One of the many good things about having our little nieces and nephews visit is that we can dig out and watch our older cartoons. They’re 9 and 7, so while they’re definitely familiar with all the Pixar and Dreamworks CG animated features like Toy Story and Kungfu Panda, they don’t remember the older 2D ones.
So we were watching Anastasia, and it really reminded me of a time when animated movies were timeless. I mean, it’s been 15 years since this movie came out (which makes it older than them), and they get it and enjoy it.
Why? Because it has a story based on timeless themes like identity and family, whereas movies like Monsters vs Aliens are filled to the brim with short-term pop culture references that lose their appeal before the movie even gets released on DVD. I mean, check out this incredibly tacky scene:
I remember seeing that scene in the cinema, and it made me feel kind of sick. Not because I hate that crazy frog thing, but because it’s such a cheap grab for laughs. Well… it’s CG, and pretty nice-looking CG at that, so it’s a really expensive cheap grab for laughs. 15 years from now, will this scene still be funny?
I’m watching Anastasia with these kids, and they’re laughing at the cute little dog, they’re enjoying the songs, and the story (while definitely not the best in the world) has them enthralled. I think it’s great!
Anyway, I’m gonna go dig up some of the other older ones like An American Tail, Land Before Time… hmmm… my childhood seems to be full of Don Bluth movies.
These are movies that I think will definitely outlast the DVDs that they’re printed on, just because they’ve got more in them than just pop culture references.
PS One thing to nitpick about Anastasia: Just because you can magically animate a statue of a winged horse doesn’t mean that statue can fly… it’s still made of stone!!!
PPS If you’re reading this, then I guess the world didn’t end after all. At least, not in your time zone.