Robots In Disguise

My friend Dean brought his children, ages 8 and 7, to see Transformers this weekend. Apparently, there’s a scene where the protagonist, played by Shia LaBeouf, is searching for something in his room. His parents are knocking on the door, asking what he is doing, and he tells them to hold on. This went on for a few minutes, and the parents were becoming inpatient. Finally, he lets them into the room, and they ask him something to the effect of, “Were you masturbating?”

Of course, that’s something most 7 and 8 year olds have (and should have) no clue about. Dean said his children began to persistantly ask what masturbating was, while in the theater, and he told them they’d talk about it later. But his son kept pressing on, so finally Dean answered, “It’s when you touch your pee-pee.” After he told his son, he said, “The look on his face was priceless!  He froze for a second and then just burst out laughing!  And then we were able to focus back on the  movie.”

So, hopefully that was the end of that discussion for Dean. He handled in a good way (well, at least the best you can in a situation like that!) I honestly don’t know what I would have done had it been my child. But it begs the question – why insert sexual references into a movies whose subject has been historically aimed at children since the 1980s? According to the Classification and Rating Administration, Transformers was given a PG-13 rating for “intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language.” Personally, I think most Transformers fans ages 7 and up (the PG audience) could have dealt with sci-fi action violence. But was the sexual humor and language really needed to sell this movie?

Personally, I think the movie would have done a lot better had the language and sexual humor been taken out, allowing the film to be classified as PG. There probably are parents who will not take their children to see the movie because of its PG-13 rating. But I think even adult Transformers fans – the ones who grew up with the toys and cartoon in the 1980s – would have gone to see the movie, even if it did not have the adult element to it.

And here’s something interested Dean pointed out – look at Burger King’s current kids meal promotion. So who is this movie really aimed at?

On a funny side note, my mom purchased a Transformer for my brother, now 30, during its 80s heydey. My brother was running through the house with a toy gun, and my mom was upset, because she did not allow toy guns. She asked him where he got it, and he replied, “Santa Claus brought it for me!” Apparently, she didn’t realize what the toy actually transformed in to!

4 Responses to “Robots In Disguise”

  1. Caitlin says:

    I noticed this too. I was thinking to myself how the movie could have been better even if it were more geared towards children. There were a couple very small children in the theater and I just don’t think some of it was right for them to be subjected to.

  2. Lexcie says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty annoying. That people insert adult references for no particular reason. Some is subtly done (like in Shrek) but what you describe isn’t subtle at all. I haven’t seen it, but I think I know what you mean.

    Are Transformers the same thing that they used to have when I was growing up, robot arms that can fire off like guided missiles?

  3. Yuri says:

    My neice and nephew who are both respectively 10 and 11 years old actually have had some knowledge of what sex is. They know it’s something that adult do privately. Other little kids seem to think of it as special kissing or special hugging. Masturbation on the other hand seems to be a foreign concept to little kids until they reach puberty, and even then, it’s still shrouded in mystery. Your friend handled the situation very well, and I commend him for it.

    BTW, I was never really interested in this movie since it’s an attempt to take a 1980s children’s TV show and turn it live action movie. If anything, something like GI Joe or frigging He-Man would have made a better movie.

    It’s quite possible that the PG-13 content was supposed to lure in young twenty somethings like ourselves who barely remember the show, and the franchise itself to appeal to nostalgic Gen Xers (who were at most pre-teens when the show first aired) whose children are now in the 5-10 year old action figures buying market.

  4. Alshawn says:

    Pirates of the Caribbean is worse. I didn’t know that movies targeted for kids can show people being impaled on wooden masts and support columns, and children being hanged.

    And thanks for the tip. I think I saved another $10 bucks.

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