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Old 06-29-2020, 04:59 PM   #1
PrivateBlinky
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TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

Basically, this is a cross-posting of a thread at Reddit I started there, but wanted to get others here invested on it too. Feel free to discuss here or there.

https://www.reddit.com/r/transformer...ing_the_cycle/

Coles Notes: My 7-year old son is loving G1 Transformers episodes, but is freaked out by dramatic scenes, and we are at the story point to watch TF:TM. So I'm at a crossroads...
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

First, I'm a firm believer in not lying to kids. They can smell the bullshit--I know I could when I was young--and I don't think that's helpful. You could explain to him that there are some scary things in the movie that you don't think he's ready for yet. Point out what happened with the BB movie as an example. And promise him that when he's older, he can watch everything.

This way, you don't lie to him and you don't deny him anything. You're just delaying it.

Another approach could be to warn him scary stuff ahead, and when stuff happens in the movie, explain it'll be fine next episode so to speak and cue up the return episode right after, so you can let him know/see for himself that things are OK. It was just a long nap. And if he mentions any of the other characters, maybe cue up some episodes from later/different series like TF:Prime that show everyone up and about again, just with a new look.

And when you watch the other post-movie episodes, your kid will know these are just the adventures that happened between the movie and the return. Maybe that'll make things more digestible.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:36 PM   #3
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

Hm, that's a hard call to make. My own personal experiences on the matter may be a little different from my fellow contemporary G1-era fans; I was the only one in my family who was a Transformers fan, and my parents didn't want to sit through the movie with me, just so I could see it. So while I pretty much "had" to wait another half-year before I'd see it at a friend's birthday party, I ended up seeing much of Season 3 already. But during summer of '86, there were already the trailers and TV spots in the movie that kind of telegraphed Prime's death before the movie hit theatres, plus there was the Marvel comic issue that was coming out, too. So at that time, even without having seen the movie during its initial run, the temperature of the water pretty much already told me, "Prime's gonna die."

Your son is probably in a different boat compared to back then - he may or may not have seen or heard those "advance clues" that I picked up from the marketing at the time; also, I was 10 when the movie was being promoted, so I may have been better prepared to handle death in a work of fiction. If he had trouble handling the Blitzwing fight scene in the Bumblebee movie, I suspect he might not be ready for Optimus' death scene in the '86 movie just yet, or even the Autobot shuttle massacre before then. On the other hand, mayge he'll cheer Starscream's death scene (unless he likes Starscream, which would just twist the knife). It may also depend on if he's seen death scenes in other animated features, like the death of Bambi's mother, for a random example.

I'm thinking, maybe just replay the S1 and S2 episodes a few more times, but space them out a bit to buy yourselves some time, before you feel he may be ready to see the '86 movie. Maybe to extend that "stall", perhaps encourage some creative activities for him to do after watching a few episodes (e.g. maybe drawing some artwork). I can't predict when he may be ready for the movie, since I don't know how long he can build a "tolerance" or reach the proper level of "desensitization" for his age and/or psychological well-being, even for an animated feature. Let's just hope he won't get too bored watching the same eps over and over again until you feel the time is right. And maybe, to build up the preparation toward letting him see the movie, perhaps indicate that things will change a LOT, and some of the key players might not survive to the end.

Not a foolproof plan, but hey, it's all I can think of off-hand. Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

Have him sit through it. Do it A Clockwork Orange style if you have to. It'll put some hair on his chest and desensitize him to some of the nuances of real life.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

My 6-year-old watched The Movie prob a year or so ago

Other than not particularly caring about it (dad's crazy hobby etc), she wasn't traumatized
All that said, Optimus is her fave character (we also watched all of Animated), and she thought Blurr was hilarious
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:22 AM   #6
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SleeplessKnight View Post
Have him sit through it. Do it A Clockwork Orange style if you have to. It'll put some hair on his chest and desensitize him to some of the nuances of real life.
I agree. It's a cartoon. As shocking as it was to see characters get blown to pieces it's nothing compared with the loss of a grandparent, pet, friend, sibling, parent.

Tragedy comes to us all, there's no escaping it. If TF:TM is the defining tragedy in your life, you've been extremely lucky. The odds are your son will not be as fortunate. Delay it if you must, but the inevitable crush of reality is all the heavier the longer you exist oblivious to it.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:46 AM   #7
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

Also, probably not a great idea to ask internet randos for parenting advice.
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

It depends on your child.

Understanding of screen (tv/movie) stories can vary greatly from child-to-child.

If your child freaks out at dramatic scenes, then maybe re-watch some episodes/scenes and try to emphasize that it is a story that some people wrote and the people wrote the story with the sad parts to show how they can become strong and stronger despite what happens.

Bumblebee is a tough one. A possible problem with Bumblebee is that it is a live-action film, interacting with live people. There may be a distinct difference with how he viewed Bumblebee, versus how he views the flat animation of the G1 cartoon. Bumblebee seems more real. 1980s animation may still provide a clear detachment from reality.

Seeing as they do bring back Optimus Prime - his image as early as Episode 8 in Season 3 - it may be more difficult to skip past the movie and then have to explain Optimus' behaviour in that episode. And his "dying" again.

Maybe watch it in a well-lit room with windows and exposure to daylight. It might dull the drama -- as opposed to a dark room with major focus on the screen. Also, put out a giant buffet of all his favourite snacks when you sit down to watch the movie. Another positive distraction.

If you want to go with a slight falsehood... liken Optimus Prime (and any other loved robots) to Mall Santas. Explain that there is more than one Optimus Prime, and that is just one of them. Other Optimus Prime robots were also built -- refer to other Transformer lines - Beast Wars, Robots in Disguise, Rescue Bots, etc... Showing that Optimus Prime exists in all these other Transformer stories in other parts of the galaxy.

Best of luck with it !! Let us know how it goes... It may be helpful to other TF parents out there!
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:24 AM   #9
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

As a 4 year old, I watched violent cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Spiderman, & Rocket Robin Hood, as was the norm back then.

But my son's pre-school teacher brought up a good point: kids are not as grounded with reality as we were, given all the artificial content at their fingertips:
CGI cartoons, computer graghics, Ipad apps, youtube videos, ...

We actually believe this and have seen it, as he is highly impressionable. So my 7-year old just started watching light violent cartoons recently, like Lego Ninjago.
My plan is to start G1 Transformers when he's around 9.

Besides allowing him the time to develop a grounding to reality, we hope he can appreciate the fantastic story at an older age, plus not be spoiled of Prime's death by seeing it in every new age TF cartoon.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:34 AM   #10
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Re: TF:TM - Continuing the Cycle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrivateBlinky View Post
Coles Notes: My 7-year old son is loving G1 Transformers episodes, but is freaked out by dramatic scenes, and we are at the story point to watch TF:TM. So I'm at a crossroads...
Then there is no harm in waiting another year till he's ready. There was no binge-watch streaming in the 80's, so we had no choice but to wait for 'next week' or 'next season'.
But in hindsight, the anticipation really helped make it all that magical and appreciate the masterpiece show/movie in front of us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamwhistle View Post
It depends on your child.
Completely.
For example, kids who are more connected to nature and sport activities tend to be more grounded with reality and can be ready for violent cartoons much earlier than the iPad kids.
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