When I was younger, I used to watch movies all the time, arguably more than I watch now. Something I’ve been doing recently is going back and watching all of my favorites. Many of them held up over the years and some of them didn’t, but something I realized while watching these movies is that kids movies today can’t even hold a candle to the kids movies that were made ten to twenty years ago. They don’t address important topics or themes, they feel like they are made just to sell toys. It’s unfortunate because I learned a lot of important lessons from movies and T.V. shows when I was younger.
My Favorite Kids Movies
When I was growing up, some of my favorite things to watch were Avatar the Last Airbender and The Iron Giant. Avatar covered topics like death, nonviolence, sacrifice, relationships, and even veganism. The Iron Giant covered sacrifice and nonviolence as well, but the important thing is these movies and shows are still great today, they don’t shy away from dark topics, they don’t beat around the bush, and if you go back and watch either of these, they’re amazing stories in their own right.
As much as we don’t want to expose kids to dark things, it has to happen at some point. I might argue that it’s best for them to get exposed to that through their favorite show or movie. They might listen more to a character they like than their own parents; that’s definitely how I was. I modeled myself after the characters I looked up to. I even learned how to use sarcasm from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. It’s a shame kids today won’t have the same experience. I think the key thing kids shows and movies lack today is depth, there’s no meaning behind the story and there’s no subtext to be found.
New Kids Movies
Newer movies for kids really don’t have much to offer other than toys. They seem hollow and lifeless. There are the occasional gems like How to Train Your Dragon and most Disney movies. Other than that they really don’t teach kids anything. They all follow the same formula, design the main character to be relatable, design a cute animal/creature to be the main characters friend, get an up and coming musician to do a single for the movie, and when it’s all done sell toys.
That’s every kids movie today. They’re all easily forgettable because there is no passion behind them. I feel truly blessed to have grown up on movies where the director clearly loved what they were doing. They took it seriously and wanted to teach kids. Kids now have shallow movies made by people who just want money. That may sound like the cliche answer but I have a feeling it’s the truth. I haven’t seen many kids movies that feel like they were made with any other intention.
Bring Back Positivity
I wish this could have been a more positive post, but unfortunately, I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. It’s not just happening to movies and shows either, it’s everywhere. Everything is becoming watered down, lifeless, and stupid. Companies are pandering to the children’s market because it will always make money. I hope this trend reaches its breaking point soon because kids need better idols to look up to. Whether it’s the characters in the movie or the people actually making those movies, because in the current state we’re in, no matter where you look the only thing you’re supposed to care about is money.