What I Pick Up in Movies

Who doesn’t love movies? I don’t know about you, but I always have. There were also times where I didn’t know what I was watching. This was mostly when I was little.

I just saw scenes and enjoyed the characters. But did not know the plot.

When I was an older child, I started understanding the storylines of movies. When I studied creative writing, I started pointing out plot points (inciting incident, call-to-action, midpoint, falling action, and resolution).

Many adults will understand sarcastic or dry humor. Unfortunately, I don’t, although I do get the inappropriate stuff, even when it’s snuck into G and PG-rated movies. People may also point out hidden symbolism.

What I do, though, is not only identify the plot points as well as the main conflict and other literary elements, but I also point out these two unique things:

Moments that would get you arrested in real life

Example 1

In Night at the Museum 3, when Lancelot went crazy and ran on stage during a live performance of Camelot?

Rather than calling security and having Lancelot arrested, the guy playing Arthur just explained to him that he was just an actor and held the play as he calmly told Lancelot to get off the stage.

However, if you run on stage during a live-performance in real life, you would get arrested. Forget about yelling at the actors and threatening to hurt them, like Lancelot did. You could run on stage, stand there, and say nothing and still get arrested. Just the action itself is illegal.

Example 2

In Toy Story 2, Al steals Woody from the garage sale Andy’s mom holds. He gets away with it. Andy’s mom doesn’t bother to call the police.

However, in real life, not only would Al have been arrested for stealing, but so would have Andy’s mother for failing to report a crime she’d witnessed.

But if that happened, Andy and Molly would’ve been taken away by CPS and the ending would’ve been too sad. Therefore, Toy Story 3 may never have been made as audiences would have complained about the ending to Toy Story 2.

Example 3

In an episode of Ned’s Declassified, where students were having the fifth graders tour the middle school, there was a scene when one of them (not in sight) that removed a bully, Jock’s, clothes. He was naked while using a plush elephant to cover himself. Everybody else laughed.

A younger kid may have done the same. A parent may have stated that it was inappropriate and turned off the TV.

I, as an older sibling, reacted by saying, “You’d get arrested for that in real life.” Yup, even as young as 17, I was pointing out things that would get you arrested in real life.

Why this matters to me

Because of having to learn about the importance of believability in prose writing, I have developed expectations too high for movies and TV shows. I now find it strange when characters in movies do things that real people would get arrested for, but the characters don’t.

So many illegal activities happened constantly in the movies Monster Truck and Dumb and Dumber Too, but the characters didn’t get arrested because of plot movements or conveniences.

While many say “It’s just a movie,” that can also be an issue. Someone who doesn’t know better may imitate those actions and get surprised when they get arrested because the characters in the film didn’t get arrlested. Then someone could try to sue the film production and distribution companies.

If the characters can’t get arrested for plot reasons, couldn’t there, at least, be a disclaimer in the end credits, warning audiences not to try those activities or else they’ll get arrested?

Things that would not be acceptable today

There are so many of these. I could not state them in one post. However, I will give a few examples of movies that I don’t think would come out today.

  • A Christmas Story

If you’ve seen this film, the kid, Ralphie, wants a bb gun for Christmas. Obviously, in the 80’s, that was acceptable.

However, today, after so much gun violence, especially in the US, I do not believe this would be acceptable today. No way would a child with a bb gun be appropriate.

  • Pinocchio

Although rated G, there is smoking, drinking, and the use of a dirty word, which I will not specify.

But smoking wasn’t always inappropriate, especially when people were unaware of the dangers before the 60’s. They thought smoking was cool.

But Pinocchio was released in 1940. That was at least 20 years before smoking-dangers were discovered. But even then, people were resistant to the studies.

I saw in a video that it was not until the 90’s when smoking became inappropriate for young audiences. I don’t think Pinocchio would be released today with a “G” rating.

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

In the late 2010s, this movie got tons of criticism for it being offensive, promoting prejudice and discrimination, and causing bullying. I was confused, so I watched the film. And I could see why people complained.

When Rudolph’s nose cover came off, revealing his red nose, the other reindeer freaked out. Even Santa took their side (“You should be ashamed of yourself,” he said to Rudolph’s dad).

The elf boss gave Hermey a hard time about being a dentist and not wanting to make toys. “You’re an elf, and elves make toys!” the boss said. Umm… that’s elfist.

Another scene is where Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius arrived on the land of misfit toys. There is a Jack-in-the-box whose name is actually Charlie. He complains that no kid would want to play with a Charlie-in-the-box (that’s name-ist).

Sensitivity has grown like that for some reason. It even affected me, as well – but unintentionally.

However, things do improve throughout the movie – so it might not be an issue as long as people don’t imitate the stereotypes or discriminations used in the film.


As I learn more about creativity and its rules throughout my life, I will pick up on more details in films.

Do you notice anything in movies that many others don’t say?

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com. Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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