Movies for kids. There are a lot of them in modern cinema and on television. These types of films tend to be light-hearted, generally aimed at younger audiences to keep them entertained. The themes would be that of fantasy tales, or the stories would have a good ending where everyone is happy.
However, these films tend to hide something that the younger audiences don’t necessarily notice due to the light-hearted demeanor. There is the underlying theme that will make viewers go, “Ahhh” once they notice it.
In almost every children’s movie, there is a dark theme. A good example is recent cinema would be Toy Story 4 and it’s take on existentialism. These themes are good in these kinds of settings because some people may not necessarily be taken in by what is happening with the movie, but they will be absorbed in their interpretation on the issue and how to handle said issue.
‘Toy Story 4’ wasn’t the first though, there have been many notable films with such heavy themes hovering over them. Coco (2017) tackles the themes of murder and theft for the sake of fame, while also handling family misunderstanding. Inside Out (2015) tackled puberty and multiple personality disorder (MPD).
These themes have a place in the story at all times, as it is one of the key components to propel the characters. It gives them motivation, personality, and adds a dramatic flair when necessary. A good example of this was in Toy Story 3, when they were about to go into the incinerator. The toys had accepted their mortality and were ready to die at that very moment, only holding onto each other as they slowly fell in. These types of scenes will evoke emotion in the viewers, as they end up being entangled with the characters lives.
Removing these from children’s movies would make the films feel a bit more lacking. Certainly, these types of topics are not for children, but they are not the ones who would notice it. The ones who would see these, would be the older audiences who watch with their children. So removing this would only take away, instead of completing something.
Heavy issues like these belong in the kids movies. Not for them, but for the ones who accompany them.