So, I realize in retrospect that I'm probably warping my children's sense of humor. It really is my fault that they sometimes giggle when the hero is eaten by the monster.
Looking back, I know it started when my oldest was 2 1/2. It was an average bath time. You know the drill-- child in tub full of water with toys. On this particular evening, those toys consisted of 1) the "hot water warning" floating octopus toy, 2) stacking cups, and 3) 6 rainbow colored stacking boats.
We'd already washed him, and were playing with the boats. I was pretending and talking like I was the crew on the purple ship I was pushing around, "Ay Cap'n! Where be we headin'?" (in a different voice) "Why, we're off to seek our fortunes past the great barrier reef!".... it was at this point that the fateful moment occurred: the octopus floated towards my boat.
So I grabbed a hold of that octopus and the voices became those of sailors in fear, "Ahhhh! Cap'n! There be a giant sea monster off the port bow!" "Abandon ship! Abandon ship!" "Every man for 'imself!"....followed by munching sounds as I used the octopus to push the boat under the water. My boy's eyes were HUGE as he watched, enrapt. As I tilted the octopus and allowed the boat to float back to the surface, I finished the adventure with a loud false, "BBUURRRPPP!!" To which my boy giggled and clapped.
We spent the next half hour going over the colors of the boats as the sea monster ate them-- and counting how many sailors it consumed....