Friday, April 29, 2011

Boys and girls and adults of all ages...

Current mood: Silly
Current song: Weird Al - I Perform This Way

Like any normal child, when I was growing up I loved watching cartoons and disney movies. And like any abnormal adult, I still love doing so today.

Today I finally saw Planet 51, and I greatly enjoyed it! No, I am not a parent. I was not babysitting kids, nor am I a kid myself. I'm 22 years old, and I watched this movie on my own, by choice. On any given night I will watch a horror flick, a mature drama, a medieval war movie, or an animated kid's film.

Is that odd? Is that weird to you? Most people would answer with "yeah, kinda." But why? In my experience, most cartoons and animated movies have plenty in them to keep adults entertained. There are even things included that children themselves can't understand.

Take classic disney movies. Walt Disney must have been a really gloomy guy, because in most of the classic disney movies, someone dies, or at least almost dies. There are a lot of deep emotions in old school disney movies.. mature interpersonal conflicts, too complicated for a child to understand. When I saw Mufasa die as a kid, I remember not feeling much more than a simple "uh oh, his dad is dead." When I see Mufasa die as an adult, I feel like I want to cry (and more often than not, do.) There is always an explicit moral at the end of these movies for kids to learn from, but underneath that, there is a deeper message and understanding that adults applaud.

Now jump ahead to today's kids' movies. The morals are still happily there, but in place of those deep emotional rollercoasters and romantic fairytales, writers have added in comedy. Some of it is that classic comedy for kids to enjoy, but most of it is subtle comedy that only adults would understand and enjoy. When you watch a cartoon with a kid, you both end up laughing. The child will laugh at one part while you stay silent, then you will laugh at another part while they stay silent. The point is, these "kids' movies" are actually aimed at all demographics. Why? Well of course the main reason is so parents can take their kids to the movies and not die through an hour and a half of boredom. But people in the movie business know their stuff. They know there is a late teen/early adult market to be targeted, as well as the elderly who would rather avoid movies with obscene language and ear-shattering fight scenes.

So with that in mind, why don't more adults without children sit down to enjoy a nice cartoon? Do they feel restricted by social acceptance? I think most feel that to watch a cartoon means they then are considered to be more immature. Maybe there are just too many "childish" scenes to deem worthy of a viewing.

If you think those childish scenes are beneath your level of interest, invite a kid over to watch with you! No matter how dumb you think a scene is, if a child laughs at it, it will automatically put a smile on your face. Go on and try it. I dare you.

Don't know any children? Well you're in luck. You can try the all new Lili's Rent-A-Kid! We have boys and girls of all ages. The perfect way to pick up chicks or get an extra exemption from your taxes!

But product placement aside... Along with the normal kid's cartoons, we seem to also be in an era of adult cartoons. No, pervs, not hentai. But tv shows like South Park, Family Guy, and Archer; with violence, suggestive themes and adult language. Humor no child would understand. So "entertainment psychologists" seem to acknowledge the enjoyment people of all ages get from watching an animated show. And since most movies directed at children contain enough adults jokes to keep us entertained, not to mention a gripping moral that people at any age can appreciate and learn from, why is there still a stigma against an adult watching a kid's movie? For children, college students, parents and grandparents, it's socially acceptable. But if a teenager or an adult without children chooses to sit down by themselves and watch an animated movie, it's "abnormal." Hell, even sitting here writing this, the stigma still effects me. That little voice in my head that says "but Lili, it *is* kiiiinda weird...". That's how ingrained social stigmas can become.

But as usual, I'm going to go against the grain, move ahead of the pack, fight the man, be an individual... and go ahead and keep watching one of my favorite genres of films, no matter how old I become. In this society, youth is everything... and watching these movies keeps me young at heart. Hopefully my skin and health will also get onboard.

1 comment:

  1. I'm right there with you...I love Disney and Pixar movies, and Shrek, and......though I must say I'm not fond of any of the Disney movies after, say, Mulan. But before that, right on! And I always cry at Beauty and the Beast when the Beast "dies." Havne't watched Lion King since I was younger, but I imagine I'll cry when Mufasa dies too.