremely simplistic - comparable to someone like Eddings (sorry Eddings fans!!!).  Maybe I am missing out here?  
-Crusis


IMHO, Harry Potter is much deeper than Robert Jordan.  Way deeper.  The characters feel real to me.  And the plot/character development gets deeper and deeper as the novels go on.  

Robert Jordan plot is much more expansive, but it's not deep.  Oh he obviously thinks it's deep, but he's mistaking breadth for depth.  His idea of character development is to add some new fangled power to his characters.  His idea of adding depth to the plot is to add some new mysterious bad guy.  Again, just my opinion.  Frankly, I got sick of the novels past book 4 (and I read through the entire series).

J.K. Rowling has the plot all laid out, she has the whole story in her mind.  The books show this.  I'm not entirely sure Robert Jordan knows what the hell he's doing at this point.  

As for whether letting kids watch the EE's... well that depends on the kids.  What are the last movies they've seen?  Have they ever seen something with the same level of violence (and a few graphic deaths?)?
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« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2004, 01:10:27 AM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"

As for whether letting kids watch the EE's... well that depends on the kids.  What are the last movies they've seen?  Have they ever seen something with the same level of violence (and a few graphic deaths?)?


And even if they have, is exposing them to more of the same a good thing?  Just because a kid can "handle" it, doesn't necessarily mean it's wise to let them view it.  I think the LOTR movies are excellent and tell a great story with a positive message, but there's still a lot to be cautious of.
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2004, 09:18:29 AM »

If I remember correctly, I read the books the first time around the age of 9, and believe me what I imagined in my head was overall more violent than what I saw on screen.

Also, I'd seen worse movies than that by that age too. I believe I'd seen uncensored versions of movies like Rambo, Predator, etc...

It's up to you. If your child has a good grasp on real/not real and handles that distinction well, let him watch it. I think they're pretty tame films myself. On the other hand, if they tend to grab on to things they see in films and then re-enact them (My brother did lots of this. My mom has tons of stories about him trying to climb the walls like Spider-Man, and scaring younger kids by flexing and growling loudly like The Incredible Hulk) Then perhaps you should hold off until they have a better grasp on what they should and shouldn't do.
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« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2004, 04:01:25 PM »

My daughter is 9 and there's no way she'll see the LotR movies until - I don't know when. She would have nightmares for who knows how long and wouldn't sit and watch a movie that long anyways.
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« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2004, 06:36:04 PM »

At what age is it safe to watch "The Wiggles"?
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« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2004, 08:03:32 PM »

Quote from: "MrZubbleWump"
At what age is it safe to watch "The Wiggles"?

i think the Wiggles are in a unique position of being something that your kids should only watch when they're too young to understand just how disturbing those guys are.  start early if they absolutely have to see it, then stop before they're old enough to remember...
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« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2004, 08:12:57 PM »

Quote from: "disarm"
Quote from: "MrZubbleWump"
At what age is it safe to watch "The Wiggles"?

i think the Wiggles are in a unique position of being something that your kids should only watch when they're too young to understand just how disturbing those guys are.  start early if they absolutely have to see it, then stop before they're old enough to remember...

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