My phantom kids will not be menaced by chipmunks
At this very moment, thousands of parents around the world are lining up with their kids to see The Phantom Menace in 3D. The vast majority of these youngsters will enjoy it, as scientists have proven that 85 per cent of children under the age of five are Liam Neeson fans (the other 15 per cent are reportedly “more of an early Pierce Brosnan kind of guy”).
Children are like that. Like Peter Andre, you can plonk them in front of any flat surface with moving, colourful objects and they will be content.
It is the same reason they enjoy films like Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which supposedly teaches kids about the importance of friendship and locking voice talent into three-movie contracts before they have a chance to beg for mercy.
Unfortunately, parents also risk ruining their child’s business sense by taking them to see this tale of high-pitched shenanigans.
Should my (completely fictional) son ever encounter a singing chipmunk, I should hope he ruthlessly explores ways to profit from its existence.
That is why my lad (or lass) will never watch Alvin and the Chipmunks.
There are, however, a host of movies I will be making my future child watch. Movies are full of life lessons, which make them perfect for time-poor parents.
Recently, I began thinking about which movies my kids will be forced to sit through - if they don’t become a gory casualty of the Great Chipmunk Uprising of 2032.
Raising hypothetical children is a tough gig. You have to plan ahead constantly.
When I was young, I learnt about the importance of family, loyalty and tradition from The Lion King. Simba’s journey taught me that growing up is about listening to others, and that elephants always die in one very specific 800sqm area in Africa.
Jurassic Park taught me that science is to be respected – that we should never fiddle with the laws of nature in the pursuit of money.
I also learnt that dinosaurs are freakin’ cool, man. Raptors are probably the most awesome, but those frill-necked things that ate Newman are also pretty sweet.
The Magnificent Seven was all about realising that sometimes - even when you’re doing the right thing - you end up losing something.
And Home Alone showed me, in impressive detail, how to fill my house with horrific, mutilating booby traps on the off-chance Joe Pesci tries to break in while my parents are in New York. I’ll be damned if Joe Pesci’s gonna break into my house.
Movies teach us things that our parents aren’t always able to.
If you’re lucky, you’re surrounded by good people - but good people rarely make for cautionary tales. Sometimes, we learn from villains.
You don’t learn that crime doesn’t pay from people who’ve never been arrested. You learn that from the Michael Corleones and Tony Montanas of the world.
These are the sorts of movies I’ll be showing my kids.
Sure, you can take them to the latest chipmunk-related movie – and they’ll be (relatively) quiet and happy and still for a couple of hours.
But there are plenty of other movies that’ll teach them a thing or two.
A rainbow-splashed blur filled with cute, bulging eyes and CGI fur is always tempting. Just don’t complain when they fail to turn a profit from a band of singing chipmunks.
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