One big way Pixar has become so successful is due to the fact that their movies can be enjoyed by everyone. Of course, they are made mostly for kids, but they all have elements that can keep adults engaged as well. Whether it be adult themes like growing up in Toy Story 3 or the workplace humor in Monsters Inc., Pixar has made movies that can be beloved by all people. However, Pixar is not the only company that can make movies uninhibited by age. There are many other companies that have been making movies recently that are mostly made for kids but would also be worthwhile for any adults to check out.
Paddington is a kind bear who teaches the world around him to be kind as well. Doesn’t that just make your heart melt a little already? The world can be a dark, sad place sometimes and the Paddington movies are here to remind people it does not have to be. This is an especially good message for adults who are often stressed and dealing with this or that and have grown out of some naivety. This message easily could feel forced or cliché, but it fits naturally and in a fun way. The Paddington movies are like a big, warm hug, and we all could use a hug every once in a while.
The films of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Lord and Miller have come together to make several excellent kids’ movies this decade. Ignoring their direction of 21 and 22 Jump Street, which are definitely not for kids, the pair have been leaders in kids’ movies enjoyable for all ages. They started by writing and directing the often-overlooked Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. In 2014, they followed up with the smash hit The Lego Movie. Each of these movies gained enjoyable sequels as well. Lord also was a writer on the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with both of them acting as executive producers. All of these films feature quick, funny screenplays that pay reference to their source material well, but also are inventive movies in their own right. Lord and Miller’s films are becoming the benchmark for children’s animation.
How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy
Beginning in 2010, the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy has just concluded this year and all together make up one of the best recent trilogies. The three films tackle the common themes of “be true to yourself” and “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” in complex and interesting ways that evolve naturally across the trilogy. All three films are also beautifully animated in a way that perfectly captures the exhilaration of riding a dragon. The main character of the trilogy, Hiccup, is notable for being an underdog, different than those around him and can be relatable to people of all ages. It is also worth noting that the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy contains one of the most well-crafted romances in a kids’ film. Overall, this whole trilogy is well worth the watch.
The Iron Giant
Before all of these other movies, there was The Iron Giant. This 1999 movie is probably as close to a perfect kids’ movie as can exist. It is fun, heart-wrenching and thought-provoking all in just 89 minutes. The Iron Giant himself is an incredible allegory for non-violence and specifically gun control as director Brad Bird has said the film was inspired by his sister who was killed because of gun violence. This subject matter seems out of place for a kids’ movie, but it is handled just right to be appropriate but effective. The film also has one of the most tear-inducing endings ever. The Iron Giant stands now as a high point not just for kids’ movies, but for recent movies as a whole.
Photos courtesy of IMDb.com