January 22, 2019

So, I took my kids to see Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse a couple weeks ago.

The movie was actually quite good. Both kids liked it. There was a fair amount of drama, comedy and action. The animation was a little different at times, but that’s okay. I’m from the generation that watched The Hobbit and Heavy Metal, so different styles of animation usually don’t shock me.

From Beauty and the Beast, to Wall-E, to Studio Ghibli…differences in styles can often enhance the story telling process.

Disney tends to have very similar styles from film to film. Consider Mauna versus Frozen…and then compare them to more traditional Disney animation. The shapes of characters, whether in 2-D or CGI are very similar in their disproportionate builds and movements. There are songs. The only real Disney films that I think stand out as different in style are Wall-E and some of the Phantasia offerings. Even then, Wall-E only stands out because most of the characters are robots and the people have evolved into semi-walking marshmallows – if you haven’t seen it yet then you really should!

Other animators do offer some differences in styles, but you really have to go from company to company to find real changes.

Anyway, my son loved the Spider-man movie because of the action, comedy and drama, as did my daughter. It kept our attention from beginning to end and is well worth a look if you’re in to superheroes are action films.

There were some jump scenes, and an instance or two of intenseness. My 9-year old was fine with it, but if he was a little younger it might have bothered him.
The sad thing is, a lot of superhero movies right now are just a little too mature for my kids. I let them watch Black Panther, though my wife didn’t like the language in a couple of scenes. My daughter was bored with the film, but my son ate it up.

However, the language in most of the superhero movies is not kid-friendly. It would be nice if the movie-makers offered a swear-free version to buy. I’m sure they’d generate a lot of new sales!

After all, Ant-Man was fine except for some language, as was Ant-man and the Wasp. Thor was fine, but Thor Ragnarok had some strong language – not even going to consider The Dark World either for the kids or for my own rewatching. Guardians of the Galaxy…my son would love it but he’ll have to wait until he’s old enough because of the language.
Captain America movies are a little strong in tone for kids. Wonder Woman was borderline when you consider it takes place in World War 1, though my kids have seen it. Avengers movies aren’t too bad, but my kids are not quite old enough to absorb everything that goes on in the films.

What am I left with? Most of the D.C. Universe movies are crap. The Batman trilogy is an excellent series of movies, but the kids are going to have to wait until their mid to late teens before I let them see any of those (the one with the Joker could be restricted with the things that are in that!).
There’s Lego Batman…and it’s actually enjoyable. On the third viewing…not so much.

Do I sound like a prude? I’m the guy who enjoyed Deadpool, and Deadpool 2. And I saw Heavy Metal – mentioned above – when it played at my high school.
It would just be nice to have a few superhero movies which had kid-friendly language. Maybe they’ll make a Ms Marvel movie! Not the pre-Captain Marvel Ms Marvel with the skimpy outfit, but the Kamala Khan Ms Marvel that’s wildly popular right now! Disney’s Marvel Rising was just a little too kid-friendly to hold my childrens’ attention for a second viewing, but something just a little more grown up would be perfect!

Chris Kalyta