Comparing Childhood Movies Across Generations

Childhood movies have evolved as time has progressed. In the past, movies focused on a more general audience, while more recently movies focus on more specific audiences. (Photo Courtesy of Francis Fleming)

Most Leesville students grew up between 2002-2015 and watched many movies during this time. A lot of students still enjoy the movies they watched during their childhood because of the love they had for them as a kid. Older generations also watched movies as children for very similar reasons and a lot of their childhood favorites appear to be quite similar to many newer childhood favorite movies.

Esther Lee, a junior at Leesville, grew up watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Which is a comedic action movie about a character named Flint Lockwood who built a machine to create food out of rain, but it spiraled out of control and ended up threatening to destroy the world. Flint Lockwood then had to go on a dramatic journey to shut off the machine and save the world.

Lee loves this movie because she finds the graphics very intriguing. The simple story is enhanced by the amazing action scenes, and Lee just cannot get enough of it.

Jordan Wilkens, a junior at Leesville, loves the movie The Incredibles. Which is about a superhero family trying to save the world from the villain Syndrome. A lot of the reason Wilkens enjoys watching The Incredibles is because she used to watch it a lot with her family. 

The movie is jam-packed with action scenes and fantastic animations. Wilkens always finds The Incredibles to be an enjoyable movie to watch.

Bo Groff, a sophomore at Leesville, enjoys the movie Rio. This is another action packed movie about two birds trying to save their species from extinction. Groff loves nature and animals so animated films like Rio really stick with him as he grew up.

All of these childhood movies are relatively similar as Rio, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and The Incredibles, are all animated films full of action scenes that have bits of comedy sprinkled throughout.

The creators designed these movies to draw in people and retain their attention. They are not meant to be complex or have a super in-depth plot. The movies are simple in design and follow a pretty simple formula: the main character starts by living a happy life, then a problem threatens them or the world occurs, and the character has to change themself in some way to solve the problem. 

The main focus of all of these movies is to retain the attention of the audience. Since the target audience of a lot of these movies are younger people, the main focus of the movies goes towards the animation and comedy in the movies. 

Gabriel Argao, a teacher at Leesville, grew up during the 1980s and was a huge fan of the Star Wars movies. The Star Wars series was widely popular in the 1980s and even today. This popularity sprouted from the fascinating story/plot and revolutionary special effects.

Argao still finds himself occasionally watching the movies and loves them to this day.

The original Star Wars movies have some things in common with the newer kids’ movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Rio. All of these movies have intriguing animations or special effects that draw the eye of any viewer around. The movies also follow a similar theme where there is a hero that has to go on a journey to defeat or overcome an enemy or obstacle on their path to a better life.

The difference, however, that separates Star Wars from the other childhood favorite movies is the story itself. The Star Wars series has an extremely in-depth plot with lots of different intertwining storylines. 

The movie itself is not targeted towards children, rather a wide variety of audiences giving it a more universal appeal. The stories brought the adults together to reflect on all of the minute details laced within the movie, and the animations and cool effects brought the younger audience together as they could not remove their eyes from the screen of flashing lights and colors. 

Most movies today are more focused on a certain audience, so a lot of the childhood favorites from recent generations are not as fun to watch as adults. This is due to the fact that most of them lack scenes that are not aimed specifically at kids.

However, there are still exceptions to this as movies like the LEGO Movie still find widespread interest amongst people of all ages.

On the other hand, older childhood favorite movies focus on every part of the movie including the comedy, the animation and effects, and everything in between. This makes them more enjoyable to a wider audience and is the reason why movies like Star Wars are so much more successful than movies like Rio or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.


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