Digimon: The Movie
After becoming a popular TV series among two-to five-year-olds, the Japanese animated “Digimon,” has come to the big screen. The film’s concept is much like “Pokemon,” with non-stop action and bizarre looking characters mesmerizing little viewers. This first film version has seven kids attending summer camp in Japan and making friends with strange creatures in the alternate world of Digiworld. After a Digimon monster threatens to conquer the world, however, the kids and the good Digimon dutifully battle the villains in hope of saving both Earth and Digiworld from total destruction.
The last time someone said to me, “What a great job you have,” I sadistically invited him to join me for a screening of one of these foreign-made animated movies aimed at toddlers. For most adults it is an excruciating experience. He was about to discover this for himself. For while we sat in the matinee, becoming concerned over what exactly Jujubes are made of, and being the only two adult males in attendance, surrounded by aisle-strolling dwarfs and their permissive, pampering mothers, suddenly, my friend began to feel ill at ease. Then boredom set in. And the occasional watch check did him no good. We were in it for the long haul, or at least until the end credits began. Exiting the theater, his summation of the experience came in one simple declarative sentence: “Phil, you deserve a raise.” As for the film, it is even more violent than the Pokemon series. Filled with battles, violent images, scary monsters, quick editing, a loud soundtrack from beginning to end, and a complicated plot, many parents may well fear that this is desensitizing, rambunctious content. Although good triumphs over evil and the characters display teamwork and friendship, there is little gentility in the storyline. There’s enough hard-hitting film-going experiences lying in store for this sensitive age range. I think parents should wait a year or two before subjecting little ones to such aggressive behavior.