Watching The Princess Bride with a 6-year-old

I have many favorite movies from when I was a kid in the ’80s, and I always love sharing them with my son. But while I remember being enthralled and entranced by certain films, it never goes quite the same with my son. He always has a LOT of questions and I spend most of the movie explaining things. I recently gave The Princess Bride a try, and this is how it went.

That’s Inconceivable

It is truly inconceivable that someone could watch this movie and not love it. Last night was the first time in a long time that I sat down and watched the whole thing from the very start and I loved it as much as ever. The only thing that didn’t hold the test of time was the film quality itself, as the images were not quite as crisp and clear as we’re used to on the big TV screen. And the special effects were not too impressive, but it still works with the slightly campy tone of the movie. I was really hoping this one would hold the kid’s attention, so I tried getting him interested by telling him we’re going to watch a movie with a kid his age in it.

Son: How do you know he’s my age?

Me: Ummm…because he’s small and looks about your age.

I actually have no idea what age Fred Savage is supposed to be in the movie and that was the best answer I could come up with. And that was just the start of the questions.

Why, Why, Why….

The movie starts with the kid in bed sick, playing a pixelated looking video game. So I had to explain, “That’s what video games looked like when mommy was little.” And I’m pretty sure he felt a little sorry for me. Then he wanted to know if the kid is sick, why does he get to play video games??

I was a bit stumped on my answer here, because he had recently stayed home sick from school, and I was pretty stern about not getting to stay home and play video games all day. And here’s Fred in bed, home from school and playing what looks like the first MLB Baseball game. We are not off to a good start.

When we finally get into the story, the questions really start rolling.

Son: Why does she keep calling him boy?

Me: She’s calling him “Farm Boy,” because he’s a boy and he works on the farm.

Son: If they know where the city is, why do they live in the woods?

Me: Because not everybody lives in a city, some people like a lot of land and have farms.

The Best Part:

Once we got past the first kissing part, where my son was like, “Why is is getting so close to her face? Why is he staring at her?” he really started to get into the story. The best part happened when the princess jumps off the boat and into the water with the eels. Right as the eel goes to attack her, my son shouts, “Oh no, she’s going to get killed!” And right at the same time it cuts to the grandpa telling him, “It’s OK, she doesn’t get eaten.” Like he was really telling him the story. It was too perfect.

Things really get good when the Dread Pirate Roberts shows up, and my son keeps asking if he’s a ninja. I’m like, why a ninja? And he said it’s because he’s in all black, with his face covered and he’s climbing the cliffs like a ninja. I let him know he was a pirate and honestly I think he was a little disappointed.

He’s Not a Ninja

The great sword fighting scene ensues along with more questions-

Son: What are they doing? Are they trying to kill each other?

Me: Yes, it’s called fencing and they are trying to kill each other. The guy literally just said, “You seem like a decent fellow, I hate to kill you.”

Son: Well that guy can’t be killed because he’s a ninja.

By this time I realize he has no idea that the pirate is really the farm boy and I can’t wait for the revelation. He didn’t seem too shocked by it, and I was thankful for Fred interrupting yet another kissing scene as my son’s interest was waning until the fire swamp got his attention. He had tons of questions about the swamp fires, lightening sand and ROUS’s. But by now he was getting sleepy, as as things moved from the fighting and excitement he was ready for bed. Even the life-sucking torture scene couldn’t keep him awake, so I had to turn it off and save it for another day.

So they next day, as he’s getting ready for school, he asks me, “Can we finish that movie about the ninja tonight?”

Me: Yes. But he’s NOT a ninja.

The Dread Ninja Roberts just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…

~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author

Candy Keane is a digital content creator and long-time cosplayer, most well-known for being on the cover of the Star Wars documentary Jedi Junkies. After making costumes professionally for over a decade, she now writes about about geek culture and mom life, and continues to cosplay for fun, while sharing her love of costumes on Instagram @SewGeekMama. Her first children’s book, I’m Going to My First Comic Convention, was published in 2020 and won a Story Monsters Approved award for Excellence in Literature.

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