February 20, 2014
Movies R Fun and books r 2!: new book lets kids experience terrifying grown up movies
by Martin Rouse
Kids are a drag. They drag down the intellectual level of every conversation they enter, and—worst of all—they drag down the quality of movies you can watch. Pixar Animation Studios story supervisor Josh Cooley understands this plight, and he is here to help.
Probably driven by an identity crisis that only an adult employee of a children’s animation studio could understand, Cooley created the book Movies R Fun!: A Collection of Cinematic Classics for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile. Not every child can be a cinephile—AKA a gaunt, beret-wearing child named Oscar, regardless of gender—but every child can enjoy this book, thanks to vibrantly illustrated scenes of classic films like Rosemary’s Baby, The Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, and Se7en.
Personal favorites include the nudie rose petal scene from American Beauty, and the titular alien bursting out of Kane’s stomach in Alien. Normally if you tried to share the beauty and historical significance of these scenes with your child, you’d be met with some harsh words from the weekly play-date tribunal. But, with this book, parents are just impressed that your kid is reading.
Don’t be deterred by publications like TIME suggesting this book is meant to be read only by adults. Kids are going to watch these films on their iPads anyway—wouldn’t you rather discuss cinematography, themes, and a film’s cultural impact in the safety of the home environment? With the Motion Picture Association of America prudishly cracking down on media consumption through ratings, books like this might be the last true haven for cultural criticism and analysis amongst youngsters. Don’t let them miss out on a cultural framework that leads to lifelong learning, or the analytical skills to open myriad future doors, such as those to a prestigious private preschool.
Movies R Fun! is out on February 25th, courtesy of Chronical Books. Check out the informative book trailer below.