Sunday, April 10, 2011

Using Classics with a Different Spin to Teach a Positive Message

What a unique spin to an old favorite! I think the relationship emphasized in the story Ponyella is sweet and a really positive message to share with young girls. Check out my book review video here.

*Also--I have set up multiple playlists on the YouTube channel to help make it easy to find what you may be looking for.

For discussion: Have you come across any new versions of classics you like?

I really like some of the animal versions, but I also like the people versions with a special twist. Ever watched the movie Penelope? I don't recommend this movie for young girls, because I'm not interested in introducing my girls to a lot of romance at an early age. Also, I'm not sure that the way Hollywood does romance, sends the best messages toward helping people to develop realistic and wholesome partnerships. That said, I enjoy a good chic flick as much as any other woman, but it's getting harder and harder to look the other way at the questionable content. Anyway...I enjoyed the ending of Penelope--which has a Beauty and the Beast plot twist.

Penelope is born with the snout of a pig instead of a human nose because her family line has been cursed. She's told she will only receive a human nose if she can get a blue blood to marry her for love. Her mother feels responsible and tormented by her daughter's condition and goes to extreme measures to deliver this blue blood. However, Penelope is constantly challenging the frenzy and wondering why she can't just go on with her life despite her snout. Finally, she escapes into the world she's been hidden from, and is embraced by the public--much to her mother's surprise.

While a romance does develop between Penelope and a VERY imperfect man who is not a blue blood and tormented by his inability to lift the curse. The two only share about 2 or 3 scenes together in the entire movie. The man is caught in his own web of deception, and is actually inspired by Penelope to get HIS life together. The movie focuses on Penelope's development and her mother's struggle to understand that helping her daughter is about more than finding her a pretty face.

I really enjoyed the ending, and I won't spoil it with too much details. We are left with the message that imperfections may be overblown. I actually grew to like Penelope's face despite the snout. Penelope developed more and more self confidence. Others accepted her because she accepted herself. Everything she needed was within her. I also enjoyed the resolution of the struggle she experienced with her mother. Through it all, Penelope remained kind and respectful toward her parents. Though her mother crossed the line repeatedly, Penelope's response was exceptional. She challenged their assumptions without tearing them down and took her stand with a resolute dignity. The fact that her mother's transformation wasn't perfect was all the better! It reminded me that perfection isn't always a necessary part of success.

I give it a thumbs up and would definitely watch and discuss this with my teen. Again--not one I'd share with little girls.

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