Netflix Increasing Family Entertainment


Ben Kayser

The way we consume content is rapidly changing due to technological advances in the media. Mobile devices like smart phones and tablets and websites like Hulu and Netflix have changed the way families sit down and watch TV Shows or Movies. But, has the content itself changed? And, is this technological media shift bad or good for family entertainment? The answer is both yes and no.

Let’s take Netflix online streaming as an example. Netflix is leading the way with quality original programming. On February 1, Netflix released its most expensive and anticipated show HOUSE OF CARDS. Bringing on critically acclaimed director David Fincher and renowned stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright made an immediate statement of Netflix’s seriousness in creating new programming. But, unlike the cable or network channel competitors, Netflix doesn’t have to satisfy a huge demographic of viewers. This allows Netflix to create programming for very specific viewers. In the case of HOUSE OF CARDS, a political thriller with edgy violence, sex and foul language. This isn’t so good for families who want clean entertainment.

Unlike regular broadcast television, the benefit of Netflix’s system is that it allows parents to have complete control over what their children watch. Even if the content in some of the programming is extreme, parents can choose the programming their children watch and be confident that no harmful shows or advertisements will come onscreen.

Netflix has also announced that they are developing a series with DreamWorks Animation called TURBO: F.A.S.T. The series is set to debut in December after the theatrical release of the movie TURBO in July. Actors in the project will include Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, and Samuel L. Jackson. DreamWorks Animation released an official synopsis of TURBO the movie.

“Turbo is a snail who dreams of being the greatest racer in the world, just like his hero, 5-time Indianapolis 500 champ, Guy Gagne. His obsession with speed and all things fast has made him an oddity and outsider in the slow and cautious snail community, and a constant embarrassment to his careful older brother, Chet. Turbo desperately wishes he could escape the slow-paced life he’s living. As luck would have it, he gets that chance one fateful day after a freak accident when he suddenly finds himself vested with the power of incredible speed. Turbo embarks on an extraordinary journey to achieve the impossible: racing against the best that IndyCar has to offer. Turbo is the ultimate underdog who achieves the impossible by refusing to let his limitations get in the way of his dreams.”

This is just the beginning of what Netflix plans to do for family entertainment. Netflix announced a licensing agreement that will bring Disney movies to Netflix online streaming by 2016. The deal includes Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Disneynature films.

Even though Netflix’s programming isn’t entirely family friendly, the system allows parents to have more control over what their children can see and what they can’t. MOVIEGUIDE® hopes that theses changes will provide better, safer and more enjoyable entertainment for the whole family. Stay tuned as more information develops.

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