I am so excited for C to be learning about Ancient Greece this year. Of all of ancient history and mythology, it is my very favorite time and place to study. I love the tales of Mount Olympus and the various Gods and Goddesses. They make for exciting stories and definitely have their place among the annals of great literature.
When I first heard of the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, I was intrigued. Surely these would be a fun way to introduce Greek mythology to kids! I actually found one of the books–not the first one, another–at a garage sale and started looking around for the rest of the series. I saw that Mommy Bear Media had the DVD of the first movie that was made: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I thought it would be a great way to dive into the books before I located them. Since all of the films from Mommy Bear Media are family friendly movies, I thought the kids would enjoy it as well. A little modern day mythology couldn’t hurt, right?
About the movie:
Percy Jackson is seemingly normal high school student who struggles with both ADHD and dyslexia. Little does he know that he’s a demigod and the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. When he discovers this secret during an eventful trip to the museum, he sets forth on a journey in search of family and self discovery.
I appreciate that Percy has issues with ADHD and dyslexia, although I don’t really think either condition was accurately portrayed in the film. What I mostly don’t understand is Percy’s lineage. He is the son of Poseidon and named after the original Perseus. Perseus killed Medusa. And Percy Jackson kills Medusa. So he’s not Perseus, but then kills the gorgon that Perseus is known for killing? I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know how this plays out in them. But inaccuracies in history or literature really get under my skin!
This wasn’t a right fit for my kids; they lasted about 20 minutes due to quite a few scary scenes. I think the movie is more for older children and teens. There were a few scenes that are quite questionable for young children that included: characters in a drugged state, provocative dress, and innuendos. The overall story was good, if a bit confusing to a non book viewer; I really like the way it ended. However, I feel the movie itself may have been made for a slightly older audience than the books are supposed to target.
Perhaps we can revisit Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief when the children are a bit older and able to last the whole film. I’m just glad Mommy Bear Media is looking out for families when providing films everyone can enjoy.