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Despite the many ethnical and cultural differences in various countries of the world, many things unite us. You could point to sports, or other international entertainment domains, such as innovative online casino Canada, which is expanding their betting options globally and providing high-stake, fun games. Such activities appeal to everyone, regardless of their locality or interests, therefore, it’s reasonable to say that digital entertainment unites all through its attractive features, innovative gameplays, and immersive experiences.
A thing that almost universally would come up though, is art. Over the many century long history, it has seen a plethora of forms, transcending barriers and bringing people to awe. The many paintings, architecture, and music that were created back then, are immortalized in the history books.
The beauty of art in the past, as well as even today is the fact that it can be appreciated for many different things amongst all the different groups of people, and in modern times, perhaps nothing highlights this as effectively as animated movies.
Usually, when thinking about animated films, the target audience is clear. The main purpose of the media is often to serve as an effective and fun tool for children to view different cultures, maybe aspects of history and life, but most importantly re-establish the fundamental values that are hopefully being instilled by the parents raising them.
In order to effectively achieve this, directors and screenwriters are often placed under certain limitations. Making sure the tone of the film does not get overly serious for too long or maintaining enough action scenes, set pieces and comedic elements to keep the attention of the kids. On top of that, the rest of the crew including voice actors, VFX artists and animators, as well as composers have to be on their A game, as without them, the entire project might just fall apart.
While it was mentioned that the main goal of the animated films is often designed around younger audiences, talented filmmakers operate under their limitations, and provide an experience that can be enjoyed by all. Good animations often mask mature themes and character work underneath the surface of brilliant visuals, compelling acting and soundtrack.
In order for this to work, the silliness and flashiness of an animated movie, has to blend in perfectly with a slightly more serious tone, without having one take away from the other. Striking this balance is very challenging, but certainly not impossible, as we have plenty of examples to highlight in the vast world of film media.
Let us take a classic example, Disney’s The Lion King. It is one of the most iconic animations of all time for a reason, and it strikes the above-mentioned balance perfectly. The story is accompanied by incredible score and visuals, often taking the audience in bizarre, colorful places, and having a plethora of lighthearted moments.
Yet, it also deals with themes of loss, grief, taking personal responsibility, overcoming self-doubt and fear, and the list goes on. While the younger audiences get their fair share of comedy, beautiful world and straightforward messages about bravery and loyalty trumping greed and malice, the adults that they dragged to see the film, get a lot more on top of that.
For Lion King, specifically Simba, after losing his family and home, barely escaping with his life, seems to stumble upon a perfect gateway, a chance to move on and forget about all. Finding a colorful, safe environment, accompanied by cheerful, loyal new friends, why would he want to go back to the place that scarred him for life, a place filled with characters that took so much.
Well, the story gives us an answer. While home was filled with unpleasant memories, it was also a place where Simba grew up, surrounded by a loving family and community. A place serving as a memory of his father, who often spoke to him about the responsibilities of a leader, a king.
Most importantly though, it was a place that needed him, with people inside that needed him. People that needed someone to step up and challenge the tyranny of our brilliant main antagonist, Scar. As much as Simba wanted to run away from it, the past would catch up. The memories would re-ignite, but this time, with the strength and the will to act, he would make different decisions.
All of this meaningful subtext, drawn from a “kid’s movie”, placed there intentionally by talented filmmakers. The Lion King is far from the only example though. We can look at DreamWorks, or more specifically, their latest animated project.
Puss in boots: The last wish is a story filled with comedy, beautiful fights, unapologetically and comically evil, but engaging characters, as well as major character growth for not only the main character, but also the side cast, surprisingly intimidating antagonist, and well-crafted themes.
Once again, the mentioned balance is consistent with this film. It can have a light tone with slapstick humor, and shortly after have the once untouchable protagonist, genuinely scared in the face of death, realizing that not even his legend is big enough to stand above it. The story manages to deconstruct, and rebuild the legend of Puss in boots, giving him a new purpose and set of values, all the while juggling various plotlines and different character arcs that are all just as engaging.
To put it simply, there is often a lot more, hidden beneath a good animated movie that it might first appear, and for a lot of people, rediscovering the stories that they loved as a child, only to find way more things to appreciate, is an extremely rewarding experience.
Current and next years have many promising projects, maybe two to highlight would be the sequels to Into the Spiderverse, and Kung-Fu Panda. The latter is already established as one of the most consistent franchises out there, with one of the most likable protagonists of all time, perfectly translating an underdog story. As for the Spiderverse, the first film was undoubtedly well made, with great expectations placed on the second part.
Overall, both films have a set release date, with it being June 2023, and March 2024, for Spiderverse, and Kung-Fu panda respectively. Other notable upcoming projects may be, Wish, Despicable me 4 or Inside Out 2.
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