Madeline: Trapped in a Sweatshop

So I don’t normally address parenting in this blog, but just a heads up: Madeline: Lost in Paris is a terrifying children’s movie. It is about, no joke, the protagonist getting kidnapped, having her inheritance stolen, and being forced to work in a sweat shop.

My wife and I are not prudes. One of our daughter’s favorite movies is the Rocky Horror Picture Show and we allow her to watch the more campy / less sex-saturated parts of the film. We [happily] just learned that she watches the Princess Bride at her grandparents’ house with some regularity when she dropped a quote from the cult classic.  (Specifically: “‘My name is…’ I can’t remember his name. But then he says ‘You killed my father. Prepare to be dead.’”) And perhaps it is for these reasons she was remarkably un-phased by Madeline’s abduction.

To ensure I wasn’t a crazy person for thinking this plot line was vaguely terrifying (oh, one of the Madeline’s sweatshop workers has TB, I think), I looked to the most balanced source of rational discussions available to me: The comments section of the Madeline: Lost in Paris Amazon page, so don’t just take my word for it. This is the Taken of “family-friendly” animated films:

[1/5 stars] Let me see if I have this straight. Madeline’s father, who filled her room with flowers and toys when she had her appendix out, is now apparently dead. A strange man posing as an “uncle” acts out a scheme–too subtle and disturbing to explain to your small child–for abducting Madeline away from her tearful friends and Miss Clavel. The uncle then SELLS a distraught Madeline to a sadistic shop owner, who keeps Madeline and other little girls ENSLAVED in a dark basement to make lace out of HUMAN HAIR!

  • [1/5 stars] This terribly dreadful story involving the kidnapping of children and using hair to make lace is totally out of tune with the previous Madeline videos.
  • [1/5 stars] My wife and I both found this video to be relentlessly cruel and completely bizarre.
  • [1/5 stars] I gave this video one star only because the posting screen will not allow me to rate it zero or negative stars!
  • [1/5 stars] My daughter was so distraught we actually had to let her finish watching it to see that Madeline and the other children were saved in the end and everything was okay.
  • [1/5 stars] It should be called “Madeline gets kidnapped and enslaved by abusive adults in a sweatshop in Paris.”

Happy viewing!

Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.