my daughter is a movie-watching mystery

As a parent, you try to expose your young children to things that will nurture them and delay the things that might disturb them, but sometimes it's not easy to discern what things belong in which category.

Amelia's been on a bit of a Christmas movie fest lately. Her favorite thing is to watch the Santa scene from A Christmas Story, in which the children are screaming as the elves push them down a giant slide. The Santa Claus is mean and hurried and the children are frightened. Amelia loves it and requests it over and over again (which her grandparents oblige).

Today I bought her Raymond Briggs' beautiful film, The Snowman. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1982 for Best Short Animated Film. It has little to no dialogue, a gentle soundtrack and soft penciled animation. She really liked it, until the Snowman took off flying with the boy and it switched to a pan view of the world below them. She started screaming and crying hysterically, and she would not be comforted.

Go figure.