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Normal families in kid's movies....non-existent?

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posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 11:03 PM
Apologies in advance if this has already been discussed recently, but I've noticed something in kid's movies, or family-type movies. To me, a typical family would consist of a dad, mom, and kid(s), insofar as being the most commonly identified definition of a family. And yet the 'nuclear' family is becoming more and more rare in films. I keep seeing kids in movies with only one parent, or orphaned, or with parents who are divorced. I understand that the divorce rate is extremely high here (the U.S.) but still, movies are supposed to be fiction, especially animated movies, so why is there such a lack of typical, happy families on the screen?

Here's some examples, just in the movies I own.....

1. The Lion King: Simba is orphaned at a young age. To top it off, his dad's own brother killed him.

2. Beauty and the Beast: Belle is raised solely by her father.

3. The Little Mermaid: Ariel is raised by her father.

4. Aladdin: I think Aladdin has a father in one of the later movies...again, Princess Jasmine is raised solely by her father.

5. Casper: Kat is raised solely by her father...her mom died.

6. Mulan: Mulan is raised by her father.

7. Ice Age: Sid the sloth was abandoned by his own family.

8. Enchanted: The male lead is a single dad raising his daughter alone.

9. Tarzan: Tarzan is orphaned after his parents are killed. Jane is raised by her father.

10. Nacho Libre: The main character played by Jack Black was orphaned at a young age.

11. Toy Story: The main kid Andy's mom is in the picture, but dad is non-existent.

There's more but I wont keep on with the animated movies. Even movies that I've watched in the past couple of weeks follow the same pattern:

"Knowing": the two lead characters are a widowed father raising a young son and a single mother raising a daughter by herself. Not sure if she's a widow too, or what.

"Signs": The main character is a widower raising his two young children with the help of his brother.

"Star Trek": One of the main characters loses his father, and another loses his mother.

So, what do you think? Have you noticed this increasingly in movies lately? Or am I just overreacting? Let's put it this way, in the animated movie 'Robots', the main robot has a loving mother and father. That was the last loving, normal family I've seen in a looooong time in an animated movie. What gives?

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 11:27 PM
I don't know about any increase....

I can think of alot of older movies that fit the specifications you offer.

The Wizard Of Oz
(Doroty lives with Grandparents)

The Little Princess
(Shirley temples character has a dad but mom is a matter of fact alot of her movies had that family style...)

The Day The Earth Stood Still (the original)
(The boy in the movie lives with his mom in some boarding house)

Paper Moon
(Mom is dead..father is a con artist gone for the first 9 years of her life...she becomes a con artist with him)

Bad News bears
(The girl pitcher has a mom..but dad is out of the picture)

Those are just a few older movies off the top of my head...

In other words through out hollywood history there have been all kinds of movies that had the non stereotypical family...

Perhaps it just seems to be a new thing because you have not seen very many older movies?

You know, stereotypical families are just that...stereotypes.. Your generic family with a mom dad and a son and daughter are not what most families are like... I for example have divorced parents. ( Boy were we a disfuntional family) I lived with my mom from 7 to 14 than moved in with my dad after that...

Our own president had a non stereo typical family growing up....But that is a whole other story...

the fact is that the non stereotypical families you point out are more like the real thing than mom dad sister and brother... If there is an increase perhaps it is because now that things are more open than they used to be it is ok to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a perfect family?

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 07:30 AM

Originally posted by gimme_some_truth

The Day The Earth Stood Still (the original)
(The boy in the movie lives with his mom in some boarding house)

Paper Moon
(Mom is dead..father is a con artist gone for the first 9 years of her life...she becomes a con artist with him)

Paper Moon and the original day the earth stood still were two of the greatest movies i've ever seen. not like the # they brought my generation up on, mindless dribble and reality tv, it makes me sick.

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by Replikant

i believe they show the more dysfunctional family because that is the MAJORITY in the US. roughly 3/4 of marriages end in divorce, and the movies help children feel like they are not alone.

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 07:56 AM
Actually, it is called the Hero tale, and it is the basic formula used over and over for movies and books.

YOu feel more for the character if they don't have parents. Hence the reason Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Eragon, The Hobbit, and countless others.
(Sorry, but I thought Harry Potter was a direct ripoff of star wars).

It is dissappointing in some ways, but the formula seems to work and has since Odysseus.

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 07:59 AM
Well if you ask me both Harry Potter and Star Wars are absolute garbage.

Both extremely corny and ridiculous. Now if you'll excuse me i have an appointment with big bad Bruce.

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 08:01 AM
First things first...the US divorce rate is near 43% not 3/4

Movies with a nuclear family

The Incredibles
Christmas Story
Addams Family
Back to the Future
Bicentennial Man
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Dr Doolittle

That's just the first few letters of the alphabet too

Just a thought though...there are plenty of films still out there if that is what people want to instill to their kids but I like alot of those films...realistic...not every family (not even the still married ones) are in decent shape these days and this divorce rate is nothing new


posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 08:15 AM

Originally posted by KyoZero
First things first...the US divorce rate is near 43% not 3/4

"The marriage rate in 2005 (per 1,000) was 70.5%, down from 70.8 %the previous year"

posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 12:36 AM
I thought this was true for a time too. but i had another idea.. i think people "feel" more about a character if he/she does not have a "perfect" family and people will like the movie better because the audience will sort of "feel bad" for the characters

Just a hypothesis though.

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