Are Animated Movies Just for Kids?
There will always be some people who are ‘too cool for school’ who tell you animated movies are just for kids, but there has been a string of animated movies lately that appeal to adults too. Is it that we want to be young at heart? Or is it something more than that?
The first time you watch Frozen it is an amazing experience. From the fun of the trolls to the dazzling ice castle, to the jokes at Olaf’s expense, it drags you in to really care about the characters and enjoy the story. The fiftieth rendition of ‘Let it Go’ can become a little grating, but Disney clearly had an eye on both adult and child audiences when they put the film together.
There’s definitely an innocent joy to kids' movies, but it’s also more than that. The masters at Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks seem to have the formula worked out – loveable characters, a storyline that touches the heart, and a good dose of fun – that will resound with audiences, young and old.
If you look back to the irreverence (and fart jokes) of Shrek in 2001 you can see the wheels turning. Kids' movies needed to draw in their parents too. When you’re time-poor, and have at-home viewing options, why would you spend 90 minutes in a cinema if you weren’t going to enjoy it too?
The Nightmare Before Christmas back in 1993 also did this – proving that Tim Burton is a master before his time! The quirky humour appeals to adults, while the story, songs, and animation are loved by children.
If we look to TV examples, our friends at South Park have shown that not all animation is meant for kids! That being said, even kids' TV shows, where parents can pop it on and walk away, can draw us in. Bluey has been a huge hit with kids and parents (and grandparents, aunts & uncles!) alike.
Using animation (or adding computer-generated elements) allows filmmakers to give you fantastical elements, from a dancing snowman and talking animals to fantastical beasts and battles between superhuman heroes. Crossover works, like the 2007 TMNT movie, which adds computer-generated turtles to a live-action film (much like the Lord of the Rings movies did with Gollum) show that all audiences are wanting something out of the ordinary to grace their movie screens. Indeed, the success of recent Marvel films shows how much an adult audience loves the extraordinary feats cinema can now achieve.
So, what about the current batch of animated movies? With the latest animated offerings Minions: The Rise of Gru and the Toy Story film Lightyear (both out in June 2022), we’re welcomed back to the cinema with old favourites we can trust to give the heartstrings a tug and put a smile on our faces. The upcoming film DC League of Super-Pets is hitting cinemas in September and if the trailers are anything to go by, both kids and parents are in for a treat!
After the last few years, who doesn’t want to escape to a world with a happily ever after ending?