beststephi and I took her nephew to see Brother Bear yesterday. It was a cute little movie. But it made me begin to wonder, just how much of a feature length disney cartoon do kids really understand? Ethan seemed to enjoy it, and said that it was great, but he thought it was too long. He also sat quietly through the entire thing (which is a pretty rare event for him), but really the dialouge was kind of tricky with talk about the spirit world and the guidance of totems and things like that. And on the occasions where they neeeded to kill a character for the progression of the story, they always did it off screen, so as to not traumatize the little children, but without seeing it, I'm not sure that what happens is obvious to the children. In fact, during a scene where a bear is killed by a hunter off screen, Ethan leaned over to me and said "I don't get it. What happened to the bear?" I'm not sure what the right way to fix this problem is. Obviously, you don't want to make a children's movie with gory bear slayings, but trying to spare the children by making it ambiguous whether a character is dead or not is probably also not good.