True Tales from the Children’s Room OR

How To Clear a Roomful of Preschoolers in Under a Minute.

Last Friday, I hosted our weekly movie program for children under five. We showed a collection of short films about magic and imagination, including the classics Strega Nona and Harold and the Purple Crayon.  I had such a large and surprisingly quiet crowd that even after the thirty minutes was up, I asked the group of kids, moms, and caregivers if they’d enjoy one more film.  The answer was an enthusiastic YES!  And there, my friends, is where my sound decision-making ended.

Instead of simply choosing one of the extra films myself (preferably one I had previously watched), I put it to a vote.  I read out the titles of the bonus films and the clear winner was Teeny Tiny and the Witch Woman.  Never having viewed Teeny Tiny, I was a tad reluctant to premiere it to a crowd of innocent three and four-year-olds.  But, I figured, how bad could it be?

Had this been a Halloween program for ages five and up, it would have been a homerun.  Sadly, by two minutes into the story about a band of brothers who unwittingly enter the home of a cannibalistic witch, half the crowd was running for the door.  Perhaps it was the witch’s fence, constructed out of children’s bones.  Or maybe it was the razor-sharp nails she nervously chittered together in anticipation of her meal.  It could have been her whispering, stuttering hiss, followed by her high-pitched squeal of evil delight.  It’s hard to say for sure.

In the end, there was a handful of stalwart tykes and parents who stuck it out through this Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque children’s film.  I’m looking forward to next week.  We may do a Caligula/Saw IV double-feature.

photo courtesy of Flickr user Victor Bezrukov

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