There were depictions of sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, discrimination and violence in seemingly innocent cartoons from Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies that I can recall seeing as a child. Some television programs that I watched regularly as a child like Sesame Street, The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Captain Planet and even The Muppets have all now been cited as having inappropriate or biased undertones which are thankfully no longer permissible in children's television.
When you are a kid, you really aren't aware of the subtle undertones or subliminal messaging that you are being fed through seemingly innocent mediums, but as you get older and reflect back, you realise just how much of it that you were actually seeing and taking in on a daily basis and it is quite a disturbing realisation.
I know that when I was a girl, all of the Disney princesses were always saved by some kind of Prince Charming character and they all had incredible hair, svelte figures and immaculate grooming. Not one of them was ever capable of avoiding what appeared to be pretty obvious danger in my mind and none of them had the minerals to ever save themselves without male intervention. Generally, all the young female characters were damsels in distress and the older female characters were portrayed as evil witches, cruel stepmothers or rotund and ditzy nanna/ fairy godmother types. The heroes of the stories were always muscular male role models and after they swept in and rescued said 'damsels in distress' they would promptly marry them and then it was expected that life would go forth happily ever after - END OF STORY.
People often argue that the Disney Princesses Belle and Mulan broke those stereotypical molds for Disney, but I wonder, did they really? I mean lets be honest, Belle had a raging case of Stockholm Syndrome and Mulan had to dress up like a man to be taken seriously, that is not exactly ideal now is it? Sure they were making improvements, but it was not until more recent years that a shift in gender stereotyping really came about.
Disney and Pixar alike have truly cleaned up their act and shifted their 'Princess' focus to more of a 'family bond' focus in recent years and it has been a very welcomed change. Now instead of the worn out and archaic 'Damsel in Distress' trope, we see more self empowered female lead roles in children's cinema. The hero is now often the heroine and the focus on self esteem, self awareness, family values and environmental issues has become far more prevalent.
It is has now, more than ever before, become completely unfair to say that G rated movies are just for kids, because the standards of storyline, animation and character development in G rated movies is now higher than it has ever been in the past. Children's films really do deserve to get more attention and producers should be praised for their diligence in attempting to teach children about the more important and relevant issues of our current condition rather than just ensuring that the hottie gets to the ball on time to dance with the prince.
Release Date: 2017
Running Time: 109 mins
It seems that the Pixar/ Disney combo cannot put a foot wrong lately and Coco is another fine example of their terrific storytelling abilities and perfectly honed animation skills. Wisely released in Mexico the weekend before Dia de Los Muertos, Coco swiftly became the highest grossing film in Mexico and since then it has continued to receive worldwide praise and award accolades.
12 year old Miguel's family owns a shoemaking business that has been passed down through the generations. Ever since grandma Coco's father abandoned her and her mother to pursue a musical career, the family have had a strict no music policy and an expectation that all generations will make shoes. However, secretly budding musician Miguel is desperate to enter the local Day of the Dead talent show and is willing to go against his family's wishes to do so, even is it means stealing a guitar from his musical hero Ernesto's mausoleum. By stealing from the dead, Miguel discovers that he has placed a curse upon himself which must be broken by sunrise to be undone.
This is a heart warming family tale about remembering those that we have lost and treasuring our memories of them. I am a huge sucker for all things Mexican, especially anything to with Dias de Los Muertos, so I just adored this movie and thought that it was a moving and passionate tribute to Mexican culture and their incredible family bonds, both here and in the afterlife.
FINAL SAY: Never forget how much your family cares for you.
4 Chilli Peppers