We thoroughly enjoyed recently "Gnomeo & Juliet"--the modern day interpretation of Romeo & Juliet as played out by garden gnomes. It was one of THE CUTEST movies I have ever seen. Worth seeing.

On the heels of that film, we want to take the kids to see "Rango" starring the voice of Johnny Depp as the star chameleon.

But that was before I realized that the movie will turn our kids into smokers.

Shoot. There's always a catch, right?!?!

Well, I am being sarcastic that this would keep us from seeing the film. The only thing that might keep us away is the $82,000 it costs us to take our 6 kids to the movies.

But anti-smoking advocates are hoping "Rango" gets smoked at the box office (and later on in DVD sales). Fat chance considering it topped the box office its opening weekend with $38 million in revenue.

You see...people with far too much time on their hands counted 60 instances of...gasp...SMOKING...in the film.

Hmmm. It IS set in the Old West...and it IS just a movie...and it IS rated PG, which USED TO MEAN "Parental Guidance Is Suggested"!!

Ah yes!! Remember?? BEING A PARENT?? That's the little detail you forget that you signed up for when you cranked out babies.

"A lot of kids are going to start smoking because of this movie," said Stanton Glantz. He is the director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California-San Francisco.



Kids whose parents ALLOW them to?? Kids who have NO parental guidance, which is what the movie recommends??

A Sacramento group whose name I won't even mention says that "Rango" is right up there with another treacherous pro-smoking movie you may have seen as a kid--"101 Dalmatians"! If they re-invented that movie, I guess Cruella De Vil would either have a nicotine patch or take up metal detecting instead of puffing away like a villain.

This is sheer silliness. Parents need to talk to their kids about this stuff. They need to BE THERE. They need to discuss it with their kids.

How about a simple, "Kids, you KNOW that smoking is bad for you and I don't expect this funny movie to make you think otherwise. Your grandfather died of cancer and millions of others as well from smoking" on the way home or the following day as a follow up?

That's what parents are supposed to do. They USED to, anyway.

We aren't worried about Gingy or the other kids pit stopping on the way home for a pack of smokes.

But the movie encouraging them to become talking Chameleons with cowboy hats has us a little concerned though.

Guess we can just discourage them to the best of our ability.

That's what parents do.