“Violence and entertainment have almost became interchangeable. I fear for my grandchildren,” says the star.
Dick Van Dyke, the beloved character actor known for his roles in his own television show as well as in delightful children’s movies like Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, recently criticized the level of violence in today’s movies aimed at children.
Speaking to the British newspaper The Guardian, Van Dyke expressed his concern that screen violence can cause youngsters to “idolize it as a romantic way of life.” Van Dyke noted that “When I was a teenager, I modelled myself after the way Fred Astaire or Cary Grant dressed. I remember walking out of movies that were uplifting and feeling inspired. We’d go to a cowboy movie, we’d come home playing cowboys. It does affect one. Now kids emulate street gangs. Violence and entertainment have almost became interchangeable. I fear for my grandchildren. It’s all about the money and pandering to the lowest possible taste. That’s what’s happened, unfortunately. I don’t think anyone takes any responsibility.”
Van Dyke also stated that others – even children – share his disappointment with children’s entertainment today. Mentioning the many letters he gets from young fans, Van Dyke said, “They ask ‘why aren’t there movies like that now?’ ‘What has changed?’ We lost Walt Disney, for one thing. Walt was a child at heart. He had such creativity and imagination.Walt said kids like to be scared. It’s a delicious feeling. But he did it with witches, evil queens and things like that. Now it goes into blood and violence.Even kids sense that there’s something gone wrong.”