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[Kids] What's best for 2-3 year-olds?

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Are you looking for films? I think our middle daughter (almost 6) mainly watched videos like Winnie the Pooh rather than movies. (Hard to remember last week, let alone 2002...)

Her favorites were Mary Rice Hopkins and Donut Man. I know these are older titles, even a bit corny in places, but the music was well done. It got so that she would hear a song from a Donut Man cassette in the car and name the video it was from -- even at age 3.

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SZPT   

My son will be 3 at the end of August. Boy has he watched a lot of movies! Mainly Disney/Pixar fare and VeggieTales.

He really loves anything animated, which can be trouble if we flip through Simpsons or any other prime-time cartoon (not that we have a problem with them ourselves, but they're not for him).

But he goes through cycles. He used to watch Monster's Inc. over and over, but now he is sporadic on wanting to view it. Same with most everything except for Veggietales.

And he does love the kids shows on PBS. We allow him to watch Sesame Street (numbers and letters), Between the Lions (reading & vocabulary), Berenstein Bears (manners and behavior), Cyberchase (math), and, sadly, Dragon Tales (God knows what). He doesn't care about Reading Rainbow and he usually takes a nap during Clifford and Zoom - both of which he likes. We don't let him watch Barney, Arthur, Boobah (very weird show) or any 30 minute commercials, er... kids shows, yeah, kids shows on other stations because they don't really offer anything substantial. And we don't have cable.

I will say that much of the time the TV is just on in the background while he is focusing on his toys (and sometimes in another room). My wife grew up this way as well and she doesn't have any problems. When I am at home, I find that I do limit his TV/movie in-take a lot more and will instead play music (sometimes classical, sometimes modern) for him while he does his thing.

He does like some live-action stuff. He enjoys Spiderman, Holes, and George of the Jungle. He is mesmerized by the first half of The Black Stallion. Despite the slower pacing he loves the horse/boy interaction. Oddly enough, right now his movie of choice is Captain Ron (my wife is a huge Kurt Russell fan).

My wife wanted to take him to see Spider-man 2 at a very early matinee this past week to see how he handled it. That was a mistake. He only sat still when Spidey was actually on the screen and we had to cover his eyes on some shots (like when Doc Ock was in the operating room). And he was so tired at the end of it. Two hours plus drive time plus the wait for the movie was just too long when he can't get up and go play with his toys like he usually does. Maybe in a couple of years he'll be ready.

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Alvy   

My two nephews, age 2 and 3, are currently fascinated by the cropduster sequence in North by Northwest. I figured they might as well start acquiring good taste at this young age, and they can't get enough of it. It's funny how you naturally expect that something from a movie in 1959 couldn't possibly hold the attention of a kid today, and yet they're glued to the TV set for the entire five to ten minutes that the sequence lasts, no matter how many times I play it.

Somehow I don't think they're ready for the full movie yet, though. laugh.gif

Their favourites seem to be the Pixar-types: Toy Story; Monsters, Inc.; Finding Nemo. They're the kind of thing they can watch all the way through at this stage.

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Andrew   

As I recall, Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine were my kids' favorites at that age. I especially recommend the latter option, with its charming stories, whimsical humor, interesting visuals, etc.

They've also enjoyed various Disney films on occasion, with 'Pinocchio' and 'Snow White' (especially the Dopey scenes) being particular favorites.

Edited by Andrew

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DanBuck   

Agreed on Pixar. Although my two-year old tells me the the opening scene of Monsters, Inc (in the scare simulator) "bothers him". So we skip it. I do the same for my wife on the opening scene of Nemo. smile.gif

We've also had success with The Muppet Movie but he is afraid of Prince of Egypt. Shrek worked for a while, but he so loves the music videos on the disc, ever since he saw them he demands we watch one of those instead of the whole film. He also loves all things Thomas the Tank Engine.

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Andrew   

I'll add to the mixed reports on 'Monsters, Inc.' and 'Nemo' -- my kids were frightened of both of these at ages 2-3. They preferred much gentler fare at these ages.

In retrospect, I'm not surprised by this, since if not universal, a strong and genuine fear of monsters and all forms of scary creatures is quite common in kids at this age, given their inability to separate fantasy from reality.

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SZPT   

I guess my son is the exception to the rule. He really isn't afraid of anything, which has its own drawbacks. We find him at night walking into dark parts of the house and playing there. He'll close himself in the laundry room or bathroom with the light off and just has a hoot of a time. He used to pick up bugs until we made a big deal about it. Fire ant bites will bug him, but they don't make him cry.

He was probably not quite 2 years old the first time that he watched Monsters Inc. Even then he found the opening scene hilarious. Then he began to copy the characters on screen. He'd let out a scream like the monster, then run around in circles and scoot his bottom on the floor, smiling and giggling the whole time.

And I think he is enamored with Boo.

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