As I've said, I wanted to get back into doing videos. For those of you who cannot watch, the transcript is below:
There is often a discrepancy when it comes to how people receive kids’ movies and television shows. I’ve seen so very often, the first reaction a person has when I suggest an animated movie is to dismiss it. Even roll their eyes.
Why does being animated make it less worth your time? Make it silly?
Why can’t you just watch it as a movie?
What is SO bad about a “kid’s movie?”
Kids’ movies are simply… products designed so that kids can watch them. But what makes a GOOD one has always been, and will always be, the staying power. Not whether kids and only kids go nuts for it, but whether they’ll continue to love it and return to it and get something out of it every time even as they grow older. Because there are elements in there that only get clearer and richer AS you get older.
Some of the best made movies and shows, some of the most powerful and beautifully made works…. Ever... have been kids’ shows…
So often, out of a selection of movies at the theater, the kid friendly family movie ends up being the best one of the choices by a LONG shot.
This doesn’t ALWAYS transfer to shows. But sometimes it does. And when it does, it’s phenominal.
*images: Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Avatar: The Last Airbender*
Avatar the last Airbender was, and still is, one of the most significant and important shows I have ever watched. It helped me understand parts of myself and the world in a way that no other show or work at the time did. I identify so strongly with some of the messages and characters that I get all heart-swelly any time anyone even MENTIONS this show.
These characters helped me figure my shit out. They were characters I saw myself in, saw people I knew in. Characters that I related to so deeply, it was almost unreal. Characters of such variety, all of them complex, that helped me understand the differences in people and experiences and helped me better relate to the people around me.
I can never express how much this show means to me.
And yet, because It’s a cartoon and aired on Nickelodeon… it’s just a kids’ show to so many people.
Kids show doesn’t mean there can’t be some heavy, meaningful, shit. Kids are smart, and good shows understand that. Good shows use that. Good shows poke and knead at the places that are growing and grown in a kid, encouraging them to develop well and… well, grow.
One of the biggest fallacies of thinking in our world is the idea that we’re ever DONE growing up. We’re not. We’re never done, we’re never done learning, and we’re never incapable of further change. So there is always something new to be gotten from stories designed to facilitate that.
Why is it then that you can’t go into a kids movie as just ‘a movie’?
Is it because it’s a cartoon?
You don’t know if something is any good by whether or not it’s a cartoon.
It’s not as if the creators work any LESS hard, the writers put any LESS thought—most of the time—into it, or the actors give any LESS effort… what makes it LESS?
I know people who will act as if my trying to get them to watch an animated movie is like pulling out their toenails, and yet they will still willingly read BOOK series like Artemis Fowl, House of Night, or Percy Jackson. Why is it easier to read a ‘kids’ BOOK’ than it is to watch a kids’ movie?
Think about… Harry Potter. Those were kids’ books. The series grew with its audience, but the audience at the start were largely children closer to the main characters’ ages. Eleven. I think I was seven or eight years old when I first opened Sorceror’s Stone…
‘First American edition, October 1998-‘
I was SIX years old when this book was printed! SIX! I got it either for Christmas or my next birthday, this very book! I was six! CHILDREN’S! Book!
Those movies were made to go with the books, growing as they did with their audience. But even from the very beginning, there were some heavy notes to it that we wouldn’t understand fully until we got older. The violence was kept aside and to the background at first, like it tends seem when you’re at that age and can’t understand it yet. But it is still there. You can still see it. Harry is still abused, still fighting for his life, still trying to make sense of a world that he’s supposed to be a part of but only makes less and LESS sense before it makes more.
It’s almost like it’s an allegory for real life or something…..
Tons of adults watched those movies and loved them. My mom adores them and through the movies found and read and adored the books. The series is brilliantly crafted, treats the readers as intelligent, and is yet another example of a series that helped me develop as a person. Helped me through early parts of my life. I have been living with Harry Potter since I was SEVEN years old. I have read the books countless times-I’m reading them again right now, actually-and got something meaningful and new out of them each time.
But guess what? They’re kids books. The movies were, at the start, kids movies.
So why are they more acceptable for adults to like than say… Big Hero 6? Avatar or Korra?
Because it was live action.
For some reason that automatically makes it worthy of grown up time.
I don’t think my mom would have fallen in love with the series if it had been animated. Not the same way. And that would have been a tragedy. Because it is flipping wonderful.
The marvel movies that keep coming out?
Those are based on comic books… aren’t those ‘kids’ stuffs’ too? Especially at the start? And yet being live action makes it more broad-audience?
Well, guess what, like comic books, live action, and… prose books… that’s just the medium. That’s just the vehicle for the story. It’s not the measure of a story’s worth.
Animated isn’t a genre, it’s a TOOL. It’s a visual choice in how to tell a story.
The story is still what determines whether or not the story is good.
The Lego Movie*image* is much cleverer, much better put together, and much more meaningful and worth returning to than, say… Wild Card*image*. Live action beat-em-up movies are just as childish as Barnyard. And just as accurate.
*screencap of Barnyard with text: "MALE CATTLE DON'T F***ING HAVE UDDERS!"*
Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are both ridiculously more intelligent than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Why are adult movies adult movies? Because they cover heavy shit while spelling it out as Heavy Shit? Because they have nudity? Because they Curse?
In Avatar, there is an entire culture that walks around half-naked all the time—I guarantee you the women don’t cover their titties*Bras are an illustion graphic*—and the finale is framed around a discussion of whether or not Aang should kill a guy to win and end a WAR. The whole show is about a WAR.
That’s a pretty grown up topic, don’tcha think?
So why is it so hard to watch an animated movie for the story? Is the artwork too horrible? Does being artwork that hours of effort and years of thought went into make it less interesting than a live action movie that takes hours of effort and years of thought?
Animated movies are built from nothing. Each character, each idiosyncrasy, each MOVEMENT was done intentionally. And some animated characters feel more real than live action ones do. *Bella, Tris, 50shadeschic, Jason Statham VS. Steven Universe, Hiro, Coraline, and Zuko graphic*
So tell me, please, enlighten me; why does being an animated ‘Kids’ movie’ automatically mean ‘not worth the time’?