My kids are obsessed with Avatar. Ever since we went to McDonald’s last month and splurged on happy meals they can’t stop talking about it. They each got these really cool looking six legged horses that glowed in the dark. At the time, I had no idea what “Avatar” was. I thought it must be a new video game coming out. A few days later, I finally caught on to the media sensation that’s sweeping the nation. Or world, rather. It’s the “must see film” of the decade. And it’s PG-13.
That’s my beef. (Excuse the pun McDonald’s.) Why on earth has McDonald’s agreed to promote a PG-13 movie to small children? Who was the last 13 year old you know who ordered a happy meal?
So Paul and I went to the movie to check it out. I confess, my kids have seen “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”, “Harry Potter 5” and most of “The Lord of the Rings” series–all PG-13. I wanted to see if Avatar was “sci-fi action sequence” PG-13 or “oh-my-goodness-this-should-be-rated-R” PG-13. It’s a true PG-13. My kids will not be seeing it.
Even if you could cut out the swearing and the smoking and the, well… intimate scene, the avatar chick is still naked. Oh, yes, she does have on a large, ornate necklace, and something is girding those loins…in the front, but that’s it. The only thing that is keeping the film from being down right indecent is the fact she is blue and has a tail.
The special effects are way cool. The whole idea for the movie is incredibly imaginative. It will probably win best picture. My beef is not with the movie itself. My beef is that it’s shamelessly being marketed to young children. It’s not a children’s movie. I’m just waiting for the coloring books and bed sheets to make their debuts at Wal-Mart.
My children have not seen the movie, and they still play Avatar at recess. They want the toys, the costumes, you name it. They are convinced they are the only humans on our planet who haven’t seen it. Apparently, all the kids on Pandora have seen it too.
So to James Cameron and McDonald’s I say this: market to appropriate demographics, will ya?! I can deal with a talking Alvin and the Chipmunks figurine stuck on repeat cackling in the back of my van, but I am just plain tired of telling my kids 15 times a day why they can’t see “Avatar.” Am I really supposed to research the happy meal toy being pushed before pulling into the drive-through?
Exactly how much due diligence do you expect out of anyone who is so frazzled and exhausted that she actually agrees to dinner at McDonald’s?