I believe my 7-year-old is reaching a transition point in her life. This is the transition from the world of Noggin and Disney to that of "real" TV, where violence is the norm. However that transition seems to be in contradiction with her threshold for violence that is fluffy versus bloody, as demonstrated by the following graph:
The graph can best be explained through the example of our TV viewing this weekend. On Saturday night, we watched Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. If you haven't seen this movie, definitely do so. You will never see a more adorable scene of bunnies getting sucked into a swirling vortex than in this movie. We also watched an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition about a single dad with 4 kids, former Iraqi marine, who got his leg blown off while on patrol. The descriptions and video regarding his story were surprisingly graphic (even Ty Pennington squirmed).
While both shows were "family friendly", there was definitely a "spectrum" of violence and gore here. On one end we have a movie with fluffy (okay, squishy, since they are made of clay) bunnies being sucked into a glass jar and staring longingly at their freedom outside the container. Even the actual Were-Rabbit was cute and adorable in galumphy sort of way. I mean come on, Nick Parks cannot do "dark" without doing "adorable" at the same time. On the other end was a documentary with graphic descriptions of war and destruction, including hospital scenes of the dad recovering and learning to live with a missing appendage.
My daughter, despite giggling uncontrollably throughout the rabbit/vacusuck scene, insisted she didn't like W&G and in fact ran out of the room in fear when The Were-Rabbit appeared. However when the images of the Iraqi dad became so graphic that mom wanted to shut the TV off, my daughter told her to sit back and chill, because this was interesting stuff.
Does this mean she's ready to watch Star Wars with me? I can't tell. I'm guessing Return of the Jedi is out. If she runs screaming from bunnies, imagine what trouble Ewoks would cause.