Animated Films are for All

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Brianna Wilson
  Staff Writer

Animated films are popular among kids all over the world. For the beginning of life, animated films are a staple. One of my favorites as a child was ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service.’ It was about a young witch going out on her own, becoming independent, and believing in herself. That is some inspirational stuff, but is it inspirational for just kids?

A couple years ago, I was 19, and ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ came out. I was dying to see it, so my mom took me when I was home on a weekend. As we were sitting in the movie theater waiting for it to start, she said, “Look, Brianna, at all the other parents here with their kids.”

This was her way of poking fun because I was a 19 year old with her mom while all the other kids were between 2 and 5. My mom obviously intended this as a joke and didn’t mind at all going with me to see this movie, but there were other people who would have looked at me funny for sitting in that theater, because “it’s a kid’s movie.”

The all too pervasive judgment of adults who watch animated films is obvious when we remember how the 90’s kids acted when ‘Finding Dory’ was coming out. There were posts going around social media sites about how everyone better accept that if they were going to see it, there would be a bunch of teenagers and young adults there.

If the movie had been a new Nicholas Sparks or a Marvel movie, nobody would have batted an eye. Why do we feel the need, as young adults, to justify going to see an animated movie?

I recently watched ‘Inside Out’ for the first time. I know I am way too late to the party, but I have to say it was an incredible experience. Possible spoiler alert: I cried when poor Bing Bong sacrificed himself so that Riley could have happiness again. I was so touched when Joy realized that Riley needed sadness to find happiness. I felt so happy when Joy and Sadness realized that not all feelings are either one feeling or the other, but often a mixture of different feelings.

It confirmed the fact that it is okay to be blue, down in the dumps, and simply forlorn. That is a very serious message that most kids probably don’t fully understand or appreciate during their first viewing of the movie, so what is wrong with letting teenagers and young adults get that message when so many desperately need to hear it?

‘Mulan’ gives a message to young girls that they can do anything a man can, while including some pretty amazing music. When I was young, I tried to cut my own hair. When asked  why I did it, I said I wanted to be like Mulan.

While that isn’t the best example of a positive influence, it was still pretty powerful that I wanted to be strong like her. Today, when I watch it, I still want to be like Mulan. I want to have strength and perseverance for the people I love the way she did. I am just as inspired now as I was then, even though I won’t cut my hair to be like her.

The most underrated animated movie of all time, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, was one of my favorites as a kid. It made me understand how animals should be treated and how to show compassion. As an adult, I realized all the historical significance of the film that I never appreciated as a child. I was also able to notice a lot of minor themes about family, love, trust, and sacrifice.

As a child, I never truly appreciated all the film had to offer. It is still one of my favorite animated movies to this day.

‘Zootopia’, another truly awesome movie, is about the need to accept and respect others and their differences. To children, it is about being kind to everyone and not judging a book by its cover. To adults, it is a commentary on racism and overcoming your circumstances. Young children are not entirely capable of appreciating all the social commentary underpinning this film’s plot.

With all of these incredible movies, and their intense messages – often too complex for children to fully understand or appreciate, why would we bar the way for adults to watch these movies?

It would be a disservice to the films for anyone to judge and the adults who watch them. By accepting that adults do watch these movies, films get a lot more appreciation and positive attention, including all the thought and effort that went into creating the movie. By opening these movies up to everyone, it allows all people to receive a positive message, regardless of their age.

I usually like watching animated movies more than the adult films that are available to me. People of all ages can gain something from animated movies, so we should stop judging adults for watching them. My advice: go out, pick up an animated movie, and enjoy every minute of it.


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