The XX Factor

“Ponyo” and the Scary Movie Dilemma

No debunking of the Miyazaki cult here! Yes, Dana, please do report back about how your daughter fares when you take her to Ponyo . That dilemma of a few scary moments plagues me, as a parent, for so many kids’ movies. As a fellow worshipper, though, I assume Miyazaki puts them to good and necessary use here.

Your strategy of talking through the story line and the harrowing bits beforehand is a great one. It saved us from serious meltdown when my husband and I let my 6-year-old son Simon finish the first Star Wars trilogy, by watching The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi , as many readers urged us to do after I wrote about his Star Wars obsession .

This whole question of how to handle scariness in movies and DVDs is part of why we started our section for reviewing kids’ fare, XXtra Small . I’d love to hear from readers about what you think of the ratings we devised.

Image from Ponyo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.