I need your opinion on something. Yes, you reaching up to click that X button. DON’T DO IT!! Do you think kids movies are wasted on their target audience? Are they really better for adults? See, here’s the thing…
Name five children you know who liked Fantasia. I couldn’t. No one I knew liked Fantasia as a kid and even I didn’t. But now, I own it and I love it. The sheer genius and uniqueness of that movie is baffling. What other film has been made to rival it (besides the sequel)? What other movie is like Fantasia?
Kids just don’t appreciate…well, anything! As a child, I got rid of Beauty and the Beast because it was a girl movie. Now it’s my favorite Disney film ever. I hated The Hunchback of Notre Dame but now I see the significance. And I know you and I can both think of crappy movies we loved as children.
Children don’t really appreciate art–they can’t. If you ask a kid why they like a movie, they will say, “Because it’s fun” or “Because it’s cool” or the ever-popular “I don’t know.” They like things because they amuse them. It’s a face-value assessment.
Adults, on the other hand, who have had more life experiences, schooling, and brain development, can appreciate things like color and shading, acting quality, song lyrics, camerawork, witty banter, and best of all, subtlety. I like The Lion King not for cute characters or colorful worlds (though they help), I like the majesty of Simba’s rise to the throne. I like The Fox and the Hound for its agonizingly realistic message that things change and that’s okay. And I love Fantasia for its ability to put pictures to music. Adults can comprehend art better than children.
And yet…adults don’t seem to appreciate kids’ movies either. How many grown-ups go to kids movies without kids? Okay, this is the internet, so probably all of you, but out in the real world, go ask somebody and they’ll look at you like you’re a pedophile. Adulthood seems to segregate childhood things without realizing there is some value for them, too.
Disney movies, for the most part, are well-made movies. So what if they’re cartoons? Heck, even cartoons have value. The Looney Tunes are still funny. Anime is rich and exciting. And Avatar the Last Airbender is one of the most superb TV shows of all time. Sadly, too many adults shove it under the rug as “kids’ stuff.”
Shoot, how many adults appreciate art in their own movies?! Transformers still makes money!
Plus, some kids really do see something valuable in their films even if they don’t understand it. How many times did you stare at a film and know something amazing was happening even if you didn’t know why? As a child, I held on to the dance scene from Beauty and the Beast, the stampede scene from Lion King, and many songs from several Disney movies. Maybe something is clicking after all?
What do you think? Can children really appreciate art? Do adults? What movie moments stood out to you as a child?