PeterTHX logo So the Cars DVD came out yesterday, and Jon was delighted to watch it, until the dreaded THX logo came up.

Sigh. Jon used to have no problem with the THX logo and creepy sound on video. But come his first trip to the movie theatre and, with his anxiety already high, they had one of the jokier versions where the little man adds a cow “moooo” toy to the logo, making it sound like an entire herd. Jon’s vision (much more limited back then) shut down, and the surround-sound lowing made him want to join the stampede.

Since then he’s been able to tolerate it in the theatres, but he goes wide-eyed and avoids certain Pixar movies in his DVD collection because of the brief appearance of the logo at the beginning. (The earlier DVD’s also made it so you couldn’t chapter skip from it).

Because it’s not rational, when it plays he freezes, and can’t use his many abilities with multiple remotes to mute/fast forward past the obstacle. Afterwards he’s stunned and takes a while to come out of it. Poor Jon.

How do we reduce the fear?

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  1. Reid says:

    Easy – rip the DVD with MacTheRipper and remove the offending track (and optionally use HandBrake to resize to fit a single-sided DVD if you don’t have a dual-layer burner or dual-layer blank media).

    These tools allow you to manipulate your purchased movies. It’s called fair use.

    Of course, some people want to pass laws that prevent you from doing things like this.

  2. Peter says:

    I’d consider it, but I think it would be better if I can desensitize Jon to the stimulus, rather than try to alter the world around him.

  3. Tami says:

    Chez PLJ is never boring! Can I come play?
    I would suggest role playing the activity quite a few times first. Make it fun! You can be the THX logo (wear a sign around your neck) and do the accompanying audio. Give Jon the remote. Everytime you turn yourself (or the logo) around and he sees logo and hears sound, tell him to mute you!! This will give Jon a sense of POWER! Be very dramatic about losing your voice -stumbling around, hands over your mouth. Turn yourself or logo away so he can’t see it…then direct Jon, to remove mute so you can get your voice back. Thank him profusely!! You could make this a family experience with laura directing all the action. I’d love top see a video of this experiment! Ha Ha!
    My love to Jon as always!

  4. Peter says:

    Come play? Of course you can come play! In fact…maybe it would be better if you came to play this particular game. I think that Jon really doesn’t trust me on this one. Or at least you could come to coach 😉

  5. Tami says:

    Sounds like fun! Give me a call!

  6. aiabx says:

    What if you handed over the popcorn/ice cream bar/random movie snack 2 seconds before the THX so that he got pleasantly distracted before it hit him? In the ideal world that exists in my head, he’d grow used to it as he was absorbed in pleasant sensations while it ran.

    I am not a child-management professional, however. Accept my advice at your own risk.

  7. Laura says:

    We tend to do that anyway when we watch a movie with him: Fill up a big bowl o’ snacks (popcorn, chips, nachos; preferably all three) and let him at ’em. We’ll have to try it with a movie with a THX ad (he refuses to watch any movie he knows has a THX logo, and so far we haven’t forced the issue.)

    We asked him if it’s the sound or the sight of the ads that bothered him. He said both, so maybe muting it isn’t quite enough.

    As a little kid I was totally creeped out by the old CN ads. At the end of the commercial the screen would go black and the stark white CN logo would silently draw itself onto the screen. For some reason I found it scary and would always hide my face when it came on. Great—I seem to be passing my advertising neuroses to my son!

  8. Laura says:

    Jon happily watched Cars on the weekend after we used scene select to avoid the THX ad. I know it’s not exactly confronting the problem head-on, but now he’s actually looking forward to watching Monsters Inc. for the first time next weekend—so it’ll do for now!

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