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Cartoon kids films, and the genius that goes into them

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posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 11:38 AM
This could contain spoilers... But, y'know... About kids films...

I'm of the age where cartoon films have always been a part of my life. This means that, even as an 'adult' I end up watching the kids films they put on of a weekend, and will go to see new ones when they come out in the cinema. Frankly, chances are, I'd rather watch these than live action (with the exception of the Night at the Museum films, coz they are just BRILLIANT), and the animation these days are absolutely brilliant as well.

When I was a kids, we had all the old classics Disney classics like Lion King (1 and 2, 3 wasn't particularly good), Bambi etc joined together with the Scooby Doo cartoon films, Rugrats, etc. I was also pretty little when Toy Story came out and can remember going to see the first two in the cinema, and actually we got so excited about the third coming out last year that we arranged our trip to see it in advance. It was brilliant. I cried.

There are also things like Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, which I adore, and had to recently purchase on DVD, because my VHS doesn't work any more, so I have all of these films I loved sitting around with no one to watch them.

But there are two modern(ish) films that stick out for me, really. They both have multiple films to their names, and at releases of 2001 and 2002 it's safe to say that I was young enough to safely enjoy the first films without my mother taking the mick out of me. Which she does on a regular basis. Although she never turns the kids films off...

Lets start with Shrek. I absolutely love Shrek. To the point that I must've seen the first 2 films on TV every time they've been on. I will not pass up an opportunity to watch Shrek. It's funny for everyone, I think (well, my dad laughs, and my mam even cracks a smile!) and there's just something about the fairy-tale characters that we all know and love from being a kid all being in one place and interacting with each other. Even the third one, which everyone agrees wasn't that good, sort of is made up for with the fourth, which was absolutely brilliant (and is something else I went to see at the cinema last year. 3D and everything. My childhood self would have been even more awestruck than I was. I think. Maybe not, actually.) In fact, I watched the fourth again this morning (I'm ill) and had forgotten how good it actually was.
I love Donkey (anyone who listens to the shows may have picked up on the fact that I generally love donkey's as a given, so a talking one that makes me laugh is like, brilliant) too, and that sense of humour, and, I dunno, there's something about silly little adventure 'I-need-to-save-someone' storylines that you just can't go wrong with.
And Fiona is pretty cool as well, really, isn't she? I like how she's an ogre, but would rather be the ogre than the princess because she's in love with Shrek, and true love is what matters and not looks. That's more of a message than a lot of live action kids films these days give out. And I like that. We need better messages to kids. Or maybe I'm just looking too far into that.
I love Shrek, anyway.

But something I love, potentially even more (and not just because of the addition of dinosaurs and Simon Pegg in the third) is Ice Age.
Ice Age is full of cute animals being friends even though it's completely scientifically inaccurate (my mother loves pointing that out, because I do on other films. Point is, it doesn't matter with cartoons), getting into fiasco and adventures. There isn't a character in there that you couldn't love (although the storyline being broken up by Scratt all the time gets on my wick, the kids seem to love it, and I remember laughing my head off at him when I was little), even the late entries of Ellie, Crash and Eddie (sad that I know all the names, right?) - and usually I don't like characters that join in the later films.
Truth be told, when baby Ellie was walking through the snow on her own, I had to hold back the lump in my throat...

Anyway, yeah, the third film. I bought it yesterday, and watched it last night (Again, I'm ill. I reserve the right to sit down watching cartoons all day) and it is fantastic. The storyline is bizarre, Buck is insane (but I love him. I really do. I have an affinity for mental characters. It's enhanced if they're Pegg), but it follows a rather ATS veiw of another world being beneath us, doesn't it? Maybe there are dinosaurs!
(Okay, probably not, but whatever) It's completely not a let down, and not many films make 3 in a row that are very good, and once again it's filled with kinda nice messages about friendship and overcoming problems with friendship, and strong female characters and sensitive male characters, pretty funny lines for kids and adults, and some mild innuendo, and generally gives the kind of message I'd like my imaginary kids to follow. Plus it has dinosaurs. Come on. You can't knock it.

Finally, if you've actually followed the ramblings of this idiot his far: the music. The soundtrack for these things are usually fantastic and I own quite a few of them. I'm cool. Film music is always very emotionally provoking, but nothing manages to touch me quite like that little tune where Ellie welcomes Peaches to the ice age, y'know what I mean?

So they're cute, contain scenes of threat, mild comic violence and innuendo, but are suitable for all. And I love them.

What does ATS think?
What are your favourite cartoon films of all time, and why?

Thanks for reading if you did!

edit on 14/6/2011 by Ayana because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 11:55 AM
You should totally watch WALL-E .

Also I enjoy the Japanese films such as Princess Mononoke from Studio Ghibli . And I just watched Howl's Moving Castle on TV and now I'm feeling so happy

I really love such well thought out cartoons. They keep the child within and I'm only 19

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:01 PM
reply to post by doomy

+1 for anything from Studio Ghibli

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:13 PM
reply to post by doomy

I've never actually seen Wall-E. It was on TV not long ago and I missed it, I was a bit gutted when I found out.

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:18 PM
reply to post by GhettoRice

+1 for anything from Studio Ghibli

Second that. Myazaki and Ghibli are who Pixar turns to when they need inspiration. Brilliant! Howl's or Spirited Away are probably my favorites, but the entire catalog is great.

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:28 PM
Ghibli Studio's are indeed awesome.

But for best anime/comic I have to vote on Ghost in the shell : stand alone complex

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:38 PM
reply to post by Ayana

So they're cute, contain scenes of threat, mild comic violence and innuendo, but are suitable for all. And I love them.

Watch Disney's Tarzan, and then do a body count. Not only that, but the sheer variety of murder (clawed by animals, gunshot, stabbing, hanging, etc.) may keep it out of the "mild" violence category, hehe...

Seriously though, there are some definite trends in these movies.

Cast of varied characters (helps each kid find someone to identify with)

Catchy songs (engineered to become kid favorites)

Bright, vivid colors (to catch the eye and keep interest)

Lots of jumpy action (again, to keep interest)

Inside jokes (for the adults, that are also geared to fly over the heads of the target audience)

Pop-culture references (and from many decades, again to widen appeal)

Mass Marketing (bombarding the media with ads)

Merchandising (toy-friendly characters, that make good toys, or even are already toys, like in Toy Story)

Sequels (to milk a hot property)

While I love the old classics, I'm betting most of them wouldn't capture today's kids. Pretty much anything before Aladdin and Lion King would be considered "boring" by today's youth.

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 12:46 PM
reply to post by Gazrok

Yeah, I agree. It's the computer generation, isn't it? I'm sure my cousin once described Jungle Book as boring, and I loved that film. Read the book and everything. But they are generated for marketing. I saw pictures of some of the Ice Age beanie babies and fell in love with them. They're way too cute.

But still. I think I'd rather have my made-up child watching something like Shrek or Ice Age than getting obsessed with High School Musical or whatever. A cartoon mammoth is a much better role model...

posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:17 PM
Watch The Prince Of Egypt (1998). You don't even have to be religious to enjoy it. It's by far the most beautiful and artistic childrens movie that I have ever seen.

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