Rose just turned 2 last week. Her language has "exploded" - as it is commonly said. Being the youngest of three children she has more world knowledge (and therefore word knowledge) than the other two children did when they were this age. The first time both Eliza and Peter saw a movie, they were 5. I don't think I would have taken them any younger. Last week, Peter (5) and Eliza (7) were invited to see the Muppets and I had to pick them up from the movie theater and had to bring Rose with me. So we saw the last 45 minutes of the movie together. I don't recommend taking young children to the movies-- not just because they shouldn't be watching those screens-- flashing scenes with all those lights, but also because some of it is too much to process.
While Rose seemed to laugh at the "right" moments and recoil when "appropriate," she has also not stopped talking about this experience since, even in her dreams at night. She repeats often: "El señor se calló, boom, se calló!" (the man fell) (repeats the same sentence a few times); or "tevé broke;" (television broke) or "el señor NOW! como Rose." (The man (said) NOW, like Rose). [Rose definitely identified with that part-- she often screams out, "I want it NOW!”] All of the episodes that Rose repeats are the most violent in the movie, particularly when the "bad man" of the movie tries to stop the Muppets from keeping their name and fame.
There has been much written about children and television (see for example, Zimmerman and Meltzoff (2007). Television and DVD/Video Viewing in Children younger than 2 years. in Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.161(5), 473-479.) What is most important is that I was there to watch with Rose (and with Eliza and Peter). We have talked about the movie and what happened. Rose will say, "te acuerdas" (do you remember?). And so we discuss. While it has provided a nice topic of conversation, I will probably not be taking Rose to the movies for the next couple of years.