Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meet Nemo and Dory

The upshot: Liam has named his stuffed Teddy Bear "Nemo" and his knit kitty "Dory" and has been swimming them all over creation and rocking them to sleep in his blue blanket. The orange one is not Nemo, she is Dory.

The back story: A few weeks ago I had the idea to institute a family Movie Night. Never mind that Liam is only two and has a two-year old attention span (which, even for things he's really interested in is not more than 10-15 minutes), and never mind that he's never really watched any amount of TV, just a few Baby Einstein videos, occasionally.* Movie Night it is -- onward. I did some online research about age-appropriate movies for two year olds and decided on Finding Nemo. Will and I did not preview it, although I did somehow know that I was supposed to be on the look-out for the "shark scene."

Sheesh. Sharks were not the half of it. In the opening scene/prologue the mother fish and almost all the baby fish (they are fish eggs at that point) are destroyed by, something, I'm not sure what, I was too horrified to notice it properly. Luckily Liam didn't really get that part because he was super-excited to be eating dinner in the living room and was focused on whatever we ate that night, I can't remember what that was either.

So, while I'm recovering from the mother fish and all the baby fish being killed and trying to figure out whether to go on with Movie Night at all, the movie starts to unfold with all the brilliant underwater-animation, songs and bright colors. Liam thinks this is very cool and watches intently. Will and I talk with him about the different fishes and what is happening. He cuddles up on the couch with us. It's going well! Then Nemo gets captured by a menacing looking diver and put in a plastic bag and brought to a fish tank in a dentist's office. The Daddy Fish (who Liam also calls Nemo) chases after the dive boat frantically. It is clear that something very bad is happening to little Nemo. Liam is worried but allows himself to be comforted.

The rest of the movie is Daddy Fish and his side-kick Dory running into all sorts of obstacles and some help in their effort rescue Nemo. In the meantime, Nemo is in the fish tank with other fish-tank bound fish, and his part of the story is all about trying to hatch escape plots so he won't be given to the dentist's fish-killing niece as a birthday present. It has a happy ending. Liam watches about 35-45 minutes. We fast forward through the shark scene, which is near the beginning. He loses interest long before the movie is over, but was interested enough to want to watch part of it again the next morning. In general I think it was too scary, or emotionally intense, or whatever, for a two year old, but what do I know.

Since then we've put movie night on the back burner until Liam is older, and I sent the Nemo movie back to Netflix. But Liam still talks a lot about Nemo ("Mee-Mo") and Dory ("Dor'ray"). This morning he started on about them as soon as he woke up and after a few minutes I realized that he was telling me that his stuffed teddy bear was Nemo. Okay. Over the course of the day, Will's mom told me he decided that knit kitty is Dory. They both like to swim by squirming along the floor, face down. Liam is very loving towards them, and has been wrapping them up in his blue blanket and rocking them to sleep. ("Mee-Mo wrock, wrock. Dor'ray.") We are very proud of his creativity and pretend play, and hoping that Movie Night hasn't somehow scared him for life. It will be interesting to see where this all goes. (In the photo below "Mee-Mo" is wrapped up entirely in the blanket and not visible.)


IVF 40+ said...

Look at him! What a total sweetie!

mekate said...

Awwwww- I love how imagination knits together experience and creativity-- take this and make that! I love how he is putting together ideas from different stories too! how cool that must be to experience.
He is adorable, truly, what a smile! And the magic of learning with him must be wondrous.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world,
full moon tonight/tomorrow, and it is nearly bright enough to read by.

sending love,

Best When Used By said...

Hi! Thanks for de-lurking on my blog and commenting about baby names. Your son is absolutely adorable! And actually the name Liam is really high on my list of favorites. I adore it. My DH didn't seem too thrilled though so we're still plugging away.

I think a lot of those "kids" movies have horrible violent scenes. Remember Bambi?