Oh, quick #FamilyMovieNight catch-up. A couple of weeks ago my son and I had a boy’s weekend, and we watched Toy Story 2 and 3 on successive nights.

I am ashamed to admit that I had never seen them before. Honest.

That said, they are now two of my favorite Pixar films. 2‘s ending had me on the edge of my seat, and 3‘s ending had me almost bawling my eyes out.

I saw on IMDB that 4 is in the works, and I did a little happy dance in my head.

#FamilyMovieNight this week was Disney’s Hercules.

I remember feeling “meh” about the film back in the day, and that hasn’t really changed. The performances are all… competent, the songs are forgettable, and the complete revision of the Hercules myth into a Teen Disney Misfit™ is still hard for me to swallow. Sure, James Woods’ performance as Hades is great, but who the hell (hehe) wants to say nice things about Woods these days?

Mostly, I feel like there was an opportunity here to do something interesting with Hercules as a Disney prince — a powerful hero who learns how to not be a dick, say — and they chose the easy route — the Greek mermaid — instead.

I also finally realized how much they crib from Superman, especially Donner’s take. Baby falls from the heavens and is adopted by a humble farm couple, grows into the awkward teenager who just wants to play sports like his peers do, talks to his real alien father via a statue in the Temple of Solitude, eventually becomes a powerful hero who falls in love with a street-smart brunette, battles an evil bald mastermind, and then brings his lady love back from the dead.

My son seemed kind of bored by the film. He liked bits of the slapstick, but both Hades in general and the hydra scene, specifically, were too scary for him; we fast-forwarded through most of those bits.

So, yeah, I get why Disney is happy to let this one sit on Netflix.


This week Family Movie Night™️ was Disney’s Tarzan.

Leaving aside the problematic aspects of both Burroughs’ Tarzan and a film set in Africa featuring an all-white cast, I really enjoyed this one. It was much more fun than I remembered (I last saw it in theaters). The hybrid real/computer animation is fantastic and the voice acting is great — Minnie Driver and Brian Goddamn Blessed stand out in particular, though Rosie O’Donnel is pretty fun, too.

I’ll also admit that the early scenes of Tarzan’s origin and discovery by Kala (Glenn Close) had me tearing up. I guess it triggered both my parental feels and my own having-lost-a-mom feels.

And, sue me, but Phil Collins sure can write some catchy tunes.

Strangely, I think a lot of the film went over my son’s head. He was asking a lot of questions and couldn’t seem to keep everyone’s names straight. That said, the gorilla and monkey antics had him in stitches.


There’s a word for what’s happening here: misogyny. When school officials and parents send a message to children that “boyish” girls are badass but “girlish” boys are embarrassing, they are telling kids that society values and rewards masculinity, but not femininity. They are not just keeping individual boys from free self-expression, but they are keeping women down too.


The rules follow, but the article is great. Read it.

1. “State the idea you wish to express as clearly as possible, and in terms preschoolers can understand.” Example: It is dangerous to play in the street. ​​​​​​

2. “Rephrase in a positive manner,” as in It is good to play where it is safe.
“Rephrase the idea, bearing in mind that preschoolers cannot yet make subtle distinctions and need to be redirected to authorities they trust.” As in, “Ask your parents where it is safe to play.”

3. “Rephrase your idea to eliminate all elements that could be considered prescriptive, directive, or instructive.” In the example, that’d mean getting rid of “ask”: Your parents will tell you where it is safe to play.

4. “Rephrase any element that suggests certainty.” That’d be “will”: Your parents can tell you where it is safe to play.

5. “Rephrase your idea to eliminate any element that may not apply to all children.” Not all children know their parents, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play.

6. “Add a simple motivational idea that gives preschoolers a reason to follow your advice.” Perhaps: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is good to listen to them.

7. “Rephrase your new statement, repeating the first step.” “Good” represents a value judgment, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them.

8. “Rephrase your idea a final time, relating it to some phase of development a preschooler can understand.” Maybe: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them, and listening is an important part of growing.