Who said that animation is only for children?

Brad Bird's comment that 'The Incredibles 2' is not a children's movie made me think: Is animation really a medium aimed at a children's audience?

Who said that animation is only for children?

One of my favorite hobbies is watching animated series and movies because I have always been fascinated by the magical world of animation. I enjoy the stories almost impossible to replicate by real actors, the different drawing styles in which I find an unique charm and every little detail that suggests much deeper themes than what is explicitly shown on the screen. From Disney and Pixar, through DreamWorks, to Japanese animation which is much more complex than the American, I like the possibility of immersing myself in different universes. Animation is, without a doubt, something that fills me with happiness.

Leer en español: ¿Quién dijo que la animación solo es para niños?

On July 2, the director of  'The Incredibles 2' posted a comment on his Twitter account that made me reflect. "With all due respect, (The Incredibles 2) is NOT a "kids movie". It is animated, and rated PG", clarified Brad Bird, that after the launch of the film received some critics. A Twitter user expressed his discontent about the content of the film because, apparently, this contains inappropriate language for children. Another user said that she was disappointed with the film, as there was so much talking, expositing, that her 4-year-old daughter got bored. A film that is for all audiences, but that children can only watch under the supervision of an adult.

On July 3, Bird again posted a comment on his Twitter account, this time to ask people to calm down. In this same tweet, the director also expressed his disagreement about this misconception that people have about animation. "I respectfully took issue with the idea that animation is a kids medium," Bird said.

Indeed, the animation is not a medium for children. Yes, there are movies for children, there are also series that are aimed at a children's audience. However, it is wrong to think about animation and talk about movies or series "for children that adults can enjoy". All my short adult life I have heard people say that they do not watch cartoons or animation because it is for children when the reality is totally different.

After all, animation is not a genre, it is an industry. A very big and complex industry that produces every year content for all ages. Animation is also a form of expression, such as literature, art, movies or photography. Through this medium, people are presenting a point of view about the reality of the different societies that inhabit this planet. The animation portrays the culture, the traditions of a nation, the horrors of war, the beauty of life, the complexity of the emotions and the thoughts.

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A clear example of this is the Grave of the Fireflies, in Japan, a film with which Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli wanted to show the sad and heartbreaking reality of World War II through the eyes of two children who become orphaned. Or Violet Evergarden, an anime distributed by Netflix that tells a story so beautiful and deep about human memory and feelings. The Japanese animation industry is so wide that you can find movies and series of all genres and for all ages, with stories from complex and emotional, to strange or inappropriate for a much younger audience.

In Latin America, there is no animation industry, not like in the United States and Japan, the largest in the world, but the region is not far behind in producing much more mature films. An example of this is Virus Tropical, an animated film by director Santiago Caicedo, which tells the story of Paola, a young girl who "was born in a traditional Colombian family, or at least that is what they try to pretend. The father is a priest, the mother is a visionary and the sisters are not exactly what their parents expected." According to Proimágenes Colombia, "this is the story of a young woman who fights for her independence in a harsh context, full of stereotypes and appearances and that tells about the life of a Latin American woman who does not respond to any canon and who learns to live while she lives."

So no, animation is not a medium for children that adults can enjoy, animation is an industry for everyone.

LatinAmerican Post | Diana Laura Rojas

Translated from "¿Quién dijo que la animación solo es para niños?"

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