The Oscars are on a campaign to ruin the psyche's of America's children. How? By nominating seriously scary movies for the Gee Willickers Awesome Cartoon Trophy. Beware what you're doing to your kids by taking them to see these.
Before you rush out and get all the nominees on DVD thinking that you're giving your kids an artistic experience, just stop yourself. Remember, many of us had traumatic childhood experiences by watching movies that were way too creepy and adult for us at too young an age. I'm still haunted by nightmares of solar eclipses and Bette Davis' wizened rictus from seeing the seriously fucked up Watcher in the Woods on the Disney Channel as a young lad. Because of that movie I am petrified of anything having to do with darkness or growing old and racked by female icon abandonment issues (don't leave me, Madonna!).
This crop of pictures is just waiting to give your kids not only nightmares but years and years of issues that will need to be cured with very expensive therapy. Before you do irreparable harm, at least know what you're getting yourself into before you press play and sit them down in front of the electronic babysitter.
Plot: An old man loses his infertile wife and attaches balloons to his house in a suicide mission to have the adventure he never had.
Psychological Symptoms: An unease around grandparents, the intense desire to procreate, fear of death, cruelty to animals specifically dogs, Peter Pan syndrome, escapist tendencies.
What You Should Get Your Kid: A big hug, cause she's going to need it after the über-depressing first 10 minutes of this movie that puts Bambi to shame.
Psychiatric Referral: Dr. Frazier Crane
Terror Scale: 8
Plot: A girl moves to a new home and is ignored by her parents so she escapes to a magical realm that is a parallel to her own but everything is wonderful. Too bad the "other mother" in the dream world is trying to steal her soul.
Psychological Symptoms: Depression, nightmares, sleeping troubles, abandonment issues, matricidal impulses, fear of the dark, claustrophobia, aicmophobia (fear of needles), OCD disorder relating to the collection of Sandman comics and Morrissey CDs
What You Should Get Your Kid: Some acne medication and a gift certificate to Hot Topic, because you just created a grade-A goth of Nick Cave proportions.
Psychiatric Referral: Dr. Jennifer Melfi
Terror Scale: 9
The Princess and the Frog
Plot: Princess Tiana is a waitress who wants to own a restaurant and when she kisses a frog thinking he's a prince, she turns into a frog herself.
Psychological Symptoms: Narcissism, psychotic breaks where she thinks she's ruler of the land, hatred of jazz music, unsubstantiated entitlement, codependency on the men in her life, obsession with designer alligator handbags.
What You Should Get Your Kid: A job, because no one is going to want to hire your spoiled little princess—or marry her.
Psychiatric Referral: Dr. Otto Scratchnsniff
Terror Scale: 6
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Plot: A married fox has a mid-life crisis and goes back to his criminal ways to feel young again. His actions threaten his entire animal village and eventually imperil his family. He is a sad, slick fox.
Psychological Symptoms: Insecurity about his intellectual abilities, fear of mortality, crippling indecision, refusal to follow orders, severe rebellious tendencies, hatred of authority, performance anxiety-related impotence.
What You Should Get Your Kid: A pair of skinny jeans and an ironic band T-shirt, because you have morphed your child into an insufferable hipster. Might as well get them an HPV vaccine now as well.
Psychiatric Referral: Dr. Tobias Fünke
Terror Scale: 7
The Secret of Kells
Plot: I don't know. No one even heard of this movie before last week.
Psychological Symptoms: Love of math, inability to dress appropriately, fear of the opposite sex, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, fetishization of small plastic figurines based on sci-fi characters, long-lasting virginity.
What You Should Get Your Kid: A bloody nose, because if you don't then the bullies on the playground will, because you just turned your kid into the biggest nerd since Steve Urkel. Who wants to hang out with the kid who is raving about some dorky movie no one ever heard of?
Psychiatric Referral: Dr. George Huang
Terror Scale: 4