Monday, May 17, 2010

Top 10 Palliatve Care Children's Movies

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Another year has come and gone, and we here at Pallimed Arts like to celebrate with top 10 lists. We did the top 10 palliative care films in 2008, and the top 10 palliative care songs in 2009. Although we are growing up- this is our 2nd anniversary- we thought we'd get "younger" with this years top 10. We're listing our favorite children's films that have good palliative care themes.

Plot summaries are courtesy of IMDB and the links will take you to a trailer of the films. As before we hope you comment with your own ideas of children's films we left off our list.

10. The Never Ending Story (A troubled boy dives into a wonderous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book)

9. My Neighbor Totoro (When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby)

8. Bridge to Terabithia (A preteen's life is changed after befriending the new girl at school)

7. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium)

6. Up (By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn't alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip)

5. Lion King (Tricked into thinking he killed his father, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King)

4. My Girl (Vada Sultenfuss is obsessed with death. Her mother is dead, and her father runs a funeral parlor. She is also in love with her English teacher)

3. Bambi (Animated film about a young deer, Bambi, growing up in the wild after his mother is shot by hunters)

2. Old Yeller (A boy brings a yellow dog home. The dog loves the family as much as they love him, but can the love last?) *no trailer found, link is to a scene from the movie.

1. Charlotte's Web (Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen)

2 Responses to “Top 10 Palliatve Care Children's Movies”

Dr. Pam said...
May 17, 2010 at 9:15 AM

The Water Horse could receive honorable mention as well. Only one of the creatures lives at a time.

Drew Rosielle MD said...
May 17, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Here is my extended plug for Totoro (these are some slightly edited remarks I sent to Amber and Amy advocating that Totoro should be on the list):

I think the movie My Neighbor Totoro is superb, and has some resonance for the theme palliative care-ish kids movies. It's also a very safe movie for young kids (e.g. my nearly 2 and 4 year olds). It's a Miyazaki film (the guy who did Spirited Away and Ponyo and a bunch of other geek-tastic Japanese animated movies) and takes place over a summer in rural Japan in the 1950s in which a father and 2 young girls (3 and 7 years old?) have moved to a summer house while the mother is mysteriously absent. It's never really stated explicitly but it becomes clearer over the course of the movie that the mother is in a TB sanitorium. There is a tension in the movie about the mother coming back, then not coming back because she is ill, and the girls' response to that.

All this is the backdrop to the girls discovering animal spirits in the forest, one of whom is named Totoro, and who has a cat-bus (yes, literally, my 2 year old sometimes runs around the house saying CATBUS CATBUS), who helps them get through the summer and reconnect with their mother.

It's a very quiet, subtle, slow-moving, G rated movie - completely unlike any other kids' movie I've seen, and my boys love it. My 4 yo understands that the Mom is ill, and absent, and the girls are desperate to be with her and can't. It's a safe way to introduce them to loss, and absence, and illness - much more than the perversities/cruelties of Bambi or the Lion King.

In those illness/death/loss are the result of evil, predation, etc. In this one illness and absence (not loss - it has a happy ending) are a normal part of life.