I make no point in hiding that I am very hard to win over when it comes to CG
movies, but I realised recently that it's not necessarily the lack of handmade
quality in new animation that is the root of my problem...my problem,
is that animation has gone from "animated films" to "cartoon movies for
Let's take a look at probably the best known example of the latter category, shall
, in addition to lazy writing, cheap modelling and uninspired songs was
the first Disney movie where a princess...let's say that again, a PRINCESS, made a
And it lost me right there. Disney and its competitors (save for Dreamworks, for the
most part, which has really been impressing me lately) have begun to rely more on
"ooh aah" special effects and outrageously stupid dialogue to entertain the 3 year
olds in their audiences, ignoring the fact that those of us who grew up during the
Disney Renaissance still love animation and are well into our twenties.
Let's be honest with ourselves. Animation when we were growing up was terrifying.
And it SHOULD be. If we go back to animation's roots, with Bugs Bunny and even Snow White
, the creators were not only showing off what they could do in a smart
way but also in a way that was not entirely family friendly...
And I notice this change starting a bit in the 90s, where hybrid movies like Casper
which are not spared the stupid humour or characters of pure comic relief, still have
enough story-driven character development, heart and that little dash of horror to
make them just good movies.
Remember movies like Hunchback of Notre Dame
? Secret of NIMH
? I'm trying not to go too far back, but take a look at classic Disney. Pinocchio
is one of my favourite examples. All of these movies are rated G. Do you remember the last
movie that was rated G? Neither do I. Hell, look at shows like Invader Zim and Courage the Cowardly Dog, which were so brilliantly dark and still rated Y-7.
What do kids have now instead? Adventure Time.
I love that show, I really do, but what's it rated? TV-PG. And it's about a boy and his dog and talking candy...so yea.
My point is that we've been
over-run with undeserved PG ratings, so when a movie that actually may deserve to be PG, like Rise of the Guardians
, which I adore, it gets attacked for being "too scary"...and it's not half as dark as the stuff we grew up with. And I know as a horror fan I'm a little biased, but I don't think animated movies should be as overprotective as they've, for the most part, become. I can remember bits of Disney movies, Disney channel shows or Goosebumps
movies that, while all made for family/kids, scared the living crap out of me when I was little. And think it's important that kid's programs have some of that.
And while a bit off topic, even the live action shows I grew up with like Full House
and Boy Meets World
had their fun, but really dealt with some very serious things. Things kids NEED to know about, and things that as a family should be discussed. That's GONE in kid's programming nowadays...and it's a shame.
I'm not sure what happened, but there was a flip. And as far as animation goes I do blame CGI, making it easier to create flashy cartoons is making creators, probably most of all writers, lazy. But for "family" stuff as a whole, society got so butt-hurt and offended over every little thing that movie makers put into the true family movies to add a little spice or actual real-world topics, that now a family movie is an obnoxious, poop-joke filled monstrosity that calls said poop-jokes and poorly camouflaged innuendo "adult humour", intended to make parents enjoy the movie (and I hate to say it, but I almost have to blame my beloved Lion King
for that a little bit...Timon and Pumbaa paved the way for all the cringe inducing sidekicks who came after them).
....And that is right false. A family movie is meant to be a movie for the whole family, and animation is becoming less and less with each passing year even tolerable to watch if you're over twelve, and that's a damn shame. It seems like as cartoons are getting more common they're also getting more bland and more obnoxious, depriving entire generations of beautiful, artful movies and supplying us instead with increasingly obnoxious little kids.
Has anyone else noticed this? That kids are becoming more and more obnoxious? I can't help but point to the "comic relief" (which are unnecessary anyway when cartoons are ALL comedy, but that's a rant for another day) characters who are written to be as annoying as possible...and being little kids, naturally they soak it all up and try to imitate, making them, in turn, as annoying as possible.
I'm not sure what needs to be done to give animation and family programming in general back its backbone, but something needs to be done...because I don't know about you people, but I am truly and literally afraid for the future generations and the future of animation if it continues on its current path.