Knowing my Millennial sons’ aversion to monochrome films from an early age, I’ve long presumed that Sutton, age 2 and 1/2, would never consider watching any black-and-white movies, classic or otherwise.

Hence my surprise on Sunday when we watched about a half-hour’s worth of the original King Kong (’33), which she was pretty much enthralled by. It was the first time Sutton and I had absorbed a critically approved, historically important movie together. Quite a moment.

Sutton’s basic tastes run to stuff like Bluey and animation, etc. Then again she’s watched The Wizard of Oz, sepia footage and all, so she’s already gotten her feet wet in that regard.

She and Jett had been watching Kong: Skull Island (’17), which is basically (we’ve all endured it) an empty crappo CG-propelled Super-Kong flick.

I asked Jett if she’d ever seen the original, and he flipped it on. We both presumed Sutton would be bored if we started from the beginning as the first 35 or 40 minutes are pure dialogue and set-up, so we went straight to the native sacrifice scene.

I offered no coaching or commentary except in one instance. I explained to Sutton that Kong loves Fay Wray‘s Ann Darrow, and that while she’s very scared by his size and whatnot he’ll never hurt her, that he only wants to care for and protect her.

Alas, harumphy HE commenter “bentrane” disapproved. He asked if I “really think King Kong is suitable for a two-year-old,” blah blah.

HE response: “King Kong is epic and historic and iconic — a film that’s emotional and tragically sad and unmistakably about unrequited love. In short, it’s a human-scaled movie about serious feelings, and one that reflects certain emotional realities, unlike the bullshit super-Kong films of the last decade or so, which are merely about size, spectacle and jizzy CG…basically garbage.

“What you seem to be saying is that the crap-bullshit Kong films and their ruthless super-violence (along with the GodzillaKaiju films) are okay in a common-gruel, eye-candy sense because they’re empty cartoons but an exciting, 90 year-old adventure-spectacle that touches upon serious human behaviors and tragic sadnesses (including cruelty to animals, greed, delusional dreams of glory) should be kept away from little kids.”

HE commenter “riboleh”: “There is a realistic depiction (albeit stop-motion) of Kong ripping open a dinosaur’s jaw. It’s quite violent, and I would suggest you reconsider creating nightmares for her. It’s so obviously not akin to today’s empty spectacle CGI, not because of how it looks, but how it plays…which feels quite real, and certainly to a two-year old.”

My bottom-line feeling is that King Kong is, at the end of the day, a nutritious film, and that today’s entertainment fare, especially the kind aimed at tykes, is wafer-thin and informed by banal sugary sentiment — pretty much dedicated to eliminating nutrition at all costs.

I figured that exposing Sutton to nutritious content on a brief, one-time basis is worth the risk, as she’s unlikely to see any quality films for quite a few years.