Is Animation for children only? – 1

Cadbury WorldA good day to everyone! Finally back from a couple weeks vacation in England! … Finally, huh? That makes me sound like I desperately wanting to come back. All the Optic Fiber in this world wouldn’t make it so. I miss those green hills, I miss my buddies, I miss cider! If someone could spare some Stoke Red, please send it to Italy!

Anyway, returning to the matter at hand today, I thought about a discussion that I haven’t had in a long time, but never fails to ruffle my imaginary feathers. Is watching animation past a certain age immature? If you ask someone who doesn’t know cartoons -especially in a country like mine, where they consider everything animated a children product-, they would answer yes.

Who wants to be the first to tell these people how wrong they are?

Peter PanIf you know cartoons like me, and especially if you’ve been born between 1985 and 2000, you can grasp how stupid such a statement sounds to my ears. But we must ask ourselves, why do certain people believe this? Look no further than Uncle Walt. Or better, the misguided vision the general populace has of Disney.

I’ve grown up watching Disney Movies and Animated Shows and there’s no doubt that the outer layer, all the colorful characters and situations -I think Disney has copyright over the sentence magical journey-, are carefully studied and aimed to be marketed for children. But I guess the guys at Disney understood that children can’t drive a car to the movies and as such, they decided to make their products, although marketed to children, enjoyable for the whole family. Hell, if you think about it, most of those required the parents and/or older siblings to be there.

A lot of themes in Disney Movies are very mature, and can even be traumatizing for a young audience. Bambi and The Lion King deal with the death of a parent, and its aftermath. I watched the latter on VHS, but I bet that there was a general round of wailing in theaters at Mufasa’s death, if only for Simba’s lines and the tone of desperate plead in his voce. For something lighter, especially in more recent movies like The Incredibles there’s a lot of humor that can only be enjoyed by adults, like the scene right above.

Wreck It RalphAnd then there are the movies that they made specifically with adults in mind, like Toy Story 3 and Wreck It Ralph. You won’t ever, ever convince me that those two movies were made with children being their primary target audience. Wreck It Ralph has a lot of references, themes, situations -the very premise of arcades still being a widespread source of entertainment- that you can only get if you grew up through them. Children of today who went to see that movie will never be able to recognize all the cameos.

But the most blatant example is Toy Story 3. It’s a story enjoyable by children, yes, but there’s the fact that it’s the second sequel to a movie that came out in 1995! That’s eighteen years ago! Disney didn’t make this for children, they made this for the grown ups who were children when the first movie came out.

Toy Story 3I went to see Toy Story 3 in theaters when it first came out, and most of the viewers were people my age. There very few children, and they were the only ones not crying at the end of the movie. The powerful emotions kindled most particularly by that ending sequence were the most effective on those who had gone to see the first two movies, people who were mathematically adults by the time the third movie’s release, and the guys at Disney Studios couldn’t not know that! They put their best efforts to make it a good movie for everyone but there’s no mistake that they thought of adults first, when they decided to make Toy Story 3.

But enough about Disney -also because my eyes are getting moist-. Why don’t we now take a trip on the other side of the road, to the big WB?

About Meinos Kaen

Meinos Kaen is the secret author identity of one Simone Simeone, born and raised in Italy since anno domini 1988. You’ll never find a person with a harder accent to pin to a precise geographical location, be it Italian or English he’s speaking. God help us all if he ever manages to actually learn Japanese.
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2 Responses to Is Animation for children only? – 1

  1. The Man with No Name says:

    I love your articles and your fanfiction suggestions, though I still miss the old site.
    But enough of that, this is clearly going to be yet another wonderful series of articles.

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