Ah, the wonderful world of kid’s films. Good always triumphs over evil, it’s what’s on the inside that counts and other heart-warming messages that shape little minds and teach them valuable life lessons.
…Mostly. If you watch back most of the classic kid’s films through the cynicism-tinted glasses that come with growing up, you’ll notice that much like this great wide world itself, they are dark, a little bit creepy and leave you wondering about the exact moment that your childhood died.
It’s dark enough on the surface – a a group of innocent chickens being forced in to laying eggs day after day, facing decapitation as soon as they are past their sell-by-date, are given a ray of hope in the form of a ‘flying’ rooster and their hopes are soon dashed when he reveals he’s been lying to them the whole time. They then do what everyone else would, and build a giant pedal-powered plane from their chicken coops and fly the wall to safety.
Most people would say that the film is just ‘The Great Escape’ but with talking poultry (the one thing that the original lacked), but there’s also a theory that it’s a metaphor for the holocaust. Only, set in Yorkshire. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to teach kids about history, but that’s a little darker than I was hoping for from a stop-motion film.
This one’s been mentioned numerous times, but Nemo’s mom and all of his siblings get eaten in the first five minutes of the film. If that isn’t a chilling reminder to kids that everybody you love will die one day, then I don’t know what is. Of course, it also teaches kids about the importance of family and that disabilities can’t hold you back, but if you boil it down, it’s still essentially ‘Taken’ but wetter.
If Finding Nemo has one message, it’s that all seagulls are dicks, and you should never trust a nine-year old with anything living.
No explanation needed. Sinister and balls-out inappropriate, pun intended.
The Wizard Of Oz
Here’s the thing about The Wizard Of Oz. It gets you to route for the villain the entire time, without even realising it.
Look at it from the Wicked Witch of the West’s point of view. An illegal immigrant kills your sister by parking her house on top of her, then robs her corpse of her valuable ruby slippers, which should rightfully belong to you now, and immediately waltzes off to raise an army against you. You’re bound to be a little ticked off, but rather than smiting Dorothy where she stands (don’t tell me she doesn’t have the power to, the munchkins must be scared of her for some reason), she’s decides to take the high road and merely sets out to get the slippers back. If scarecrows happen to find themselves set alight along the way, well it’s Dorothy’s fault for being such a corpse-looting bitch.