Trailers and Toddlers...

EdHoch

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This thread grew out of an experience I had recently taking my 3 year old to see Clifford's Really BIG Movie a few weeks ago. He loves watching Clifford on PBS and was very excited about going to the big theater, eating popcorn, and watching Clifford.

At our viewing, one of the trailers screened before the movie was for the most recent Harry Potter movie. Now I have no problem with HP. I've enjoyed each of the books, and thought the first two movies were fine for what they were. I think that this third one looks to be the
best yet.

HOWEVER, I do not think the movie, or the trailer, is appropriate for three year olds. My son was visibly scared by the trailer, as were many other wee ones at the screening we attended. He recovered and enjoyed
Clifford, but the experience got me thinking.

For "G" movies, especially those obviously aimed at pre-schoolers, I would argue that only trailers for other "G" movies be screened. The HP trailer was approved for all audiences, but it was a dark and spooky advertisement, for a dark and spooky movie.

I suppose I should be glad that there wasn't a Van Helsing trailer attached...

Any thoughts...?
 

Malcolm R

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I agree that the theaters should perhaps put a bit more thought into the context of the feature movie and the audience that's likely to be present vs. the trailers they show before the film.

Your example of scary trailers before children's films is a good one.

Another that comes to mind is when I was at a showing of "Meggido: Omega Code 2" a few years ago (I'm not religious, but my father is and wanted to see the film...fortunately, I made him pay for the tix).

One of the trailers before this "christian" film was for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Now I think it's rather silly, but a lot of "christian" folks seem to have real problems with HP and I thought it was rather dumb of the theater to put up such a trailer right in the face of the very small part of the public moviegoing audience likely to be offended by it.

I wonder if they had many complaints/walk-outs? Though with "Megiddo," more than an handful of walkouts would have left an empty auditorium.
 

Marc_Sulinski

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They actually do a separate rating for the trailers. Usually you will see the green (or red, for R) screen just before the trailer that tells you what the trailer is rated. Most say that the trailer is approved for all audiences (G). I would doubt that they would show a trailer rated higher than the movie it accompanies.
 

Jesse Skeen

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When I worked at a theater they got complaints all the time about the choice of trailers- for a while we just put on whatever we wanted, but later started getting a list of which ones to put on. We got REAL careful about what went on G-rated movies
 

Tarkin The Ewok

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I had a bad experience when I saw Searching For Bobby Fischer. I was 12 or 13 at the time, and the theater screened a trailer for Independence Day before the movie. That preview was enough to give me nightmares, due to the mass destruction and the ruin of several recognizable buildings. That's not the kind of thing that should go before a family-friendly, character-driven movie.

Thankfully, trailer selection has improved since then. It's gotten to the point that if I like all the trailers, then I am almost sure to like the movie.
 

Matthew Chmiel

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You went to see a movie that included a trailer for a film that wouldn't be released for 3 more years?


I saw the ID4 trailer on a VHS tape of some Edward Burns movie back in 1995 (when I was 9) and I thought the mass destruction was awesome.
 

EricSchulz

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Step One: Contact the theater manager and register a complaint.

Step Two: Contact the offices of the theater chain.

Step Three: Encourage other parents to do the same.
 

Gabe D

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A couple of years ago my little boy was 3, and we went to see some kid movie (I don't recall what), and he was so scared by the teaser trailer for Hulk that we had to leave. Got my money back, but still...
 

Tarkin The Ewok

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OK. I'll admit that I goofed on which movie I saw the trailer with. However, I know that the movie and trailer had almost completely different audiences. As an aside, I later saw ID4 with fellow students in the auditorium of the school, and I enjoyed it enough that it is now part of my collection.
 

Darren Haycock

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I think it's easy to say, "Stupid kid, it's just a movie." But I remember when I was really little and I got scared by fireworks of all things. I think sometimes we kinda forget what things were like when we were that age.
 

EdHoch

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It's too bad. I've taken my four year old to two movies since the Clifford Movie with the Harry Potter trailer. And, yes, there really was a Clifford movie, made about $2M at box office.

Anyway, we've gone to see Polar Express and this weekend, Pooh's Heffalump movie. Both times, he's buried his face in his hands, or turned his face into the theater seat when the traliers come on, asking me to tell him when his movie starts...

He's a senstive little fellow, and that Potter trailer affected him more than I originally thought...
 

DaveF

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That's nothing! When I was about 8, my dad took me to see some really nice previews. But the theater played the movie Alien after the trailers, which was totally inappropriate for a child that young! I freaked out early into the movie, and left the theater screaming.

I still haven't seen Alien all the way through. Theaters should take care in the movies they show after the trailers!

(true story, too
)
 

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