My husband likes to wind down by watching movies, and when he’s stressed out he wants to see an intense or emotional movie to help him blow through his feelings so that he can relax. I prefer to read books for entertainment. When I watch movies it requires an effort to steel myself for the intensity of the emotions or action. It seems as though my daughter is just like me: acutely sensitive to visual media. (This trait often comes with the HSP package.) She’s only halfway into her second year, so I believe that she shouldn’t be watching much television anyway, but it would be nice if we could sit down as a family and watch a movie together occasionally. So we made some popcorn and tested out some media.
The Polar Express was too scary for her — the action sequences really stressed her out (me too, actually). She tried to watch Ice Age at a friend’s house and came to get me in the first five minutes, telling me it was too scary. The original animated Alice in Wonderland was mostly ok, but she definitely disliked a number of parts. I don’t really like that movie much anyway, so I’m fine with that. Studio Ghibli can only take me so far; I haven’t seen all of Miyazaki’s work, but Nausicaa, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Laputa are definitely too scary. (She made it through Porco Rosso, but probably because she didn’t understand what was happening and she likes airplanes.)
She likes the Aristocats, provided I fast forward through the more intense action sequences of the dog parts. She loved the end of Close Encounters but it’s a much more stressful movie than I thought, and it required a lot of pauses for explanation and checking in. She likes Star Trek: The Next Gen, provided it’s an episode with no phaser battles or fights (the first time she saw Worf hit an enemy she was very upset, doubly so when a possessed Deanna Troi attacked Worf.) Documentaries usually work, especially ones about space of animals.
So we’re left with Totoro, Kiki, Ponyo, Shaun the Sheep (only at her grandparents’ house, and boy will it be a sad day when she figures out that Netflix works the same at anyone’s house — right now she accepts “we don’t have that movie”), Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and selected YouTube dance/music videos. On my list to try: Howl’s Moving Castle, Mary Poppins, the Mary Martin Peter Pan, and the Sword in the Stone. Any suggestions?