I've always hated modern kids movies (from early nineties on and some of the 80s). I've been struggling with the reasons WHY I hate these movies and I've finally figured out some of the reasons. One: They beat lessons to death. In older movies and shows when kids learned lessons it was a lot more subtle and not nearly as obvious. It just feels like a big scolding and its annoying to listen to. Two: movies are so much more fast paced then they used to be. There are way too many screen changes and things are too hectic for kids to process correctly. 3. They use cheap gags and humor to get kids hooked. 4. Movies used to be works of art. Now they are drawn very cheaply with no attention to detail. 5. Computer animation! Need I say more? Why are all kid movies made with computers nowadays! We need more variety. 6. The music is repetitve and annoying and no longer works of art. 7. The merchandise that goes along with all the new movies. I am sick of being bombarded with pixar crap on everything in the store. Do you agree/disagree?
my beef with modern kid movies
All the new strategies of movie/show making has happened after intense research was done on the study of how children watch and understand the screen and what holds their attention.
One: They beat lessons to death.
Repeat in simple direct style is what research has discovered works for kids.
Two: movies are so much more fast paced then they used to be. There are way too many screen changes and things are too hectic for kids to process correctly.
during the time of slow movies - if the objects remained on teh screen too long, the children's eyes wandered and soon lost interest.
3. They use cheap gags and humor to get kids hooked.
they found simple slapstick was easier for children to understand. i am not sure i agree about getting children hooked. they were making it for children to get interested in. i see no problem with that. why should children not be hooked to movies, or toys or anything.
4. Movies used to be works of art. Now they are drawn very cheaply with no attention to detail.
this is v. subjective. the no attention to detail happened because while studying children's eye movements they found if they had v. detailed screens with too many things in it, children lost interest. however you say cheap. cheap as in money wise or cheap as in cheap looking? money wise computer is certainly not cheap.
5. Computer animation! Need I say more? Why are all kid movies made with computers nowadays! We need more variety.
i think we DO have variety. claymation. etc. i see nothing wrong with computer animation. it is moving with the times. even with computer animation there is a lot of work done by hand that computers cant do.
i think computers could do as much as previous hand painted ones could, but because of the new research they have changed the style of art.
6. The music is repetitve and annoying and no longer works of art.
again they found simple repeatition is what the kids enjoyed. something like fantasia was not interesting to kids and many kids find the changing of notes painful to their ears and too much to take in. for many the sudden changing of notes was too scary.
7. The merchandise that goes along with all the new movies. I am sick of being bombarded with pixar crap on everything in the store. Do you agree/disagree?
absolutely hate the merchandise. hate that buying thing. however everything nowadays is about money and profit. so i kinda dont blame them. however it does not mean that me as the consumer has to buy everything. however i do have to admit i enjoy some of the merchandise myself.
My son has loved films since he was about 3. (He's 7 now) I've always shown him a mix of older films and newer ones. We both sometimes enjoy the slower simpler pace that seems to be more common in the older films but we can also both appreciate a fast paced action film too. We also both love anime. I enjoy having a choice.
I do get tired of the neverending stream of CGI kids' films and wish there was a bit more variety in the cinema as we both love cinema.
As for films being too fast/frightening etc. I think you just have to know your own child. My son has always liked a bit of the 'dark and disturbing'. He was the 4 year old who enjoyed Coraline and Lemony Snicket. He sees fear as a challenge he enjoys conquering and finds it exciting too, which I can relate to as a fan of horror movies and rollercoasters in my youth! He also enjoys fantasy violence in films to a greater degree than I do and sometimes it is him reassuring me that it's only pretend! I was horrified by the non-stop violence fest that was 'Avengers' and came out of the cinema complaining. he came out grinning! I try to be accepting of the fact that he is a different person to me and just because I find something distasteful or disturbing doesn't mean that he does! I let him watch most 12A rated films at the age of 7 but rarely above that rating.
I think there have been some really wonderful kids movies made in the last several years. Some that come to mind are My Neighbor Totoro, Up, and the most recent Winnie the Pooh.
I don't really get the anti-computer animation stance. Yes, the hand drawn cartoons are amazing works of art, but to me complaining about computer animation is sort of like lamenting the automobile because horse-drawn carriages were more aesthetically pleasing. Technology advances, it just does. They made animated films by hand back then because that was the technology available to them. Don't get me wrong, I love wandering through the animation studios at California Adventure and admiring the original animation cells and marveling at the hours of labor involved in producing one of those films, but then again I watched the making of Coraline (another really good modern animated feature, although too dark for my kids to watch yet) and was equally astounded at the time, creativity, and skill it took to create that movie, which used stop-motion animation (so time intensive!!). Modern animators are just as passionate about what they do as the artists of yesteryear, their medium is just different.
I can totally get on board with disliking the massive amount of character merchandise associated with animated films.
Edited by limabean - 9/26/12 at 3:51pm
Edited by limabean - 9/27/12 at 12:18pm
My neighbor Totoro is a favorite in our house. Miyazaki has made other ones that are worth checking out, too. We also love Ponyo. I like them because they aren't flashy, fast, or sexist and are genuinely beautiful to watch.
I think some of the Pixar films are decent but the sex roles can be a little messed up.
I'm not a huge fan of "kid's movies" either - and fortunately I have a child whose tastes are a little atypical for a 6-year-old - dark, like a PP said, and she also shows a preference for movies with more character-based stories than flashy action flicks. One movie she watched recently and really liked was Hugo - which uses a lot of computer animation, but is also a work of art - it's gorgeous. She also liked all the Miyazaki films, and alllll the Harry Potter movies (we just finished watching those). They're quite moody and intense, but they don't suffer from the same frenetic scene changes and the lessons, while unsubtle for adults, are a little less bash-you-over-the-head than many kids movies. Once in a while she'll make dubious choices at the video store like those silly movies with the golden retriever puppies (we watched one where they went into space?) but while she'll generally watch them, she won't be super-impressed except when the puppies do really cute things. She's 6, even 6-year-olds with good taste are suckers for cute puppies.
Some ideas for old-school movies - the Pippi Longstocking movies from the early 80s, Born Free, nature docs (DD loooves those) like Blue Planet...