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.”